Henry Blackaby, the Canadian pastor and founder of Blackaby Ministries International, who co-authored a groundbreaking Bible study workbook, died Feb. 10. He was 88. Blackaby is the acclaimed co-author of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Originally published in 1990 by the Baptist Sunday School Board's curriculum arm, a precursor to Lifeway Christian Resources, it was designed to disciple readers in small group settings.

Bill Craig, senior v-p of publishing and ministry experiences, said that Blackaby, together with Experiencing God co-author Claude King, launched "a new model of the way Bible study was done. You spent a week between each meeting to dig into Scripture with Blackaby's teachings. It was like being on a guided tour with questions and answers and insights." Craig added that for decades when he mentions that their house published Experiencing God, many people tell him it was a life-changing book that led them into ministry.

The original workbook, reissued in 2022 with new videos added, has sold more than eight million copies in English and been translated into more than 75 languages. It was followed in 1998 by a trade book version, aimed at individual readers, which has sold more than a million copies, a Lifeway spokesperson told PW.

In addition to Experiencing God, Blackaby published many spiritual titles with Lifeway and other publishers including three with Thomas Nelson: Holiness: God's Plan for the Fullness of Life; a study of Samuel in Created to Be God's Friend: How God Shapes Those He Loves, and a study of Abraham in Chosen to be God's Prophet: How God Works In and Through Those He Chooses.

Blackaby, who was born in British Columbia and attended seminary in California, came to the Southern Baptist Convention's curriculum publishers when he spoke at a conference in the 1980s, after he had built a tiny, dying congregation of 10 people in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan into a thriving church. He later returned to the U.S. and became the director of prayer and spiritual awakening at the SBC's North American Mission Board and a special assistant to the presidents of the Southern Baptist International and North American mission boards and Lifeway.