Jack Wyrtzen was the founder of the youth ministry I serve with: Word of Life Fellowship. He was a man of God that was greatly used around the world. On this day in 1996, Jack Wyrtzen went home to be with the Lord. It impacted me because I was a 2nd year student at the Bible Institute and his death was on my birthday. It made me realize that God moves people on and others have to pick up the baton and carry-on. It was a milestone moment in my life. There are some things about Jack that I have thought about over the years that are important things to realize:
1. His example of time in the Word
Many people have told me over the years that Jack Wyrtzen would start his day early and he would start it with 2 things: prayer and time in the Scripture. His simple approach to faith in Christ made him usable – with Jack it wasn’t about what he was doing that day, it was about finding out what God was doing and getting on board. His time in prayer/Scripture made that a reality.
2. His refusal to be status quo
Jack wasn’t your ordinary evangelist. Again, many sources have told me that Jack was ‘different’. He didn’t dress the ‘part’. He didn’t speak the ‘part’. He was comfortable in his own, simple, child-like skin. This made him respectable because with Jack what you got was ‘Jack’. You never had to wonder which man you were talking to.
3. His contagious enthusiasm
Jack always saw the bright side of situations – he didn’t allow his circumstances to control his life. Even when things didn’t turn out exactly as expected, Jack would refuse to become cynical or pessimistic. He would love, he would encourage, he believed with all his heart that he was ‘On the Victory Side’. Jack had once asked me to remember to bring a particular box of literature to an event. I completely forgot. I didn’t get any grief from Jack. Maybe he forgot – who knows. But I was extremely nervous and Jack’s friendliness even in my forgetfulness impacted me.
4. His love of life
It was the simple things of life that Jack found enjoyment in. When I and the Impact Team were travelling with Jack through South America Jack had a nightly ritual (when possible): ice cream. We just sat around and had a good time and relaxed. Jack wasn’t so uptight that he couldn’t unwind and just have fun. He was world renowned, but you’d never know it.
5. His passion to dream big for God
He just believed that God was a big God, and that a big God would do big things. He had vision like no one else. He believed his team around him was his great asset. People would bring him ideas and he would encourage them to do it – fully expecting God to work and to bless.