John Stott found on his many travels that contemporary models of Christian leadership were often shaped more by culture than by Christ. In stark contrast, he urges that our view be determined by our view of the church, not the other way round. Focusing on 1 Corinthians 1–4, he demonstrates the centrality of the theme of “power through weakness.” He explains the role of the Holy Spirit in God’s revelation, and examines four of Paul’s most striking models of ministry, each of which is an aspect of humility. Over against seductive styles of leadership being advocated by the wisdom of the world, he urges Christian leaders to be characterized above all else by “the meekness and gentleness of Christ.”
For more by John Stott, see John Stott Collection (7 vols.).
“A leader, according to its simplest definition, is someone who commands a following. To lead is to go ahead, to show the way and to inspire other people to follow.” (Page 9)
“The image of the church these chapters present is extremely ambiguous. For there is a paradox at the heart of the church. It is the painful tension between what the church claims to be and what it seems to be; between the divine ideal and the human reality; between romantic talk about ‘the bride of Christ’ and the very unromantic, ugly, unholy and quarrelsome Christian community we know ourselves to be.” (Page 17)
“God’s power operates best in human weakness. Weakness is the arena in which God can most effectively manifest his power. Consider now how Paul develops his threefold theme.” (Page 43)
“Thirdly, they were promised a special inspiration of the Spirit of truth, who would both remind them of what Jesus had taught them and supplement it as he would lead them ‘into all truth’ (John 14:25–26; 16:12–15).” (Pages 19–20)
“The ambiguity is obvious. The church is both already holy and not yet holy. It has been sanctified, and it is called to sanctity.” (Page 25)
Pearls are to be found on every page.
—Mark Meynell, senior associate minister, All Souls Langham Place
John Stott is known around the world as a preacher, evangelist, and writer. He was one of the main contributors to the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the founder of Langham Partnership, which seeks to equip a new generation of Bible teachers around the world.