By Baptist Message staff
JONESBORO, Ga. (LBM) – Henry Blackaby, author of “Experiencing God”, passed away Feb. 10.
Blackaby, who founded Blackaby Ministries International, had battled health issues for some time. He was 88 at the time of his death.
“Early this morning, our dad went to be with his Lord,” Richard Blackaby said in a statement on the Blackaby Ministries International Facebook page. “He helped countless people experience God. Now he is experiencing God in ways that surely surpass even his most cherished dreams. We were privileged to have a spiritual giant for a father. Hopefully we will honor mom and dad for the spiritual legacy they faithfully handed down to us. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.”
According to his website, Blackaby served in several churches in California before moving to Saskatchewan, Canada, where he led Faith Baptist Church from a struggling congregation of 10 members to one that eventually planted 38 churches. During his career, he also served with the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and Lifeway Christian Resources
His experiences as pastor of Faith Baptist helped lead to the launch of the best-selling book, “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” Since its release in 1990, the study has sold more than 8 million copies and has been published in 75 languages.
The study, published by LifeWay Christian Resources and co-authored by Claude King, promotes a God-centered way of life that helps people know God, recognize His voice and understand His will. Blackaby’s seven principles for “Experiencing God” are: God is always at work around you, God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal, God invites you to become involved with Him in His work, God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church, God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action, You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing and You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
In an interview with the Baptist Message, King said Blackaby spent substantial time with God in His Word, in prayer and with other members of the body of Christ. Through that, God revealed truths from Scripture and used Blackaby to help people and churches apply those truths to daily living.
“When I first met Henry in 1986, I was on the tail end of experiencing the failure of my plans to do something special for God,” King said. “From John 5:17-21, Henry taught me about Jesus’ approach to knowing and doing the will of His Father. He summarized it this way: ‘Watch to see where God is working and join Him.’
“I realized God didn’t need my plans,” he continued. “He needed a moldable servant who was willing to submit and obey the Father’s will. That was a major paradigm shift for me. My life and ministry have never been the same.
“Another impact of Henry’s teaching comes when people realize God is pursuing an intimate love relationship with them that is real and personal,” he said. “When common ordinary people experience that kind of love relationship and join God in His work; they, too, experience the joy of being laborers together with God for His great purposes. When ordinary people then testify about their experience of God, the Holy Spirit can make that message go viral and use it to bring glory to God. May the example of Henry Blackaby spur all of us on to experience God as we join Him in His work.”
Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn noted: “In 1992 I married and became a pastor in the same week. Upon returning from our honeymoon, Linett and I spent the next thirteen weeks working through Henry Blackaby’s ‘Experiencing God.’ His principles of ‘knowing and doing the will of God’ have been foundational for our marriage and ministry. I can say without hesitation that we have used these principles in every major decision we have made, including the one in coming to the Louisiana Baptist Convention (as executive director).
“I’m grateful for the impact he has made across the Church and am particularly grateful for the things he taught me through his writings.”