Because I’ve been on the road a couple of weeks—I hope you’ve enjoyed those classic issues from past years—I have a lot stored up, so I hope you’ll forgive me for letting my editorial comments run into this space usually used for a feature item about preaching.
While I was in Japan, I received word that Dr. Wayne Ward had gone to be with the Lord at the age of 90. Dr. Ward was my systematic theology professor while I was a seminarian; in the years since, he had become a friend. The last time I was invited to speak at a class on the Louisville campus, we met for breakfast and talked and laughed for two hours.
Wayne Ward was a gifted theologian and author; but more importantly, he was a faithful preacher of God’s Word. In his classes, I learned theology; but I also heard stories told by a man who loved ministry and who had helped us love it, as well. Some of my favorite preacher stories are ones that came from his classroom lectures, sermons and books.
On a personal level, he helped bring my wife and me together! He was invited to lead a January Bible study at the church where I attended, and another member invited a friend from her small group Bible study to attend and hear Wayne teach on the Psalms. I don’t remember much that I learned about the Psalms that week, but I did meet the beautiful young lady who would become my wife for the past quarter-century. Thanks, Wayne!
Now that God has given me the privilege of ministry in an academic setting—helping equip next-generation leaders for ministry—I can think of no better model than Wayne Ward, who invested his life into mine so I can invest in others. I only pray God will allow me to earn a similar epitaph.