By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director
Luis Palau and I met when he was 43 years old, and we were friends for the next 43 years right up until he went home to be with the Lord on March 11th, 2021. I recently shared how much Luis reminded me of my own Dad. But what is the legacy that Luis left on my life and ministry? I have been asking myself that for a while…because it has impacted how I lead Mission ConneXion – and it may influence how you live out your faith as well. Here are seven areas that continue to resonate with me:
- Personal interest – from the moment I met him, I was moved by how much Luis was interested in everyone he met. He showed it by the questions he asked about them. He would also involve people by paying them compliments on what they were wearing etc., all to engage them in conversation. His genuine interest demonstrated he cared.
- Primacy of the Local Church – Luis viewed the Church as God’s agency on earth to equip believers for the work of the Kingdom. He honored local church pastors and would only go where he and LPA were invited – and we do the same.
- Great Faith – Luis believed the gospel has the power to change the individual but also whole continents. He cast a powerful vision at the beginning of his ministry when he laid out his 27 Reasons for Mass Evangelism. As a result, he saw Latin America go from Roman Catholic to Evangelical in his lifetime.
- Integrity, Excellence, but Spirit-led – there has always been a high level of excellence and integrity in everything he and LPA does, but his reliance upon the Holy Spirit led to a lot of freedom, excitement and even hilarity when we were all working together as a team.
- Interesting – I cannot remember anything Luis ever said that was anything but interesting. He was interesting because he was interested in others and their lives, and because he was always learning. So should we be.
- Young Leaders – Luis always seemed to be drawn to, and believe in, young leaders. He saw their potential and empowered them by putting them into leadership roles. Today LPA’s Global Network of Evangelists (GNE) represents this essential segment of the Church.
- Always Looking Forward – Luis never dwelt much on the past or on past accomplishments because he was always looking at, and forward to opportunities just up ahead. Because of that, he loved Mission ConneXion and was my most ardent supporter from the moment we launched in 2001 right up to texts he sent toward the end, and the incredible video he made for us in December when none of us realized he was less than three months away from leaving us.
Wherever he went, Luis Palau influenced those around him. Media people who thought they were interviewing him soon found themselves being interviewed by him as he asked them about the spiritual welfare of their eternal souls. He kept at it right up to the end as hospital staff caring for him in his final days engaged in conversation and he led them to Christ. I will always be indebted to the Lord that our lives intersected the way they did, and I trust that what we do in Mission ConneXion will reflect his lifelong influence on me. Gracias Luis!