A Word about the word “Retire”

David Staff   -  

Yes, I know.  It’s the most convenient word to use.  “I hear you are retiring?”

I smile each time I hear someone graciously says this and looking to me to confirm it.

“Well,” I think, “it depends.”  I also wonder what is in the person’s mind when he or she uses the word.

The dictionary can be of some help.  RETIRE. The basic idea is “to withdraw.”

I retire each night when I withdraw from a day’s activities to sleep in bed.  For a good number of years, I’ve retired somewhere around mid-week.  Each Wednesday or Thursday, I withdraw to a place where I can think minus interruptions about what to teach on Sunday morning.

Place a hyphen in the right spot in the word (i.e., re-tire), and it could mean that I’m getting a new set of wheels!

Most of the time, people mean it as a final stepping away from full-time working.  Or withdrawing by finishing a career, as in the case where a lawyer stops taking on clients and cases, or an athlete who no longer will play his/her sport professionally.


Just to be clear, on June 1, 2021, I am withdrawing from full-time employment at Christ Community Church.  On that same day, I am withdrawing from my responsibility to be the lead pastor in helping, with others, to seek Jesus’ will for the future of this ministry, as well as shepherding its wonderful people.

In this sense, I am retiring from this privilege and responsibility of a lifetime.  When I read my letter of resignation to the Missional Leadership Board on May 12, I had difficulty verbally finishing the written sentences.  The time with you all has been so very wonderful.

On June 1, Pastor Kyle Bartholic becomes Christ Community Church’s Lead Pastor.  Praise be to God.  Welcome him eagerly!

In another sense, I am not retiring (or withdrawing) from pastoral ministry, or work.  If in the Lord’s will, I will likely be shepherding, sometime later this calendar year, another church as an Interim Pastor (the pastor between the one who left, and the one God is bringing).

The “domino to fall,” toppling others, is the sale of our home coupled with a specific call through  interimpastors.com.  A move west may also be in the mix.  Pamela and I have more questions for the Lord than answers right now.  So, I guess we are not “retiring” from walking by faith, either.

Thank you for praying for us, and I hope this answers any questions you have. Time to withdraw.

But let’s stay friends, OK?