Here is repost from Scot McKnight’s “Jesus Creed” blog about the death earlier this morning of influential Christian thinker and pastor, John R. W. Stott:
We are saddened to hear of John Stott’s death, and I am rejoicing in the resurrection. I pass on to you Mel Lawrenz’s comments from a recent post about Stott. (Also see this exceptional piece by Tim Stafford at Christianity Today.)
Stott demonstrated spiritual leadership not because he built an organization or led an institution. He led by planting the seeds of truth—widely, deeply, continually, over a period of decades. In John Stott’s final public address he raised the question: what are we trying to do in the mission? In his mind the answer was unambiguous: to help people become more like Christ.
The core elements of Stott’s leadership-by-truth-telling are within our grasp immediately, and Stott would probably be the first to say so. We must…
1. Make personal devotion to God in Christ our highest priority.
2. Live consistently, with integrity. Resist the temptation to develop a public persona.
3. Develop core disciplines like Scripture reading and mediation, prayer, work and rest.
4. Trust in the unchangeable truth of Scripture. Go deep in our study of it.
5. Prepare public talks with a focus on substance. Look for the connections and orders of our ideas.
6. Value relationships with other leaders. Be a mentor without having to be called a mentor. Follow natural patterns. Don’t reduce discipleship to a program.
7. “Read” the truth of God written in the natural world. Stott was an avid ornithologist. His cumulative knowledge made him a world expert. This was both an avocation and an act of worship. Like many other Christian leaders, Stott practiced a full awareness of God’s presence and work, and that included participating in the Creation with a developing sense of awe and wonder.
So much more could be said, and will be said. Rest in peace, John Stott.