“If you meet Ravi Zacharias, please introduce him to Billy.”
These were my mom’s words as I was starting in ministry. My brother Billy, who could be mistaken as my twin, lived in Hong Kong, and my mom was convinced that his life was supposed to be connected to Ravi, the one Asian believer she knew of.
“Mom, I don’t know Ravi Zacharias,” I told her as graciously as I could. “But if I do meet him, I’m not sure introducing him to my little brother will be the first topic I’d bring up.”
“Well, I’m praying about it,” my mom replied.
In 2013, I finally did meet Ravi in Bangalore, India, at a gathering of Christian leaders. More than his accolades of honorary doctorates, countless books and meetings with kings, sheiks, and presidents, it was his humility and availability that most impacted me that day and in the years that followed. He made time for me amid a busy conference schedule where he was a keynote speaker, and I was a lowly young evangelist attendee. He even invited me to visit him in Atlanta. Whether he thought I’d take him up on it or not, I don’t know, but I booked my flight that day and our friendship began!
Ravi gave his life to the gospel, which meant he had given his life to investing in others.
“Nick, many preachers are too focused on themselves and their platform,” he told me once. “It’s easy to surround yourself with people who can help you, instead of those who can go beyond you. I want to encourage you to find leaders and pour into them.”
Ravi modeled this firsthand in my life, and the way he ran his organization had a deep influence on the way we run ours, Pulse.
Over the seven years I was privileged to call him a mentor. He called me countless times just to check in. He asked about my marriage. He asked me about my challenges. He asked me how our funding was, and when we were struggling, he came to speak at a fundraiser for us and even introduced me to some of his donors. When he endured a humiliating season related to his honorary doctorates and a false accusation that went public, he was vulnerable with me like I’d never seen a leader, which gave me freedom to be vulnerable as well. At crisis moments, Ravi would make time for me. He was my friend.
At my invitation, Ravi took part in events with us in Kiev, Jakarta, Washington and Dallas. In 2016, he joined us on the National Mall for a gathering called Together 2016, even standing up for us when other evangelicals backed out over a promotional video shot by Pope Francis for the event. At a moment that could have crushed our organization, Ravi risked his relationships for us.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Nick Hall