Dr. John R. W. Stott is among my favorite authors and preachers. The brilliance of his intellect, the humility of his heart, and his compassion for people are traits that endear him to me. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Stott on two occasions. I heard him twice at the Keswick Convention in England, first in 1975 and again in 2000. His books occupy my shelves. One of my favorite books is The Living Church, Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor. I think every pastor and church leader should read this book.
On the pages of this book you will find the marks of a living church. I want to share a few bullet statements that hopefully will prompt you to dig a little deeper.
My personal conviction is that this book is right on target regarding the top concerns of the church in the 21st century and regarding the right steps for the church to take to be on target and fulfilling her mission in the world.
* The church’s calling is to develop a Christian counterculture.
* Following Jesus, rejecting dualism and developing community should characterize every church.
* The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God.
* A living church is a learning church.
* Generosity has always been a characteristic of the people of God.
* The early church’s worship was both joyful and reverent.
* A living church is an evangelizing church.
* Worship is the church’s preeminent duty.
* Our Worship is a response to God’s Word.
* Worship which is pleasing to God is offered by His people together.
* Every church should demonstrate visibly the unity and variety of the church.
* We do not know much how to worship.
* Worship leads to witness, and witness to worship.
* Many churches have a false image.
* Our static, inflexible, self-centered structures are “heretical.”
(Taken from The Living Church, by John R.W. Stott) to be continued…..