Second Half Living
Life is sometimes understood in terms of a journey through various experiences and with a focus that shifts between life stages. In particular, the social, psychological and spiritual changes between the first and second halves that become apparent when we are in our midlife can range from barely noticeable to earth-shattering. Several respected contemporary authors explore this, for example:
Tony Horsfall, British author and spiritual trainer, says that midlife “…can be some of the most important years of our lives in spiritual terms. They are times of change, which can include turbulent emotional transitions as we encounter a range of personal issues.”
Well-known pastor and author, Gordon MacDonald says: “I am disappointed by the number of Christians who … slowly empty their spiritual tank of yesterday’s zeal and vision, and now merely go through the motions of a fantasy faith that makes no sense in the streets of the real world.”
However the Bible says, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree…planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” (Psalm 92:12-14 NIV)
Clearly a positive and satisfying later life is possible! So how can we help one another to navigate these potentially stormy seas? Second Half Living, pioneered by Martin and Marion Cooper (Southampton), aims to help people enjoy and flourish in the ‘second half’ of their lives.
Currently, Second Half Living consists of four workshops introduced by a taster presentation. These sessions begin to explain what is going on in the midlife stage, provide an opportunity to review the past, assess the present and consider the future. Four key areas are introduced: change and transition, anxiety and fear, work and rest, and leaving a spiritual legacy.
If, following the workshop series, participants want to discuss topics further, the Second Half Living team would support them in establishing and running autonomous groups in their social context.
Second Half Living is led by Phil Watson (Cardiff) so if you’d like to find out more about it please get in touch.
 Horsfall, T. (2016) Spiritual Growth in a Time of Change: following God in midlife. Abingdon: Bible Reading Fellowship, back cover.
 MacDonald, G. (2004) A Resilient Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Don’t Stop Running!
In his book A Resilient Life, Gordon MacDonald says: “I am disappointed by the number of Christians who … slowly empty their spiritual tank of yesterday’s zeal and vision, and now merely go through the motions of a fantasy faith that makes no sense in the streets of the real world.” Psalm 92 says, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree…planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” (v 12-14 NIV)
The Second Half Living discipleship ministry focuses on decreasing the number of people as described in the first quote, and increasing those in the second. God’s desire for us as disciples and disciple makers is that we ‘keep on keeping on’ in this as long as we are physically able. The ‘third age’ of life (50-75ish!), with new challenges and opportunities, is critical to seeing this happen. Who will walk with us through this time of our life with faith and vision? What resources will equip us? How can we play our part in passing on the baton? Does the Bible have things to say to those living in this life stage? How exciting to be involved in helping people find relevant, life-changing answers!
Get in touch
Turner House, 54 The Avenue, Southampton, SO17 1XQ