About ‘Uncle John‘
Commitment to God
John Stott first committed himself to God as a seventeen year old school boy at Rugby School following the evangelistic work of Eric Nash. The young John Stott was keenly aware of his inability to live the kind of life he saw as being necessary for all men and women and one night at his bedside he accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ and trusted in Christ’s subtitutionary life and death.
Throughout the rest of his life and across his ministry, John Stott displayed utter devotion to the triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no greater example of this than Stott’s daily prayer:
Good morning heavenly Father,
good morning Lord Jesus,
good morning Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I worship you as the creator and sustainer of the universe.
Lord Jesus, I worship you, Savior and Lord of the world.
Holy Spirit, I worship you, sanctifier of the people of God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence
and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God,
have mercy upon me.
Commitment to the Bible
John Stott was convinced that faithfulness to the Bible and the historic understanding of its message was the only authentic expression of Christianity. The Bible was his highest authority and directed his understanding of every issue in human life and thought. Stott was incredibly clear in communicating the nature of the Bible as God’s revealed Word, and its testament to Jesus Christ being the Word made flesh. He studied the Bible voraciously every day, for hours and hours, and this was the foundation for becoming such a prolific writer. And yet, in one of his last interviews he said that his one regret, or the one thing he would do differently over his life and ministry, would be to have studied the Bible more. In his commitment to the Bible, we have much to gain from John Stott’s example.
Commitment to the Church
As well as the unusual quirk of only ever being part of one church congregation throughout his entire life, John Stott not only served All Souls, Langham Place faithfully as Rector, but he worked hard for the good of his wider church family – the Church of England, and the church across the globe.
It would normally be an exaggeration to assert that someone served the global church – but not so in the case of John Stott. John Stott did in fact serve the global church to a remarkable extent. Not only through his numerous publications and their widespread translation from English into other languages. Not only through his evangelistic speaking engagements across the UK, or his tours of North America or preaching seminars in the Majority World such as in Bolivia. Nor merely through his involvement in seminal gatherings of evangelical leaders such as the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in 1974 and leading the crafting of the Lausanne Covenant. John Stott served individual men and women in all sorts of contexts of Christian leadership for their edification and the strengthening of Christ’s body. It was this attentive, sensitive, genuine commitment to the church – people, not buildings or institutions – that earned him the affectionate moniker, “Uncle John”.
Commitment to the World
John Stott became famous for his ‘double listening’ – listening to God’s Word and listening to the world so we can apply Scripture to life. All of life. Not just select aspects. Jesus Christ was John Stott’s unrivalled Lord and he propounded Christ’s universal kingship and authority.
This led to an extraordinary array of social involvement by Uncle John ranging from being chair of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK, to being President of Tearfund, establishing the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, to helping in the formation of A Rocha International and founding Langham Partnership for the growth and strengthening of the global church.
Uncle John gave anyone with the eyes to observe, a classic example of enjoying God – through a personal relationship through Jesus, by the Holy Spirit – and enjoying his created order – through appreciation of the world God has made, especially birds, and deep, meaningful relationships with people in his life – all to the glory of God.
For a more detailed look at his life and ministry visit:
Explore the many books written by and about John Stott