When a publisher asked Bob Schultz to write a book for young men, he laughed. So did his wife and three daughters. Bob never had sons—but that didn't mean he had no practical insights for adolescent boys. His own life was characterized by Christian service, practical wisdom and a devotion to discipleship that was selfless in the truest sense. He wrote the book, Boyhood and Beyond, and followed it with three more titles all aimed at young men and their duties as Christians (the last, Everyday Battles, was published posthumously in 2011).
Born in 1951 and raised in Washington and Oregon, Schultz spent his days in the woods and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Neither his parents nor his siblings were believers. Instead, it was the devout prayers of his grandparents that eventually led him to a Young Life meeting at age 15 where he accepted Christ. From then on, his goal was to be an average guy who loved God. Other men with a similar desire quickly came along to disciple and train the young man in Bible study, prayer, fellowship and evangelism; some of them remained friends for the rest of his life.
Many of the young men and women with him at the Young Life meeting continued to meet for Bible study and prayer. During this period, Schultz became impressed with the need for humility, and asked God to keep him from positions of authority and importance. It wasn't long, however, before his godliness impressed those around him, and he became a recognized source of wisdom and encouragement.
At 19 he went to college for 3 1/2 years before dropping out to work as a framer. He grew in his craft until he was able to start his own business with his father-in-law and for the remaining 28 years of his life Schultz focused on interior finish work. When he was 24 he met Janet, the girl who became his wife, and together they attended churches, looking for one they could serve in together. A trend developed in which people, recognizing Schultz's wisdom and ability, insisted on giving him more than his due.
Finally they started their own Christian fellowship, attracting in all about 100 believers whose lives were dedicated to service but who couldn't seem to find a place in larger church groups. Eventually he added speaking and writing to his list of ministries, and these together with years of personal discipleship allowed Schultz to reach hundreds of fellow believers intent on godly living. His clear style and down-to-earth approach, while in no way dumbing down the Gospel, made it understandable and accessible for many regular people like him.
On June 13th, 2008, Bob Schultz died unexpectedly of heart failure. He is survived by three godly daughters (Molly, Emily and Betsy) and his wife Janet to whom he was married for over 32 years. A builder for over 30 years and owner of Schultz Construction, his dedication to manual labor led him to direct young men toward lives of virtue and exertion. His true legacy, however, is as a man of God for whom service was more important than personal acclaim or recognition.