Get inside the mind of a great preacher and teacher.
Like many pastors, the great British evangelical leader John Stott was always looking for illustrations and quotations to include in his sermons and writings. Beginning in the 1940s and continuing until the early 2000s, when he came across something he thought he could use, he captured it on a note card, labeled it according to topic, and filed it away in his study. When he used it in a sermon or book, he made note of it on the card.
After his death in 2011, these note cards were scanned and transcribed. Editor Mark Meynell, who worked at All Souls Langham Place with Stott, has selected the best of them to include in The Preacher’s Notebook. Here we see Stott’s fruitful and disciplined mind on display in over a thousand stories, quotations, excerpts from letters, book summaries, statistics, prayers, and outlines for talks on various subjects. Arranged topically, it is easy for readers to find material on a particular subject.
Whether you are a preacher or writer looking for a good idea, or an admirer of Stott who enjoys reading anything he writes, you’ll find something in The Preacher’s Notebook.
A selection of John Stott’s illustrations and prayers have been collected in a paperback edition: Pages from a Preacher’s Notebook: Wisdom and Prayers from the Pen of John Stott.
“Stott’s was a clarity that was hard won. As any teacher knows, clear communication requires deep levels of comprehension. This takes time and thought. It demands careful attention to alternative interpretations, controversies, and complexities.” (source)
“But these illustrations were always secondary to the primacy of expounding the biblical text. If they did not serve that purpose, they had no place in a sermon.” (source)
“Stott’s sermons never sacrificed clarity for levity.” (source)
“He noted that Stott had received a complaint about his 1966 commentary in the Bible Speaks Today series, Men Made New (on Romans 5–8), for writing a ‘book like a house with no windows.’ In other words, it had no illustrations. But Piper counters the complaint. Stott, he insists, ‘turned the words of Bible sentences into windows onto glorious reality by explaining them in clear, compelling, complete, fresh, silly-free English sentences.” (source)
“‘Familiarity with the Bible and with its roots in history is the first call on thoughtful men and women who dare to be prepared to make up their minds on first causes and ultimate ends.’” (source)