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Howard Hendricks (1924-2013)

You probably have never heard that name before! He was conservative, and probably his title made him unpopular to the Charismatics; but the Professor-Emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary lived his life genuinely for God. For about four years I have been trawling the internet for his messages. I even ordered for his books online! James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, Rick Warren, and cohorts called him “mentor.” You really should have known him. Thankfully, his messages and books are available. I stumbled on his obituary while looking to update my archives of messages from him!
Have you read Finishing strong? Steve Farrar referred to some research done on some 246 Christian leaders over two years, and the appalling percentage of those who remained in ministry: 10%. That research was done by Prof Hendricks. He really needed to live so long to do so much!
Have you heard before that the Ninevites worshipped the sea? And that the action of enzymes on Jonah in the belly of the whale certainly left Jonah’s skin bleached and messed up! With a strange man vomited by the sea, and his skin colouration strangely altered, the Ninevites quickly heeded Jonah’s call. Meaning? God can make the most of any hopeless situation! I learnt that from the Prof! By the way, have you heard that Jonah was not the only survivor of a whale’s swallowing? James Bartley was alleged to have in the late 1800s! Google him!
I have heard many reasons why ministers do not honour invitations. I have heard about other engagements, I’ve heard of the need for rest, I’ve heard of the need for retreats. But until I came across Prof, I never heard someone say he could not honour a ministry invitation because he had to play with his son! And he couldn’t shift though the callers thought he was crazy; his son was of higher priority than the ministry appointment! I was so blessed by that! Now that he is gone, his son is a minister of the Gospel!
I’ve never heard anyone laugh at the ministry for paying him a salary to fulfil the call of God on his life. He just found it so funny! He never preached; he always taught. He always taught; he used to draw and make sketches while speaking! He was so funny, yet his messages incisive! He observed that the seminary students who seemed hopeless often turned out better than imaginable! He preached for one of such students; the church was so full that someone took Prof’s seat when he went up to preach! His students couldn’t understand what the bald old man could be doing under the tree with his bible in hand. They thought he was crazy when he told them he was memorizing scriptures! He had  to explain to them: to students, he was a Prof; but to God, he was a Christian and his battles were no different from those his students went through!
He was so in love with his wife that his children’s friends wished aloud that they had parents-in-love! Once on a plane an air hostess couldn’t help but ask if they were newly married. “No! Between us, we’ve been married for about ninety years! I’ve been married to her for forty-five, and she’s been married to me for forty-five!” Laughable, but it left the air hostess dumbfounded in an age in which five years of marriage could tend to be long! She couldn’t help but announce over the public address  in the plane. They got a standing ovation!
He called Barnabas’ the Ministry of Multiplication. Barnabas did encourage many, but he raised a few (esp Paul and Mark) who went on to raise and influence numerous. Prof was forever grateful to the man who led him to Christ. The man beat Prof at the game of marbles repeatedly when Prof was a little boy, early morning on a Sunday! Hendricks was hooked to him…and to his Sunday school!
Hendricks taught over 10,000 pastors in Dallas Theological Seminary. He preached in over eighty countries, often ministering at Billy Graham Crusades. He was chaplain to Dallas Cowboys Football Team. He was patron to Promise Keepers. He was and will still be an influence on numerous others!
One last point: He came from a broken home, his wife came from a broken home. And they both decided with the help of God to stop the evil cycle of broken homes in their genealogy. They did; they were married for sixty-six years!
Some more tributes: &

Prof is like a pebble thrown into a lake-the ripples just keep going outward
Prof is like a pebble thrown into a lake-the ripples just keep going outward

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  1. Wow! Inspiring.

  2. Very inspiring, another one of the giants of faith crosses over to join the cloud of witnesses.
    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  3. Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing this deep faith-packed experience. May the Prof’s work and witness live on through those who were privileged to be ‘taught’ by him.

  5. It is actually another incisive one and i believe this summary is also doing the work of the influence that the life and time of Prof will do now and in generation to come. thanks

  6. This is a man of God!

  7. Wow….
    Wow… was the only word i could utter as i read about the Prof…. particularly the fact that he had a marriage work so well, irrespective of the background of him and his wife…
    Life alas is what we make of it in Christ, not about where we come from, it is about the lives we touch in Christ for Christ.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Thank you for sharing Lanre. I pray and hope we’ll learn from veterans like this as we journey on in Life and Ministry. Amen!

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