Dear Friends,

Welcome to the De Pree Center’s Third Third Initiative!

We have begun this initiative to enable people in the “third third” of life to flourish in all they do, for their own sake and for the sake of God’s work in the world. (In case you’re wondering, in the U.S. at this time, the average life expectancy is 78.5, which means the average person enters the third third of life at 52.3 years. Of course if you will live to a hundred, you don’t hit the third third until you’re 66.7 years old.)

Today, about 10,000 Americans will turn 65. As they enter a season of life often referred to as “retirement,” many are wondering how they might continue to live full, meaningful, and productive lives. Although they’ve hit the traditional retirement age, they’re nowhere near retiring from an active life that makes a difference in the world. They have much to share and want to share it. Often, though, they don’t know quite how.

Some who celebrate their 65th birthday today will continue in their current job for years to come, perhaps out of necessity, perhaps because they love their work, or perhaps both. Others will start new businesses. (Surprisingly, according to the Kaufmann Foundation, the rate of entrepreneurship in the U.S. is higher for third third folk than for Millennials, contrary to what we often suppose.) Still others will choose not to work for pay, but will be eager to contribute in ways that matter to the world by giving of their time, talent, and treasure

We at Fuller’s De Pree Center believe it’s impossible to overstate the potential impact of third third adults using all that God has entrusted to them for his kingdom purposes. Their contribution will make a magnificent difference in businesses, non-profits, neighborhoods, families, churches, schools, and the wider world. And, as they make such a difference, third third folk will flourish, living life to the full.

The De Pree Center has begun this pioneering work based on the promise of Psalm 92:12-14: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree . . . . In old age they still produce fruit.” Flourishing begins with hearing and responding to God’s invitation to live rightly, fruitfully, and joyfully in all seasons of life. The De Pree Center is developing resources to serve, not only individuals already in or soon to enter the third third of life, but also churches, so that they might encourage and equip their third thirders to live productive lives as disciples of Jesus.

The resources we have created and curated so far are just the beginning. Soon, we will produce a wide-variety of materials and experiences to help folks flourish in the third third of life. We will also point people to excellent resources produced by others.

We welcome your help with this initiative. How can you help? There are several ways:

  1. You can subscribe to our Third Third mailing list so we can keep you updated on our work and make sure you’re aware of new resources. See sign up below.

  2. You can let us know about your interests, needs, victories, worries, longings, and losses as you think about the third third of life. Feel free to email me at markroberts-at-fuller.edu. (No @ symbol here because that’s a spam magnet! You can make the adjustment.)

  3. Or, you can fill out a short survey about the third third. We’d love to get our input on this if you have five minutes or so to spare. Click here to access the survey.

  4. You can let your third third friends know about this effort.

  5. You can pray for us, that God will grant us wisdom as we move forward with this initiative. We want to serve people well, for God’s glory.

  6. You can help support us financially, if you feel so led. We have been able to start this work because of the generosity of two individuals who yearn to see people flourish in the third third of life and who believe that Fuller’s De Pree Center can make a real difference. In time, we believe others will help us to grow this effort through their generosity. If you’d like more information about how to give, please email me at markroberts-at-fuller.edu.

Thanks for joining us on this third third adventure. We’re glad to have you on board.

Grace and Peace,

Mark D. Roberts
Executive Director of the De Pree Center
Lead for the Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative

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Third Third Life is our monthly newsletter with content about flourishing in the third third of life. Ideal for those in or entering the third third of life.