I’m sure most of you have heard that Howard Hendricks’ eyesight has been totally restored. Actually, it’s been miraculously made better than it’s ever been. As a matter of fact he’s seeing Jesus Christ face-to-face as you read this.
That’s right, the man many alumni from Dallas Theological Seminary refer to simply as Prof went home to be with the Lord February 20, 2013. His influence on this earth will carry on through many influential people from DTS. More on that in a moment.
I didn’t get the privilege of getting to know Howard personally. We frequently sat in the same section at church most Sundays. I shook his hand once. He wasn’t a tall man. At 5′ 6″ I don’t look downward at many men. I never saw so many men look up to someone as they did to that man of God.
Many visiting preachers made sure they went out of their way to shake Howard’s hand and spend a few precious moments with their mentor. That was Prof’s claim to fame.
I heard him speak once. It was at an annual volunteer dinner our church hosted a couple of years ago. He wanted to encourage those who spent time with the youth every week with a portion of his life story.
Howard wasn’t raised in a Christian home. One day he and his friends were playing marbles when a young man from the church challenged them. He said they’d have to come to Sunday School with him if he beat them in marbles. Howard seemed quite proud of the fact that he could claim he lost all his marbles at a very early age.
To say that day proved to be a turning point in Howard’s life would be a severe understatement.
I heard a sound-bite from a recent interview he conducted where he said he had a mentor in his life who made a tremendous impact on him, so, he knew that was what he needed to do with his life. DID HE EVER!!!
Those I know of off the top of my head make quite an impressive Who’s Who list. Many are heard on the radio, even more in pulpits around the world: Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, and Chip Ingram just to name a few.
Mentoring is a concept that’s gaining ground in some parts of society, but, it’s not a recent phenomenon. There’s an even more influential mentor who has directly impacted my life in a personal way. Jesus Christ utilized the mentoring model in His earthly ministry in quite the effective way.
Twelve men were given intense time with Him for over three years. There lives would never be the same. When one of them dropped out another was chosen to take his place. No, not Matthias, the Apostle Paul was God’s man to fill that void. His time with Jesus is more of a secret, but it was definitely real.
How about you? Have you been on either end of a mentoring relationship? You probably won’t affect the number of famous people that Howard Hendricks did. But, nobody expects you to. You may be the nameless guy who invites a kid to Sunday School who goes on to be an influencer in the world.
You may struggle to teach a group of kids each week. You never know when God will use a sentence you say to spark someone on a life changing investigation into what this Christian life is all about.
You may write a short magazine article that gets read by someone who’s been contemplating ending their life and they find a spark of hope from some of your words.
Whatever avenue God has given you to reach out to others give it your all.
Colossians 3:23-24 says: Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Jesus you are serving.
Keep that in mind the next time you work on your lesson plan. Howard did, now he’s receiving his inheritance.
For those of you who don’t know where to start in this mentoring thing, step out in faith. If you’re a young person yearning for guidance from someone you admire ask them for some time. If they say “no” turn to someone else, or get involved with a project they’re participating in. They’ll rub off on you as you labor together.
If you’re farther along in life’s journey and you’d like to make a difference in a young person’s life move toward them. That single mom with unruly children would definitely appreciate the help. The reason her kids are unruly is because they’re crying out for attention. If getting in trouble is the only way they find any attention they’ll take it over being isolated in society.
A big reason our families are in such disarray is because our young men in particular don’t have any role models to emulate. Invite a teen to a ball game. Find a hobby you both enjoy. Nurture that time and you’ll change the course of our nation.
But, it’s only one person how’s that going to make a difference?
The same way a young man influenced Howard Hendricks who influenced so many in his time on this earth. You never know how much influence that one you influence will have on others. Just do your simple part and leave the results up to God. The Holy Spirit is the one who ultimately changes hearts. It’s our job to give the Holy Spirit something to work with.
For those of you interested in attending the memorial service for Howard Hendricks it will be held at the church he served as an Elder: Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas at 11:00 am March 2, 2013.
You’ll get a chance to hear the pipe organ that was dedicated to him and Stan Tusaint. It’ll be worth the trip just to hear how an organ is supposed to sound.
I’ll see you later. Wade