By Sarah Sagely
John Stott, a worldwide preacher, evangelist, and teacher, is known as the most influential English Evangelical in the 20th century. In 1921, born in a fluential family, his father was a leading physician and an agnostic. His mother was Lutheran who regularly attended All Souls Church, in the city center of London. In 1939, at the age of 18, John gave his life to Christ after hearing Rev. Eric Nash speak on "What then shall I do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?" Eric Nash later became his most influential mentor.
Stott studied Modern Languages at Cambridge in 1939 and then transferred to Ridley Hall Theological College. He was ordained as an Anglican vicar in 1945. He became a curate at All Souls Church in London from (1945-50) then as Rector (1950-75), and as Rector Emeritus since 1975. During his time at All Souls, he has been involved in many different ministries including urban ministry. He has been known to dress up as a homeless man and walked the streets of London for several days to understand how they lived. From 1959-1991, he was appointed as Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He has remained a spiritual advisor to the Royal family.
Stott played a vital role in the landmark Lausanne Covenant of 1974. Under the leadership of Rev. Billy Graham, an international group of 142 evangelical leaders met developing the International Congress on World Evangelization and making a covenant to further the total Biblical mission of the Church. The covenant specifically targeted the 2.7 Billion of the unreached people of the world. The resolutions from this convention helped to shape evangelical thinking from that time on. He has played a significant role in Christian student organizations such as Inter-Varsity and others in establishing students in the foundations of their faith and challenging them to a world vision.
John Stott is not only of influence in England and the U.S. but extends globally; especially the third world. Since 1970, He has traveled extensively speaking and teaching at seminars and conferences. He played a part in establishing the Evangelical Literature Program and the Langham Scholarship Program which provides books, materials, and scholarships for pastors and seminary students. They were created for helping Christians around the world to have opportunities to be equipped and established in their faith and ministry in Christ. He has a personal conviction and passion to be witness of the Gospel and extend his hand in service to the ends of the earth. He wrote in The Cross of Christ, "It is never enough to have pity on the victims of injustice if we do nothing to change the unjust situation itself."
One of Stott's most impacting ministries is his writings and lectures. He has written over 40 books, including 'Basic Christianity', and 'The Cross Of Christ.' He has a gift for taking complex Biblical truths and making them clear for any person to understand and comprehend. Many groups have used his numerous Bible study books and theology books. He remains to make an impact in the lives of American and British college students, Christian intellectuals, and many in the third world. John Stott is a true example of Peter's exhortation in 2 Peter 1:5, "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."