“When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God’s Word to expound”

In memory of John Robert Walmsley StottCBE (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011

It was only yesterday morning I was in my study that I began to wonder how John Stott was travelling. I knew he was well advanced in years and I wondered when I might hear news of his passing. Serendipitously this morning I read of his death.

John Stott was far more than a pastor to pastors. He was a pastor of and for the people. In an age when celebrity pastors seem more interested in arguing, fighting and creating tweet wars John Stott can be remembered as  a statesman. A man far more interested in the gospel and people than winning an argument.

He wrote prolifically (49 books in all) and was Rector of All Saints Church, London from 1950 through to 1975 and remained Rector Emeritus until his passing.  I also admire the work of Langham Partnerships (formally John Stott ministries) which is now headed by Christopher Wright (Whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago when he visited Adelaide). This wonderful ministry, among many things, trains pastors and preachers in developing nations.

One of my fondest memories (for no reason in particular), taken from his biography, is of his continual resistance to calls for him to leave the Anglican communion. The loudest calls came from his cross town colleague Martin Lloyd Jones. From memory he felt the Anglican church was his home and had yet to commit apostasy (the only reason he could see for leaving). He preferred to effect change from within than criticse from without.

The reason I personally refer to him as a people’s pastor is that he wriote primarily for Christians, people in the pew. His books are easy to read and devoted to the scriptures and Christian living.

Finally, I will be forever grateful for the life and ministry of John RW Stott. His witness to faithful pastoral vocation stands out to me as a beacon of hope. Every Sunday without fail, as I am about to enter the pulpit I remember the quote above. I am encouraged and challenged every time I recite it.

Thank you Lord for the life and ministry of your servant John RW Stott! Amen.

You can read more about John Stott HERE at the memorial page. CT has a tribute to him also HERE