Epic Quotes on Discipleship from Prof Howard Hendricks

Howard G. Hendricks, known affectionately as “Prof” to more than 10,000 graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary, leaves behind an incalculable legacy which he would call “the work of Christ in me.” Auxano Founder and CEO Will Mancini was a student of Prof, and recently wrote the following upon hearing of his death.

Prof died today but his ministry continues to expand through the lives of over 13,000 students that were impacted over his 60 years of teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary. While working on a tribute, I first reflected on the sticky ideas that he planted in my mind through teaching and embedded in my heart through modeling. All but one quote below is straight from memory. There are literally hundreds more…


  • You cannot impart what you do not possess.
  • You can impress from a distance, but you can only impact up close.
  • If you cannot be accused of exclusivity, you are not discipling.
  • You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.
  • You never graduate from the school of discipleship.
  • When God measures a man he puts the tape around the heart, not the head.
  • Jesus never discipled one-on-one.


There are many things in life you “can do” for God. And the more success you have, the more opportunities will come. (You will know more people, you will have more resources, etc.) But most opportunities are distractions in disguise. Therefore find the one thing you “must do” for God.

  • You focus on the depth of your relationship [with God]; let Him determine the scope of your ministry
  • A good leader has a compass in their head and a magnet in their heart.
  • Spend the rest of your life doing what God prepared you to do.
  • The secret to concentration is elimination.
  • Nothing is more common that unfulfilled potential.


Many of us want a word from God, but we don’t want the Word of God. We know enough to own a Bible but not enough for the Bible to own us. We pay the Bible lip service, but we fail to give it “life service.” In a world where the only absolute is that there are no absolutes, there is little room left for the authoritative Word of God as revealed in the Bible.

  • The Bible was written not to satisfy your curiosity but to help you conform to Christ’s image.
  • The goal is not to make you a smarter sinner but to make you like the Saviour.
  • Put the cookies on the bottom shelf (talking about making teaching accessible to everyone).
  • Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives.
  • It’s a sin to bore people with the Bible.
  • Christian education is a bomb with a long fuse— it takes a while to go off.
  • Our problem is that we are in the Word but not under the Word.


  • Most people don’t think, they just rearrange their prejudices.
  • Your strengths develop your confidence; your weaknesses develop your faith.
  • My greatest fear is not your failure, but your success.
  • If you want to use your testosterone to grow hair, that’s up to you.

Attending Prof’s memorial service yesterday, Will said “Incredible memorial service for Prof Howard Hendricks today. It was an eternal perspective workout for mind & heart.”


Read more from Will here.

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Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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