BOB BUFORD 1939 TO 2018
Those who loved him, admired him,
worshiped alongside him and learned
from him knew — HE FINISHED WELL.
Those who loved him, admired him,
worshiped alongside him and learned
from him knew — HE FINISHED WELL.
I first met Bob at a Time Out retreat in Monterey in October 1999, a retreat that was founded after his seminal Halftime book came out. I sat at Bob’s table, and along with a confluence of several other events, I got the courage and inspiration to co-found Legacy Venture a month later. I went on to join the board of Time Out, and we ultimately folded our efforts into NCS, the New Canaan Society. Shortly after meeting Bob, I met Fred Smith, Bob’s former business partner, and Fred became a strong source of wisdom for me, and a good friend as well. Legacy Venture continues on. We are in our nineteenth year, and I have been immensely blessed by Bob, and I live with a strong sense of stewardship as some of his fruit on other’s trees.
One day at the Halftime Institute offices in Dallas while grappling with a mission statement, Bob came alongside me and in his amazing way clarified my thinking and encouraged me while also pointing out the risks associated. He was such an gracious man.
Bob played a major role in my becoming a believer. He taught me that the concept of “ original sin” was all about God’s love for all of us - we all fall short of His perfect 100 score. And God sent Jesus down to earth not to condemn us but make up the difference between us and 100. That began my walk with the Lord and Bob’s mentoring of me along the way. He played a major role in Phil Hodges and me starting our Lead Like Jesus ministry. He had a major impact on my wife Margie when he asked her to serve on The Halftime Institute Board. Bob and Linda have become special friends. We will miss Bob terribly but are so happy he is reunited with Ross, his beloved son. See you later Bob.
As the Director of Admissions, I have the privilege of talking to people every day who are trying to decide if the Halftime Institute is right for them. They often say, “Bob put my feelings into words.” During one of my visits with Bob, I asked him, “Why do you think God used you in such a miraculous way?” He sat silently for a minute and then turned to the back of his last book, Drucker and Me. In the Epilogue, Ed Stetzer, quoted President Harry Truman. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." This epitomized Bob, who said, "All credit goes to Him." To me, that one gesture is the essence of who Bob was at the core. He lived out his life in all-out devotion to God, always giving credit to his Savior."
I read Halftime for the first time when I was 21 years old. I decided I didn't want to wait until my forties to live with a strong sense of purpose guiding my life. Through his book, Bob showed me some of the questions to ask and perspectives to consider to have a greater impact. Over a decade later, I'm so grateful for the influence he's had in my life through his writing. Also, the Halftime Institute is great!
Bob believed in the vision that God gave me for 4wordwomen.org. He not only said, "You need to start the only global ministry for women in the workplace", but he said "You need to write your story as the foundation for the ministry". To that statement, I knew a miracle would have to happen, as I given strengths as a COO of one Fortune 500 and one Fortune 1000 companies, but not as a writer. Bob not only said words, he went into action and helped me get "Work, Love, Pray" published. Today 4wordwomen.org serves 125,000 women around the globe. This ministry is meeting an unmet need. God used Bob to grow fruit on my own tree, in addition he was also a dear friend as is Linda and his right arm, B.J. I know Bob is smiling right now.
Bob's books inspired me to dig deeper in my faith and business. I searched for new meaning and purpose. In 2008 I founded a faith-based nonprofit to help job seekers during the recovery from the crash of 2007. The organization has served over 4,500 people. Since then I have become an executive coach helping business leaders in all walks make a difference.
Bob Buford his passed away. He was a good man. I had to pleasure of working with him quite a bit. I imagine I scribed live art while he spoke a hundred times or more. He devoted his life to the things that he believed in and as a result, he got a huge return in terms of moving the ball on what he cared about most. He was devoted to strengthening large churches, and to developing Christian leaders to be the best, most effective people they could become. It was in this second capacity that I worked with him most and I was incredibly impressed by the impact that he had. He had great content that he wrote and taught about. By scribing for it so many times, I feel like a lot of it got drilled into my core. Many of the axioms I say when I
Through the Foundation meetings he provided, I was exposed to men older than I am, far more successful than I am, more humbled than I to Christianity. A perspective on the issues of the day, life’s challenges and the word of God were made practical to me. I’m a fortunate man to have crossed Mr. Buford’s path.
Of the many books I had the privilege of publishing during my 20 years at Zondervan, Bob's, Halftime, stands among those that were anointed in a special way. When I was with Bob, it was like drinking from a deep well. I learned so much from our visits about so many intersections of faith and life. Our friendship was a treasure that I will miss. God's peace to Linda.
After being in a difficult “half-time”mode, I was walking with a friend, pheasant hunting in western NE and discussing my difficult situation. My friend, Mike Helmuth, said in response; “Half-time”. The next thing I knew I was in a Halftime class in 2008. My life changed instantly. Since then, my track is exactly where it should be. Bob directed me in the right direction. I think and pray about it daily. I rejoice in the celebration he is currently having with his son Ross and others.
Bob's book, Halftime, was one of the key factors in motivating me to do something that made a difference. After attending a Halftime Institute, and with the encouragement of several other halftimers who've gone before me, I was moved to start Both Hands Foundation. We help families raise money for adoptions by doing a service project for widows. I don't know if there is a downline in heaven, but if there is, Bob's includes 916 kids who are no longer orphans and 872 widows who've been blessed by a Both Hands Project. Well done good and faithful servant!
Bob was my mentor and my inspiration to finish well. He helped me craft my second half mission statement; “ to change the trajectory of ten people’s lives before I die. I have been blessed to know Bob Buford. We will press on without Bob, but will be forever thankful he was a part of our lives.
Thank you Bob for starting and investing in Halftime. It has helped me to pursue my life of significance.
In MANY ways. I first encountered Bob when he, literally, "ran me into the ground" when we competed running the second leg on our respective mile relay teams at our high schools' District Track Meet. Then, after his high school graduation,when Bob was going through fraternity rush, I rushed him, and he DID pledge our fraternity, Sigma Chi. Then, Bob and I roomed together for a short time at The University of Texas. So, we shared a LOT of activities and memories during those years. Later, I enjoyed participating in a Halftime Summit and Bob and I renewed our warm relationship. I loved his books and have shared them in small groups. I have loved closely following, and sharing, his musings over the years. Bob was a GREAT man and friend.
I wrote him a letter this morning and came here for the address to send it. I never met Bob, but his influence on my life the last 20 years has been large. I read Halftime at age 25 to see how those that thrive later in life do it right. I have his Top 10 Values by my desk here to live by and his example of how he lived his life through success and failure and pain to have as example when I lost my own brother suddenly. Thanks for being real and yourself Bob. Your influence is through people like me down to the next generation after me. So grateful for the life and faithfulness of Bob Buford.
Bob’s story in the book Halftime has affected my life profoundly. I’m so grateful that our roads crossed. There are so many friends of Bob here in my country, Sweden, who say the same thing.
My relationship with Bob evolved from stranger to icon to boss to mentor to friend. After being inspired by his book and attending Halftime Institute, I joined Bob and the rest of the team to continue the movement globally. One of the most impressive things about Bob is how he empowered others. Bob gave me and others opportunities that he knew would challenge us, invigorate us, and help us grow. Heck, he encouraged me when I was only 40 to lead men and women 15 years my senior and vastly more successful than I was. He believed in me and wanted the best for me. He also believed in my book and supported me emotionally and financially to launch it. I’ll be forever grateful. I’ll miss you, Bob. Thanks for sharing your life and wisdom with me.
After Bob wrote "Halftime" he invited several of us to a think tank in Dallas to explore how to really help people benefit from a halftime/reflective time in their life and actually progress. It was a very enlightening experience and launched several us into helping others finish well. Bob's humility, passion, and desire to help others was so inspiring. He was very supportive of me as we launched YourOneDegree and encouraged me every step along the way. As a result, his impact has spread through many thousands of lives in our ministry alone. Thank you Bob, Linda, and the Halftime Institute for obeying and trusting the Lord in a powerful way, and in so doing, touching millions of lives for Christ. It was a true privilege to know Bob.
Your books and the Halftime program have helped me greatly in planning my retirement life. It is purposeful and fulfilling. Thank you Bob, enjoy Heaven!
I was invited to spend a couple of days with Bob in Aspen in the summer of 2010. It happened to be one of the lowest periods of my life, and Bob and Linda graciously invited me to meet with Bob during the day, and then have dinner with the two of them that evening. I carry with me every day a work-sheet that Bob walked me thru that has helped me re-invent my blessed life in the entertainment world, and I will forever be thankful for the time I spent with Bob in Colorado, and later thru the Halftime experience in Dallas. Thanks to Dick Gygi who introduced me to Bob, and allowed me to have such a life-changing experience.
Bob's chapter about his son Ross helped me to the foot of the cross 8 years ago. I knew it was then that I had to give my 6 children to God. Since that moment my life of legacy really began. Thank you Bob, you changed my life .
Thank you Lord for Mr. Bob Buford's life. Thank you Mr. Buford for loving God and loving His church.
The ways Bob Buford has impacted my life are too numerous to count. One of my favorite memories is when Bob would call me on Saturday morning to “talk my confusion out loud.” We would talk for a while, the whole time I'm wondering what I had to offer Bob Buford. Then he would end the call by saying… "you remember the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, ‘well, you just keep thinking, Butch, that’s what you’re good at.’” In light of Bob being in the presence of Jesus, I’ll just use Bob’s words, “yay God.”
Bob was a man of great vision and courage. He had an uncommon ability to see beyond what is, to what can be done, and to leverage that through thousands of men and women. His was a life well-lived, and a real blessing to me. The seeds he has sown will come to fruition all around the world.
At the lowest point in my life, when friends and colleagues vanished, Bob picked up the phone and called me. I can still hear his kind and comforting voice, reassuring me that our Lord loves walking with us through the valley, and inviting me to join Team Bob. Bob modeled for me the best of what it means to be a follower of Christ. He was serious about investing in the Kingdom, but never took himself seriously, which is rare among people blessed with wealth. A case could be made that the large, successful church movement would never have happened without Bob's influence, yet few worshipers in those megachurches have ever heard of Bob, and Bob was fine with that. Dear friend, enjoy the party, and say hi to Ross for me. Much love to Linda.
I had the privilege of interviewing Bob 20 years ago for my first book, God is my CEO. I remember Bob sharing a quote from George Bernard Shaw "Life is no brief candle to me. It's sort of splendid torch which I've got for the moment and I want to burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." I, like countless second-half leaders have been inspired to see our work from an eternal perspective. Thanks Bob for lighting the way for so many!
Grateful to have been transformed and inspired by Bob Buford! Because of Bob I found the path to significance for my second half. Because of Bob I'm helping the next-generation discover their path to significance in there first half. God uses all for good. In this case he used Bob for great! 🙂 Mark J. Chassman, Co-Founder, Emerging Leaders Initiative
I read Halftime in 1995 and left business to go back on staff with Young Life....the book had such an impact on me and changed my life. In 2007 I became connected to Bob who personally coached me..and thus I became Halftime Institute's first affiliate partner. I owe my calling, books, vision and purpose first to Jesus, and second to Bob. I will miss you brother....I will miss my afternoon meetings with you, my sending in questions you wanted to discuss. My life is 100X because of your investment in me. My most treasured possession sits in my office....a carved walking stick with the 10 commandments carved on it that Bob gave me. Thus I prayed for him daily when I saw it. Now I will pray for Linda. I will miss you and join soon!
Tremendously! In 2002, I was asked to speak on a panel with Bob tied to a new Campus Crusade division targeting business professionals. I was an entrepreneur with a decent company that had one simple story of sharing Christ and leading one person to Christ in the workplace. I really did not belong on the panel and particularly beside Bob. He somehow really loved my little story, got my contact info, and sent me an encouraging note to focus on "Kingdom" work and to remember Halftime as it was coming. In 2010, I sold the company at 45 and sent Bob an email. He was on me like white on rice and pushed me to attend Halftime Institute. Life was redirected. I now run a social enterprise funding Kingdom work. Bob was a natural Barnabas
His book Halftime created a framework for the kinds of conversations I needed to help my clients think of their worldly success differently.
His firm convictions were always communicated with compassion. A sort of tough love. But with more love than toughness. Halftime has created for me a complete foundation for how I see myself and my relationship it’s God through Christ. I use it everyday. And I pass it along on others. Bob’s work and legacy are in me and being passed along to all I meet. Kevin
Bob's life and his writings on the season of halftime testify to the reality that when we make Jesus our #1 the best is yet to come. Bob was always looking ahead in grateful anticipation of all that could and would happen because God is faithful. I'm forever challenged by how focused Bob was on things of eternal significance. He has challenged me to live with the end in mind, glorifying Jesus in all that I do.
I just heard Bob passed away ... our lives and futures are different because of him, his vision, his passion of pouring into others and to the HT network and to people such as yourself who are walking in the next chapters of life.. We leave on Sat for Guatemala and then Zambia. We take a part of him with us as we share how God wants to tap into the strengths, passions He has placed within in each of us. Our lives will never be the same because of Catapult Bob
“Bob Buford’s influence is above Christianity and beyond America.”
Bob impacted my life through Halftime - his life is producing fruit in my life - I went through the Halftime Institute 3 years ago and that time sharpened my focus in all that God has called me to be. Bob's book, Finishing Well, has shaped my life and my thinking. I'll never forget the hour he spent with my cohort and the hour he gave me in his office sometime later. As the Scriptures say of Abel, "though he is dead, he still speaks" (Hebrews 11.4). Bob is alive and well, not only in heaven, but he is alive and well here, and the mission of his life rolls on, me and all those who have been and will be impacted by his life. Thank you, Bob.
I first read the Halftime book, then attended a workshop. Bob attended our session. Talking with Bob, I instantly realized, this is a man of direction and destination. What a blessing it was to have met him and talked with him, which I will do again someday soon. One comment he made that has stuck with me and constantly inspires me was, "We need to get up out of our comfortable chairs and get moving for the Kingdom". It motivates me daily. Thanks to Bob and the Halftime team, we have committed our second have to the Kingdom. A man of faith and purpose, who will be greatly missed by all.
His book made a huge impact in my life. He was and is an inspiration to all. I thank God for his time on Earth and I am happy that he now has an eternity to catch up with Ross.
Having been a partner of Bob’s in the Halftime Institute since 1997, I had the privilege of watching him live out not only his calling but his life principles. Bob Buford took his business expertise, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial talent to address two of the most leveraged opportunities in our culture for real transformation. He brought business practices to social sector leaders and created pathways for talented business leaders to give back to society in meaningful ways. In his generosity, he taught us that the joy is in the results. He was intent on a “100X return” - one hundred times the benefit or life change, as a result of giving his time and money to meet human needs.
Met Bob at New Century New Church conference in San Antonio in 1999. It was the turning point in my career. Under Bob's mentorship, I stepped down from my judicial bench and stepped up to the throne of God as I launched into full-time ministry. I will never forget the wisdom, care and compassion that he shared with me in helping me to live my life 100X. My commitment is to "pay it forward" as I invest my life into other young leaders for the Kingdom's sake. Enjoy your celebration with The King, Bob!! Until we meet again.
His book HalfTime had a significant impact on my life journey. He could have bought many worldly possessions here on earth that would rust and decay but instead he invested in kingdom works. Condolences go out to Linda and the family as they grieve his loss but know he is in a better place feeling to pain. Scott
I worked at BTI Corporate from 1979-2002. As a financial analyst, I was involved with the strategic planning at a critical time for corporate management. Bob had pressures to keep the success rolling. Not all decisions turn out as planned or better. God blessed Bob with wisdom. After knowing Bob I felt the need to make a mark on young people early in life. I switched directions and became a Christian Elementary School Principal, turning a failing school around. Thank you Bob and the Lord. What a life!!
Bob was a great friend, inspiration and encourager. He translated and modeled a lot of Peter Drucker's wisdom into principles I could understand and have applied to my second half work at Bridge2Rwanda. I find myself quoting one or more of his Top Ten Values to someone almost every day. I'll miss him dearly.
From the moment I met Bob in 2012 as a client at the Halftime Institute, I was amazed at his wisdom, calm presence and insight. His questions he asked me and other participants were so penetrating and somehow were able to move past all the fluff and simply get to the main issue. Truly a skill I would love to emulate! As I came on staff in 2014, I was able to experience first-hand Bob’s gracious transition from founder to Board Member and Chief Encourager. He was so excited to empower Dean and his team so that the impact of Halftime would long outlast his own life. Not every founder can do that with such grace and intentionality, but Bob did and did it well. I’ve been amazed to see Bob’s impact every day in so many different ways.
My heart was deeply saddened today as I received the news of the passing of Bob Buford. Bob was one of the two most influential mentors in my life. I have dedicated the past 15 years of my life to helping others discover and engage in God's purposes for their lives. The one individual most responsible for my current personal mission and passion is Bob Buford. I am doing what I am doing because of Bob. I am making a difference because of Bob. I have so many trips to Dallas over the past 15 years just to see and sit at the feet of this great man. His fruit is growing profusely on my tree. The process and product he encouraged me to develop has been translated into 5 languages and used around the world
I intersected with Bob in 1988 when he and Linda hosted the first Foundation event in Dallas. I was 32 years old, he was just developing his half time ideas and message. That first Foundation lead to a very long relationship with Bob. His thoughts and insights had an immeasurable impact on my life and the life of many others. I am certain my life and ministries would not be same without his investment in my life. I hope our memories of Bob are a comfort to us all now and in the future
Bob is an inspiration in how he lived and the organizations he founded. For the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of providing IT support for both the Halftime Institute and Leadership Network. I have been shaped by Bob's wisdom and will forever be grateful.
I first met Bob at Young Life event in August 1998 (or 99?) at Phillip Anschutz' ranch in Colorado. I very much aligned with Bob's writings in Halftime and his vision for unleashing second half of life energy and responding to what he called our Eph. 2:10 calling. That has been about twenty years - I connected with the Halftime team and benefited from a number of Halftime programs over that time. What an impact he has had for the Kingdom! I loved hearing Bob speak to us - always imparting true jewels of wisdom. Once recently he shared of the clear words God spoke to him on a walk, "You've done enough." And, I am very certain God has now said, "Well done my good and faithful servant". Thank you, Bob, you finished this life extremely well!
I was tremendously blessed to be one of those Bob mentored; and, even more importantly, he became the single most important role model for how I have tried to structure my life for over 30 years.
Bob was an incredible mentor to my father, and I’m grateful for the impact his faith has had on our family. It’s truly amazing to look back on the many ways God equipped and worked through Bob to reach and transform a demographic and generation. He served selflessly, gave of himself generously, and led by example. Well done, Bob! While you will be missed here on earth, I hope you enjoy the party in Heaven.
I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Bob when I was on the staff and then later as a volunteer at Willow Creek Community Church. I will always remember how Bob would spend time with me over coffee and I always walked away from our time together feeling very valued by him and inspired that he thought I was making a contribution in the ministry I was involved in. One time I was attending a leadership retreat in Milwaukee Wisc and had been retired from staff for 7 years. That evening they had a video on the large screen at the opening session. To my surprise, Bob was in that video and spoke about what a key role I had played in the small group ministry - I felt so honored - but that was the kind of guy Bob was. I will miss him!
Bob’s metric for significance was “100X”. His contribution was well beyond that! The book Halftime showed me to “what I was losing with all this gaining”. My work with the Halftime Institute helped me realize “What I was going to do with what I believed”. But more importantly, I discovered who God built me to be.
I met Bob at an event in Boulder in 2016, and the dormant seed that he planted in my heart through his book 20 years earlier suddenly sprouted. After attending the Halftime Institute, I finally realize that God has a purpose for all of us, and why He gave us each unique skills and gifts for His glory. Bob, you planted so many seeds for Him, maybe those of us left behind can add some water!
Halftime Asia is indebted to him for his thought provoking teaching, and unwavering support over the last 10 years. He showed us what it means by giving off oneself and investing our lives in others...essentially our fruits grow on other people’s trees. Bob has an insightful and personal way of sharing his perspective that often result in his listener taking proactive actions! I am one of those who have been so blessed by him. The manner in which he interacted with others and especially the way he treats Linda tells so much about the practice of his faith. One can’t go away without sensing the practice of godliness and his deep conviction and commitment to the Lordship of Christ. Dearly missed by all of us in Halftime Asia
I was and still am impacted with the book Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance. It helped me in many ways of my life. I bought books to give as gifts to so many friends of mine! I'd like to thank you Lord for giving a such precious life to live among us! I'll see you Bob!
Like a dad, he invited and welcomed a young entrepreneur and church planter to have a working boxed lunch. We laughed a lot, we learned a lot, we dreamed a lot and he loved me a lot.
I first met Bob in Dallas in Sept 2008 when attending his Halftime Summit. Those initial 4 days, and subsequent hours, trips and chats impacted me, gave me clarity of thoughts, gifted me so many gold nuggets of wisdom and aligned quite a few things in my life. He taught me to grow fruits on others' trees. Over the years, his books, his words and his exemplary life spoke large and powerfully. Rest in peace Bob in the arms of our Heavenly Father, and be reunited with your son Ross, your mentor Peter, Greg, and many more faithful ones who have rested. And please say Hi to my Theresa, I had been telling her so much about you since 2008, and she finally meets you in heaven. Adios, Bob, we will see you there one day!
I had the opportunity to meet Bob a couple of years ago and was struck by his humble spirit and kindness. I got to know Bob and his vision thru my friend of more than 35 years Lloyd Reeb. I began looking at my life from a different perspective I have been on this halftime experience for more than 10 years now. Hoping to grow fruit on other peoples trees remains a life goal of mine. Thanks Bob for your investment in my life and the lives of others.
I will miss Bob very much. Although I did not see him very often, I did get to talk with him every couple years, and he would ask me how I was doing with the goals he & I worked out together when I was in my late twenties. I could write a book about the ways Bob changed the course of my life. During a box lunch in his office deep in the Piney woods of East Texas, Bob got real quiet and said, "You don't know what God's grace is, do you?" I said, "No, sir, I don't have a clue what you're talking about." That launched a lifetime of accountability to him, and living with purpose and an appreciation for art, music, literature, and joy in serving others. Thank you, Bob. See you soon! My deepest love and sympathy to Linda and the family.
Bob has had such a tremendous influence on our family by helping my husband commit to living a life of significance. His legacy will continue through our children, who know what it means to be generous and to serve others because of Bob's wisdom taught to Mike and me. As sad as I am about losing him in this world, it brings me great joy to know that he is now with his beloved son, Ross and with his Savior, Jesus Christ.
I heard Bob speak a Willowcreek Leadership about halftime right when God was challenging me to use my gifts to the fullest. Shortly after that I stepped out and formed Sportspersons Ministries International and God has changed hundreds of lives of outdoors people. I deeply appreciate what Bob shared in that talk and in his book that I read after that. God used it to change my life!
For me, Bob’s greatest legacy is following the example of our Lord, personally and professionally. Halftime is the strategy of Jesus and becoming a coach is one of the greatest honors of my life. Throughout the process, Bob remained true to investing in one life at a time. He took time to listen and never hurried. 100X. The strategy of multiplying our contribution in exponential ways is firmly rooted in the model of Jesus. He changed the world one life at a time. Jesus listened. He never hurried. Very simply, Bob Buford is someone who got it.