John Stott on Leadership

UnknownJohn Stott was an English statesman for the evangelical tradition for more than 70 years.

He died in July of 2011, but his legacy will live on forever. He often focused on biblical interpretation and discipleship as topics of choice. He authored over 50 books and his Basic Christianity now stands as a classic within evangelical thinking. He preached hundreds of sermons and was an avid bird watcher. He was also one of the principal authors of the Lausanne Covenant, which serves as a Christian manifesto in guiding international missions efforts.

Stott’s obituary described him as “an architect of 20th century evangelicalism who shaped the faith of a generation.” Upon his death even the BBC gave notice and stated that Stott “could explain complex theology in a way lay people could easily understand.” Billy Graham,upon hearing of Stott’s death, said “The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to heaven.” In 2005 Time Magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world.

John Stott was a leader. He led through oratory and writing. He led as a pastoral shepherd and through personal example.

I recently came across some profound quotes on leadership by Stott and want to share them with you.

Indignation and compassion form a powerful combination. They are indispensable to vision, and therefore to leadership.
The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.
The chief occupational hazard of leadership is pride.
The very first thing which needs to be said about Christian ministers of all kinds is that they are “under” people as their servants rather than “over” them (as their leaders, let alone their lords). Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power.

If you have never read Basic Christianity or The Cross of Christ, let me strongly encourage you to do so.

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  1. Thank you Gary for this insightful information. The four quotes he left us are powerful and speak to the very essence of Servant Leadership.

    I have found over the past few years that the influential power I was granted came about through my humility and servant nature of working with others. It is very humbling to be able to accomplish through people by serving without force.

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