Monday, 22 August 2011

The disciplined life

I think one of the things that will make the difference as to whether the Church can rise to the challenge of the times or not, is whether our future leaders will be people of discipline or not. Will they be regular church goers, people of prayer and the Word? Will they be self-disciplined in the way they order their lives and find the balance between work and rest, family and church, study and pastoral work. It was this self-discipline that marked John Stott as the leader that he was. Here is what Rev. Dr. Chris Wright, the international director of London-based Langham Partnership International, wrote about him recently:

“He was a very disciplined man. He was a single man so he did not have a wife and family. He was extremely devoted. Until his later life, he usually rose between 5 and 6 each day and spent a lot of time in prayer,” said Wright, who has personally known Stott since 1978. “He has a long list of people he prayed for, and that is one reason why he remembered people so well, because he was regularly praying for hundreds of people. For that reason also, he tended not to stay up very late.”

Not only was Stott’s daily routine strict, but his year was structured with a razor-sharp focus on maximizing his effectiveness in various ministries. For 25 years, Stott spent three months out of the year in international travels, speaking at conferences and preaching around the world; three months in writing; and six months in ministry.

“He was extremely disciplined in his personal life and very simple in his habits. He lived in a one bedroom, one living room with a small kitchenette, and that was his life. He did not have any great wealth or style. He was very simple and frugal."

John Stott is, for me, the model we need to follow if we are to win this nation for Christ again.

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