Q I don't want to spend my retirement years in a selfish manner. Where can I find resources that identify and describe opportunities to serve others? I'd like to find something I really enjoy.

A Your question is thoughtful and exciting at the same time. As you think about how to serve the Lord as you transition from full-time work to using your gifts and talents to serve others in retirement, here are some suggestions to help you investigate your options.

1. Seek God's direction through prayer and through conversation with people you trust. Good friends and family can help you discern your gifts and passions.

2. A good primer to read is Amy Sherman's Kingdom Calling. Sherman provides a winsome approach to thinking about your gifts in helping others to flourish with integrity and joy.

3. Check out the websites of nonprofits in your area. For example, Habitat for Humanity has many chapters near and far away involved in building affordable homes.

4. Seek the wisdom of people at your church. Your worshiping community is a great resource for pointing you in the right direction.

5. Be open to the Spirit’s nudging. Oftentimes, the Holy Spirit calls us into places of pain where our Lord expands our capacity for compassion and justice.

I pray that these suggestions will lead you to being a blessing in God's kingdom.

About the Author

Reginald Smith is director of race relations and social justice for the Christian Reformed Church. He attends Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.