Chad Hennings

Interview with Pat Robertson - Chancellor at Regent University and Chairman CBN

Every football player dreams of one day being on the team that wins the super bowl. Cowboy’s standout Chad Hennings has played on three super bowl teams; but even though he was a star on the grandest stage, Chad still says he felt alone. He was a top air force fighter pilot, and a three times super bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys.

Chad Hennings was living a life defined by his accomplishments; but even when he was surrounded by the press and the admiring fans, he still felt alone. In his new book, Rules of Engagement, Chad shares that the developing key relationships were the answer to his loneliness.


Chad HenningsPat RobertsonPat: Well, it’s a pleasure to welcome a man who was an air force hero; he was a football hero, and a former Dallas Cowboys star. Chad it’s so good to see you. Thank you for being here.

Pat: Somewhere along the way though, you said that you were sort of a loner. I mean you had it all, you claimed three super bowl rings. What happened?

Chad: It’s one of those things I think was just my personality. I was growing up on a farm and struggled with relationships, accomplishing things, doing the things as either a state championship wrestler, or an all-state football player, academic all American, Outland trophy winner (The best United States college football interior lineman) at the Air Force Academy. I was always out to accomplish things, and it was through a struggle with the health of my son Chase was when I realized that I can’t John Wayne it. I can’t do it alone. I was created; we all were created for relationships.

Pat: You used the term wingman. You learn that in the air force. What’s a wingman? What does he do for you?

Chad: A wingman is actually someone who, in combat or in the air force, travels with you in a package to go accomplish a tactical or strategic mission. The wingman is someone that is there to support you, to fly at your side, to watch, to look through you to the target area to accomplish your mission. You know, in air force terminology, if you didn’t take care of your wingman or your wingman didn’t take care of you, you know the likely hood of your accomplishing your mission goes is reduced. So I draw upon that analogy in life that we need wingmen, a few close confidantes you can share your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations, your sins, your temptations, and someone that can be there to watch you through those difficult times.

Pat: You’re a tough guy. Well, why do you think men have such a hard time opening their hearts? Women are very willing to talk about the feminine side.

Chad: I think that it’s the culture that teaches men today to be strong. You have to be the strong resilient type, like Rambo. But you know, Rambo never won a war by himself. You can’t be Gary Cooper in High Noon standing in Maine Street, saying “Bring it on.” We need men that will actually stand shoulder to shoulder, back to back with us and help us because, again, we are created for those relationships and that’s how we are going to succeed in life.

Pat: In your life, who is your wingman? What did you do? Did you find a Church where you found a fellowship?

Chad: First of all, God provided one for me; several of them for me. It’s one of those things where I often get asked by men, “How do I find a wingman?” Well first and foremost, you pray. Pray for God to reveal that individual to you. In Church, you can go through your men’s group and make it work. I mean be open to it and because you don’t find a wingman overnight. It’s something that develops over time by sharing your life and taking chances. We all have to seek those transparent, Christ-centered, masculine relationships.

Pat: I hate to say it but you’re a pretty big guy, and you won all of these awards in wrestling, football, I mean you played in the line for the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of guys would be intimidated by you?

Chad: I may grab them in a headlock, but I have a soft side. I’m like a big teddy bear and what I do through my wingman ministry is to meet and talk to different organizations. I’m very transparent. I talk about my shortcomings. I talk about my past and my success. I say that’s not the case, that’s what the world sees. Deep inside, I still struggle with lustful thoughts, envy, and the different sins that each and every one of us is vulnerable. I need men to accept me, to affirm me, and to hold me accountable.

Pat: What about you’re two year old? What was the deal and what happened? What did the Lord do?

Chad: Prior to 1996, I had accomplished everything that I attempted. I was a former fighter pilot that flew 45 missions in Northern Iraq. I played in three super bowls, and my son Chase, who was two and a half years old, woke up with an auto immune illness where his body started to attack itself .This was the one thing that I couldn’t fix. God really began to show me that it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about the things that I can do. It was about my relationship with Him and others. And that’s when I realized the importance of a support team. “Who am I? What am I created for? What’s my purpose?” Christianity is not necessarily rocket science. It boils down to this, we were created to worship God and to make his name known. Everything else is secondary.

Pat: How does your wife fit in to all of this?

Chad: Oh, she’s my tactical partner. She is my true wingman. She’s the one that keeps me on the straight and narrow. She is a true partner and an equal helper in everything I do. She has been an integral part of my life. Pat: What are you doing now?

Chad: I do a variety of things. I’m in commercial real estate, which has been a challenge in the last couple of years, and I am writing books, and I am doing a lot of public speaking, both for profit and nonprofit entities.

Pat: Well, I know you’re busy so whatever you do, the biggest thing is that you found your need for somebody else. Ladies and gentlemen, the book is called Rules of Engagement, finding faith and purpose in a disconnected world.

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