Ted W. Engstrom died last Friday in Bradbury, California, at age 90. Ted was known and loved by many who worked for him or who heard him teach his famous seminar on time management, which I enjoyed on two different occasions in the 1970s. (I suppose I needed a lot of help in this area or maybe I just enjoyed the seminar so much that I wanted to go back again!)
Ted Engstrom was best known for his many years of service to the Zondervan Corporation and World Vision, an international ministry of Christian compassion. He had an incredible ability to integrate the gospel with everyday life and was a highly respected leader. He could address, very plainly, the kinds of issues that we all face. He was not a particularly “charismatic” personality but he was an uncompromising visionary who impacted leaders around the world through the use of his spiritual gifts and an insightful approach to life. I first heard Ted teach when I was only 24 years old. His simple ability to communicate a “how to” approach to managing my life and ministry taught me some basic skills that I still employ to this very day. The seminar was built on three life commitments: goals, priorities and planning. I have two gold rulers in my desk drawer, given as a graduation present for the two-day events I attended. These rulers remind me of these three commitments every time I use them. I thank God that I was influenced by this fine Christian gentleman who used everyday common sense principles to help young pastors like me get on track and stay on track in terms of day-to-day work and ministry. Ted was one Christian businessman who made a real difference for the kingdom.