Dick Hardy - Raising Pastor's Kids to Love Jesus - Leaders.Church


Dick Hardy – Raising Pastor’s Kids to Love Jesus

What’s in this Episode?

We are sitting down with Dick Hardy, Co-Founder of Leaders.Church, to discuss raising kids in ministry.

Read the Transcript

George Westlake 0:06
Hi, welcome to the Church Tips Podcast. I am your guest host, George Westlake. I know you’re disappointed because you need a Hardy, and I don’t quite fulfill that. But you know, I can be a cheap imitation, a very, very cheap imitation. But guess what? I get to interview my friend, Dick Hardy, who is a Hardy.

George Westlake 0:32
So, this will be great. I don’t know how well you know Dick Hardy, but he’s an incredible guy. I’ve known this guy for over 20 years. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen him, run into him, talked to him, you can even feel it in a text, where he is not positive and exuberant. And he compliments me so much that it can’t all be true. It’s impossible, if half of what he says to me is true.

Dick Hardy 1:02
Come on man, just slip me a little bit.

George Westlake 1:04
Yeah, there’s always a price tag. He does have that, he is Dick Hardy. He’s always got a price tag. But no this guy, you mention his name in almost any circle in leadership and people say, Oh, yeah, I know him. Do you know him? Yes, everybody knows him. And he has the ability to act like you’re the only one. He has that gift. But he’s an incredible guy. He’s got a great family. He’s got two children, Jonathan 48 and Erin… Jonathan 41. I don’t want to give him that much.

Dick Hardy 1:33
That’s right.

George Westlake 1:35
Jonathan would be be mad, and Aaron 38. But great kids, smart kids. Obviously their mom has a very high intellect that was genetically passed on to them. But smart kids, great kids, followers of Jesus, and great leaders. Actually just phenomenal people.

Dick Hardy 1:57
Thank you.

George Westlake 1:57
Today, I get to ask Dick Hardy a couple of questions. And I’m anxious to do this. Dick, thank you so much for being with us here on this podcast.

Dick Hardy 2:06
Oh man, glad to to be here.

George Westlake 2:07
And I have been slaving over mentally, for years, and now I’m finally living. But tell me this, because you’re like the ultimate family man. I won’t call you The Family Guy per se. But you’re, you’re like the ultimate family man. And you’re everybody’s buddy. You’re like the good guy in every crowd. The you know, the spark plug for every car.

George Westlake 2:07
So, how have you journeyed through life. You’ve done all kinds of things professionally. You know, you’ve been on executive levels many times, you have served in every capacity possible, I think. You’re a servant, you’re a leader, you’re all of that. How have you kept your home and your family together? And looking as shiny as they look today? Give us some tips on, as a father, as a man of God, as a husband, how you’ve done that?

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Dick Hardy 3:00
Well, I did say to myself back in my early 20s – I got married when I was 23 – I looked in the mirror about seven or eight months before I got married and I said, you know, one of these days I’m gonna be producing some little Hardys and I’ve got to do something to improve the gene pool.

Dick Hardy 3:27
So, I found this girl down at Evangel College back in the day named Pat Majeske. She was a tall redhead and I’m tall, and so I said that’s the one for me. And really, of course, I know you experienced this as well, George, in terms of getting a woman that’s walked by your side all these years. Pat has walked with me now, we just crossed over 46 years of marriage. And they’ve been great years, really, in spite of myself.

George Westlake 3:58

Dick Hardy 3:59
Really, you know, when I’m talking to other pastors, we can’t undo the past.

George Westlake 4:07

Dick Hardy 4:07
But to the younger guys and gals that I’m talking to right now, I would really say, you know, this, this guy or this gal that you’ve got your eye on and you think you’re gonna begin to go through life on, they need to love God big time. And I’ve said early on that my wife may be the only fully Spirit controlled person I’ve ever met my life. She is that godly of a woman.

George Westlake 4:08
God knew what you needed, Dick.

Dick Hardy 4:32
That’s exactly right. But she became the mother of our children, obviously, and they were born in 82 and 85. By the way, a little lighter note when you’re talking about how smart the family is. I won’t tell you what their college grade point averages were, but there are four of us, my wife, me, Jonathan, Erin, and you don’t have to guess too far who had the lowest GPA coming out of college. Right here. So everybody else is smarter than me.

George Westlake 5:11
That’s funny.

Dick Hardy 5:11
But, you know, I want to say to pastors and leaders who are raising children, something that I picked up from Rob Ketterling at one point. Now, I had already raised my children by then, but I realized this is what my wife and I had done. We had put our children in the way of ministry. He talked about how Archie Manning had either written in a book or had been interviewed, how in the world do you produce two NFL superstar quarterbacks? And granted, he was a great quarterback, but how do you do this? And he says, Well, my wife and I didn’t set out to do that, but we just always put the boys in the way of football.

George Westlake 6:04

Dick Hardy 6:04
So they were there on the sidelines. They were there picking up towels in the locker room. They were there chasing balls. They were in the way of football. And I’m just telling you, pastor, leader, to the extent you can put your children in the way of ministry, you’ll have that.

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Dick Hardy 6:25
When Jonathan, George knows, you know Jonathan better than you know my daughter, but when he was a little guy, 5, 6, 8, 10, even 12, 13 years old, he would follow me around church, because I’d get there early and he would just follow me around. I mean, literally, he’s just there. And I was teaching high school Sunday school. And I, you know, that was back in the day where you had little handouts, and he would put the handouts on the chairs, while I’m setting things up. He was just always in the way of ministry.

Dick Hardy 7:04
Here’s something Erin did. This would drive me nuts back in the day. This was back when we had Sunday night service at our church, at First Assembly in Des Moines. And she would, when it’s the end and we’re ready to go, she was nowhere to be found. She was doing everything possible to just not leave, which annoyed us because we wanted to go out and get ice cream and get home.

George Westlake 7:33

Dick Hardy 7:33
Where in the world is she? And so my wife would go up this direction. I’d go that direction. And we’re all worked up. And so we finally find her and say, Come on, let’s get the car. Let’s go. Now, she didn’t have spiritual motivation for that.

George Westlake 7:47

Dick Hardy 7:48
But, I think of the picture of that. Think of that, George. I got an eight year old daughter, at that point, that is hiding out in church. Doesn’t want to leave church. That is having your kids in the way of ministry.

George Westlake 8:09

Dick Hardy 8:10
And I’m just telling you, that is absolutely gold. Let me tell you a story. I’ll leave them nameless. They are highly regarded pastors that lots of our viewers and listeners would know of there. But it’s a husband or wife. This tells you the power of words to children. They were going on a little getaway, you know, within driving distance of their church and the town, an hour or two away. And they’re getting away, they’re getting a couple of days vacay. The pastor gets a phone call. Somebody has been injured. A board member or something, and they are in dire straits, potentially life or death.

Dick Hardy 9:06
Now the whole family has been gearing up for this time away. Dad says, I’m really sorry kids, but I’ve got to go back and do this. Now, the wife had a choice to make. What is she gonna say to the kids? And she may say something like, Well, there we go again, the church comes first. See kids, this is what happens. Those words are death words in children’s ears. This wife said, kids we have the greatest privilege in the world to stand with people when really bad things happen to them. And your daddy is that kind of daddy. Changed their view completely.

Dick Hardy 10:03
All their kids are in ministry today, loving God full on and they’re raising their kids that way. The point is, while you put your kids in the way of ministry, always keep in mind that what you say to your children is going to have profound impact on the way they view ministry in the future. What you, let’s see what’s the right words. Rich Wilkerson Senior used this, What you condone in a good way or a bad way your children will practice.

George Westlake 10:41

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Dick Hardy 10:42
For me and our household, we want to condone good words, uplifting words, the words that build people. And, you know, we believe we’re beginning to see that as our children are raising their own children. I’m sure I took too much time on that, George, but just put your children in the way of ministry, and make sure your words uplift ministry and each other.

George Westlake 11:14
That’s, incredible stuff. And I’ve not heard it put exactly that way, but that is exactly right. You’re so right, Dick. And listening to you talk, I was reminiscing, because I did that same thing. I literally remember speaking at camps, and youth conventions, and different events and people didn’t know, but my little kids were sitting on the other side of the monitor. They were sitting behind the monitor on the platform, sitting there watching the whole thing, as part of it. And nobody even knew.

Dick Hardy 11:51
Jonathan right now is scheduling. We’re recording this in late May and he’s scheduling something for September. And he’s going to take his son with him, his nine year old son, and it’s a speaking engagement for him; a men’s conference. And I’m just telling you, that kid is going to remember that trip with dad.

George Westlake 12:15

Dick Hardy 12:16
Even though he’s a nine year old and he’s not connecting necessarily with the full content of what Dad’s going to do. But, it’s a powerful illustration of generation to generation to generation.

George Westlake 12:27
Yeah. And you’re so right. The picture that we show them, is what they’re going to remember seeing.

Dick Hardy 12:34
Exactly right.

George Westlake 12:35
And so that is so great. And as my friend Dick Hardy would say, That’s gold.

Dick Hardy 12:41
That’s is gold.

George Westlake 12:42
That is gold. Man, thank you so much. It’s been a real pleasure to have you on your own podcast.

Dick Hardy 12:49
Thank you, George.

George Westlake 12:49
You have done it immensely well. And thank you for being a father, thank you for being a good husband, thank you for being a godly man, thank you for being a friend. Thank you for being someone that we can all love and trust and gain information from.

Dick Hardy 13:05
Thank you

George Westlake 13:06
Appreciate it so much. Thank you for watching or listening today. It’s been a privilege to be with you and to maybe speak a little bit of truth, a little bit of Dick Hardy gold into your life. Take that with you and remember pieces of that and implement that in your life. And as always, be blessed.

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