John Stott’s Impact on Anglican Evangelicalism in Australia
- Written by: Glenn Davies
Glenn N. Davies
President of EFAC Australia
John R. W. Stott was a well-known evangelist and apologist in the 1950s, undertaking various university missions in England, while ministering at All Souls' Langham Place, first as a curate (1945- 50) and then as Rector from 1950.
Stott's first visit to Australia was in 1958, the same year that both Basic Christianity and Your Confirmation were published. These were extremely influential books in Australia. The first for Evangelicals of all denominations and the second for Anglican young people in particular, as they prepared for their confirmation. The latter was the standard text for a generation of confirmees.
The purpose of Stott's visit to Australia was to lead university missions in Melbourne and Sydney. One student present at Sydney University's mission recalls that on one occasion Stott had suffered a bout of laryngitis, disabling the projection of his voice to the gathered throng. Yet, as God's grace is perfected in human weakness, this affliction did not prevent the Spirit's work in drawing many students to Christ.
John Stott’s Big Five Books
- Written by: Michael Stead
Bishop Michael Stead
John Stott was prolific as an author. He wrote over 70 books between 1954 and 2010, of which many were careful expositions of the Scriptures that have served generations of Bible teachers.
One of Stott’s early works is also his most influential. Basic Christianity, which was published in 1958, has been rated by Christianity Today as one of the top 100 books of the 20th century. The book is, as the name suggests, a basic introduction to the Christian faith, which Stott examines under 4 headings — Who Christ Is, What We Need, What Christ Has Done, and How to Respond.
Stott and Local Church Ministry
- Written by: Wei-Han Kuan
John Stott was inducted as the new Rector of All Souls’, Langham Place in 1950. He outlined in his first sermon five criteria that he believed ought to be applied to their local church ministry.
These were published that week as his ministry manifesto in the church newsletter, All Souls. Timothy Dudley-Smith writes that Stott at this time knew himself to be, ‘a product of Iwerne and CICCU’; that is, a product of the famous and influential public school (English private school) camping ministry of the Rev’d ‘Bash’ Nash, and of the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union—a progenitor of the AFES and IFES movements. Their methods of ministry informed his five criteria:
- The priority of prayer;
- Expository preaching;
- Regular evangelism;
- Careful follow-up of enquirers and converts; and
- Systematic training of helpers and leaders.
John Stott the Person: Reflections on Uncle John
- Written by: Richard Trist
Richard Trist is Dean of The Anglican Institute, Ridley College, Melbourne
What a privilege it was to get to know John Stott when my family joined the congregation of All Souls’ Langham Place in the mid-1990s.
By the time we had arrived, ‘Uncle John’ had retired as rector of the church and was carrying out a wider preaching and teaching ministry. He still however attended church services, prayer meetings and staff gatherings as often as he could.
Our first encounter with John occurred just after we arrived in the parish. We were busily unpacking boxes and settling into our apartment when the phone rang. ‘It’s John Stott here. I just want to wish you a warm welcome to London and to All Souls. I have been praying for you all. How are you and the children, Luke, Sophie, Lily and Grace?’ Apart from the fact that one of my theological heroes had just phoned and invited me to join him for afternoon tea the following week, what struck me was that he was interested in us as a family. He knew each of the children by name. He had been praying for this new Australian clergy family, and amidst his busy schedule was willing to find out how we were. What a model of pastoral care!
John Stott's Preaching: his Method and his Message
- Written by: Peter Adam
We have good reason to thank God for John Stott.
Here I focus on his preaching, both method andmessage.
John visited Australia in January 1965, and this visit—one of many—had a profound effect on Australian preaching.1 He gave Bible studies on 2 Corinthians at the CMS Summer Schools in several states in Australia. Much Australian preaching at that time was on 'a text', that is, on an individual verse from the Bible, often without much regard to its context. In his Bible studies John Stott was demonstrating the obvious value of preaching from a passages of Scripture, and from consecutive passages of Scripture. His example had a profound impact on Australian preaching.2 One person who was profoundly affected by this change in preaching style was Sydney evangelist John Chapman, who reflected this way on Stott's influence:
'Prior to that, I had tended to get an idea from a passage and leap all over the Bible supporting the idea from other parts so that the people I taught knew the "idea" but not the passage from which it came or how that passage fitted into some overall argument from the Scriptures … He provided a model for expository preaching that I could copy and make my own.'3
John Stott's Fellow Workers
- Written by: Julia Cameron
John Stott, one of the most productive leaders of recent times, had an unusual capacity for hard work, a gift for focused concentration, and a constant sense of being 'dissatisfied'.1
The fruit of his work, and of his ideas, was multiplied, in human terms, through four means: (i) his fellow workers, (ii) his industry, (iii) his instinctive sense of strategy, and (iv) his unique symbiotic relationships, especially with IFES2 and the Lausanne Movement. There was, for him, a porous line between friend and fellow worker. We look here at his fellow workers, glancing at the networks which extended his ministry.3
Stott's global ministry first rested on a team of two, himself and his secretary, expanding eventually in 1980 into a team of three. They called themselves 'the happy triumvirate' after Charles Simeon's use of the term for himself and his curates.4 But let us not rush ahead.