I have read many of John Stott’s books and been greatly encouraged and helped my his ministry. But this little anecdote from Tim Chester probably had more influence on me than any of his writing (over-statement?) I first heard Tim tell this story a while back and it is somehow fitting that he has re-told it on his blog on the occasion of Stott’s death.
“When I was nineteen I attended a day conference in Newcastle at which John Stott was the speaker. When we arrived, the friend with whom I’d come went off to the toilet and I was left alone, feeling out of place. An older man came over and began talking to me, asking me about myself. After a few moments my friend returned and the man introduced himself, ‘Hello, I’m John Stott.’ My jaw nearly hit the floor. I’d been speaking to the great John Stott without realizing it. That moment made a big impression on me. John – who was the only speaker that day – had seen an awkward looking teenager on his own and taken it upon himself to make him feel welcome. I met him a few times subsequently and he always remembered my name. The private John Stott was just as impressive as the public persona: gracious, humble, without affectation. I’m sure it was this humility that meant God could entrust him with the influence and success he received. It is hard to underestimate the impact he has had across the world.”
PS. I think this is the jacket that TSK was talking about?