As I wrote a few weeks ago, Howard Hendricks has now passed into eternity. Most do not know his name; however, I will never be the same from my two encounters with him.
Some of my purpose in writing this blog is to simply process life and think through important values in a more intentional way. This is one of those cases.
Though I never met Howard Hendricks personally, he has helped form several of my most valued life priorities.
“Leadership with a purpose”
From early on, I seemed to demonstrate qualities and characteristics of leadership. It had mainly been demonstrated in athletics and academics up until that point. I enjoyed leadership. As a young follower of Christ Jesus, Howard Hendricks taught me the value of “leadership with a purpose”.
I completed his series of lectures on the topic and had a vision for being a part of leadership within the church of Christ. He gave me a heart to impact the world around me with the Gospel, not merely cash leadership in for selfish gain.
Howard Hendricks gave me a vision for behind the scenes leadership and its massive value. In this world of celebrity Christian leaders, Howard Hendricks was content to be in the background, building up those that could and would lead others well. This changed and has molded my own vision for leadership and how to best impact the world for Christ. This is particularly relevant in my life in Asia.
Discipleship (in general). . . mentoring of men (specifically)
Soon after listening to this series from Prof. Hendricks, I sought older men out to mentor me in all areas of life. This has clearly been one of the most important growth and development decisions I have ever made. Men like Danny McKinny, Paul Quiros, Al LaCour, Scott Stephenson, and John Ellis have all have played significant roles in mentoring me during different time periods of my life. I am eternally grateful to these men and many others for their investment in my life. Prof. Hendricks gave me a vision for reaching out for this influence in my life from others.
Additionally, this has impacted everything I have done in ministry. Since that point, I have been proactive in reaching out to other men around, both my own age and younger, to whom I have tried to help them grow in their own journeys in life and faith. In doing so, I have been impacted by all these men also. As is always the case, I have truly received more than I have given.
Life on life relationships with other men has been THE KEY element of both my personal growth and in how I view ministry to the world around me. Christ’s primary way of changing the world for the good is through people. The best investment, therefore, for world impact is simply to proactively and intentionally build up the men around me. This can happen anywhere I am and in whatever profession I am in.
“Glory in the grind”
Howard Hendricks painted a beautiful picture of our lives being gauged and lived well, not by the highs and lows, but rather in the daily grind of life. I wrote a post about this in November, so I want retrace this (please CLICK HERE to read).
Being a product of an American evangelicalism which is extraordinarily driven by emotions and events and large gatherings, this changed how I viewed growth and purpose in life. Thanks Howard Hendricks . . . this has made all the difference in the world to me, especially given the fact that I have chosen a life with much “daily grind” and difficulties!
Above everything else, when I heard of Prof. Hendricks passing, I thought of this. He was a man who was passionate in calling men to “finish well” in life.
Life is a marathon, full of temptations and trials. He was constantly calling men to endurance in Godly, purposeful living. He would cast a huge vision about the beauty of a life of sacrificial leadership within the body of Christ, with a view of the expansion of the Kingdom of God in world around us. Then he would call us to simply run with the endurance the race God has put before us.
Life is packed with examples of people who have begun well and crashed. Divorce numbers, abandoned children, and lives and families torn apart by the sinful choices of men, in particular, point to this reality.
I am grateful, as I have read more, that Howard Hendricks truly “finished well” in life. No controversies. No moral implosions. No estranged wives. Just a man whom faithfully loved Jesus, his family, and the world around him.
Howard Hendricks invested his life in calling men to lead with purpose, live intentionally in building up others around them, and to simply “finish well” in life. I for one have been blessed and built up by the ministry and life of Howard Hendricks. For this, I am and will be eternally grateful.
I pray that all four of these lessons will continue to grow, shape, and develop me more into a purposeful servant of Christ Jesus. I pray, in the end, I will simply hear “well done good and faithful servant”, as I am certain Howard Hendricks heard last month.