John Stott turned 75 this year. He passed this milestone with his integrity unscratched, his vigor seemingly undiminished, his mind as luminous as ever, and his ministry still touching the far corners of the world. Not all reach this milestone; very few reach it with such honor; and fewer yet view their accomplishments with the humility of a John Stott.
Stott has been called "the most influential clergyman in the Church of England during the twentieth century" (David Edwards), and he has been one of the most prominent evangelical leaders of our time, too. As an evangelical leader, he views the world as a pastor. He has been preeminently a steward of God's truth and a herald of the biblical message. The leadership he has given has flowed out of his pastoral and biblical perspectives.
Local pastor, global leader
Today, pastors average between two and three years in their churches; Stott has just passed his fiftieth year of ministry at All Souls Langham Place in London, the only church he has served.
Stott's ministry at All Souls was marked by his conscientious, systematic preaching of the Word of God. "Every authentic ministry begins … with the conviction that we have been called to handle God's Word as its guardians and heralds," he wrote in his commentary on Thessalonians. "Our task is to keep it, study it, expound it, apply it, and obey it." And so he has.
But preaching the truth of God's Word in the Anglican world has not been easy. In the years immediately following World War II, evangelicals were considered a sectarian "party" and were not well positioned to reform the Church of England. Evangelicals were within Anglicanism ecclesiastically, but they kept themselves apart from its inner workings because of their theological ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more