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Mid-life adults can move from ‘Success to Significance’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Before he passed away last year, renowned author and management consultant Peter Drucker observed that “people now have two lives — life one and life two…. They are over prepared for life one and under prepared for life two.

“And,” the legendary business guru concluded, “there is no university for the second half of life.”

What exactly did Drucker mean by two lives? Lloyd Reeb has an idea, having made the transition from life one to life two and helping many others do the same.

A successful real estate developer in “life one,” Reeb now allocates part of his time serving as director of leadership development at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, N.C., and as the primary spokesman for the national Halftime initiative of the Leadership Network founded by author Bob Buford.

LifeWay Christian Resources has formed a partnership with Leadership Network to create Success to Significance resources to assist churches in developing new leaders and help them find new ways to serve God.

“Our goal is to cast a vision for church leaders to reach the greatest untapped resource that sits in front of them every Sunday — halftimers, marketplace leaders and individuals with experiences, gifts and callings to serve God,” Reeb said.

LifeWay and the Leadership Network are sponsoring a multi-city tour of Success to Significance luncheons for pastors, with Reeb as the featured speaker.

In addition to a busy slate of speaking engagements, Reeb is the author of “From Success to Significance,” which gives readers tips for making an impact with their lives even if they are not financially independent. His second book, “Unlimited Partnership” (to be released by LifeWay’s B&H Publishing Group in January) will help pastors and marketplace leaders partner effectively for greater impact.

“I came to the realization that each of the buildings I had built would one day be torn down and be forgotten,” Reeb said. “I began to re-evaluate life in view of God’s definition of success rather than my own, and made some serious changes.”

The “halftime” concept centers on the growing number of people like Reeb who reach mid-life and discover that the pursuit of success isn’t enough. They want their second half of life to really count for eternity.

As Reeb began speaking to men and women around the country about using this period of their lives to pause and to redirect time, talent and treasure into something fulfilling and lasting for Christ, he noted that LifeWay and the Leadership Network have tapped into a massive national shift-in-priorities trend.

“A recent Harvard/Met Life study shows that half of all Americans age 50-70 are interested in working to help the poor, elderly and others in need. They want to transition from lives of success to lives of significance” Reeb said, noting the trend is especially strong among baby boomers.

Bill Craig, LifeWay’s director of leadership and adult ministries, said the widespread desire “to transition from success to significance among people reaching the second half of their lives creates tremendous opportunities for churches to partner with marketplace leaders in their congregations — and discover innovative ways to improve not only their local communities, but also the far reaches of the globe.”

One of the individuals deeply influenced by Reeb was Chris Danzi, a senior vice president at Bank of America. Danzi began to explore service opportunities that fit his skills and passion, and he soon began working on a way to make a difference in the lives of orphans in Africa whose parents died from AIDS.

He launched a ministry in his church designed to impact African villages most devastated by AIDS. The communities his organization serves have had nearly an entire generation of parents wiped out by AIDS. Today his growing ministry provides food, clothing, education and the Gospel to more than 500 children. Meanwhile, Danzi continues in his duties at Bank of America’s headquarters.

Another person who made this transition is Sandy Griffith of Houston. Every Friday morning you’ll find her in Ben Taub General Hospital’s high-risk nursery unit. Sitting in a circle of rocking chairs donated by her church, this 44-year-old mother of two rocks, feeds, soothes and, in prayer, asks God to bless these premature infants and those struggling to overcome other severe health problems.

Recounting that she gave birth to a premature son 15 year ago, Griffin said she was able “to be there with him the entire time he was in intensive care. While I held him, I looked around the room and realized there were 10 other babies — my son was the only baby held for any length of time. As I held my son, I promised God I was going to rock and hold babies for mothers who can’t be there.”

Eight years later, Griffith fulfilled that promise and began holding, feeding and blessing the premature babies of young mothers and the working poor. “I came to Ben Taub General Hospital to fill my arms, to give love,” she said, “but I’m the one who has been showered with love. I couldn’t be in a more blessed situation.”

Reeb is convinced these stories could be exponentially multiplied with proper resources, direction and motivation as the new partnership with LifeWay helps move churches and church members into new and innovative roles.

“We hope to ignite lives of adventure and impact throughout the nation,” Reeb said.
For a list of Success to Significance luncheon cities and dates featuring Lloyd Reeb, visit www.successtosignificance.com/events.html.

    About the Author

  • Don Beehler