Returned from vacationing out of town last week to read the news of John Stott passing away this week at the age of 90. Just thought I’d offer a few thoughts on this man’s tremendous influence in my life and the ministry I formerly worked for before coming to Christ Community (Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship USA).
A couple of links here might give you a bit of background if you’re not familiar with Dr. Stott. He is roughly compared in notoriety and influence in England and Europe to the American evangelist Billy Graham.
The first exposure I had to John Stott was through all the promotion I kept hearing about him from my InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff members when I was a freshman in college. The first time actually heard Dr. Stott was at an Urbana missions conference in 1984. I read multiple books by Stott starting with Basic Christianity, then his commentary on The Sermon on the Mount, The Cross of Christ, etc, etc. He writings are so well thought through, deeply biblical and readable. He was truly a mentor via proxy for me through his towering influence among older InterVarsity Staff and through his writings.
Probably the coolest thing about Dr. Stott I discovered about him when I was in seminary at Trinity. He has for decades devoted the resources earned from his writings and teaching to a training endeavor called the Langham Trust. He’s given his life to not only to preaching and teaching God’s word with integrity and power, but rather than build his own empire of fame, he’s invested in young preachers on a global scale.
As an example of someone with multiplied impact in his ministry there’s perhaps no finer example of Dr. Stott. His influence will live on for decades and decades as men and women ignited by his vision for preaching God’s word minister in his footsteps. I’d like to see how my tiny footprints fit inside his as I teach God’s word for the rest of my ministry years. Thank you, God for giving Dr. Stott to the body of Christ and for his tireless faithfulness to Jesus!