Isn’t it strange that we live in a day where we can have people deeply impact our lives on a personal level without ever having met them? I could rattle off a sizable list of men and women whom have helped mold and shape my world view, even my personality, whom I have never met. This morning, I am thinking about one such man.
I woke up this morning only to see on Twitter that Howard Hendricks passed away in America while I was asleep in Asia.
Howard Hendricks was introduced to me by my campus ministers at Georgia Tech, Howie Espenshied and Danny McKinney. My faith was new and untested, yet my passion and zeal was rocket ship high. Howie or Danny, I can’t remember which one, gave me a set of tapes on leadership by Dr. Howard Hendricks. He was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and was a major influence on large a number of the top Christian leaders from the past 50 years.
I inhaled that series of 4-5 lectures on leadership. From that time, I learned two values that have permanently changed
my life. First, he taught on “leadership with a purpose”. I was inspired in a way towards serving the world for Christ like I had never been before. I was changed.
Prof. Hendricks taught on the value of discipleship and mentoring. Through this series, I leaned about the role of discipleship and mentoring in both my personal walk with Christ and in that of reaching out to the world around me. As a result, I have valued intentional, life giving relationships from that point to the present. This has meant everything to me in my life.
I was inspired by what a life of serving Christ vigorously might look like through this series. In short, this lecture series changed my life and every decision I have made since that listening to it (multiple times).
Three years later, I had the opportunity to hear Howard Hendricks speak at a conference. As I sat in that first row of the balcony of a packed auditorium in Colorado, I was again enamored with the words and wisdom of this man of God. I remember everything about that talk. I can still mentally picture all of the surroundings and the view of looking over the top of his bald head and passion filled movements. Powerful.
Again, Professor Hendricks passed on two values of which I carry with me everywhere I go and in every life decision I make. One of the lectures was on finding “Glory in the Grind” of daily life. Though I didn’t give him credit in the blog post, the contents of that talk still impact me daily (as this post points out).
Since that summer of 2000, I have rarely thought directly of Howard Hendricks. However, I have often meditated upon the values and lessons the Lord taught me through my two encounters with this man.
What for most was a trivia fact they might have seen on Twitter this morning, brought about a twinge of sadness, but a tidal wave of thanksgiving for me personally.
I’m sad to know this man of God, whom I have never personally met, yet who has massively impacted my life, is now no longer on this earth. I’m sure his family and friends will miss him greatly
However, well beyond the sadness, I am celebrating the life of this man whom I never met, yet who has had such a profound impact upon my life. The impact is on-going and will always be a part of my make-up. What an amazing testimony of a life well lived. . . on-going impact in the lives of others well beyond his time on earth!
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving men and women ahead us of in life to emulate and grow through their example. . . in this case, thank you for Howard Hendricks.
(I think I will elaborate on these four life principles I learned from Howard Hendricks in a post next week.)