John Stott’s Dream Church

Jun 8, 2024 by

By Trevin Wax, TGC.

In 1974, on the 150th anniversary of the dedication of All Souls Church in London, John Stott shared his dream for the church, focusing on five elements of faithfulness that would be for the glory of God and the good of the world. Riffing on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech directed to the injustices of American society, Stott painted an inspiring picture of the church at its best.

In a time of upheaval, when the church’s weaknesses and sins have been exposed, it’s good to remind ourselves what the church has been and can still be when we’re marked by faith, hope, and love. Here is Stott’s fivefold dream for the church, as later published in The Living Church.

Biblical Church

I have a dream of a church which is a biblical church—
which is loyal in every particular to the revelation of God in Scripture,

whose pastors expound Scripture with integrity and relevance,
and so seek to present every member mature in Christ,

whose people love the word of God,
and adorn it with an obedient and Christ-like life,

which is preserved from all unbiblical emphases,
whose whole life manifests the health and beauty of biblical balance.

I have a dream of a biblical church.

Worshipping Church

I have a dream of a church which is a worshipping church—

whose people come together to meet God and worship him,
who know God is always in their midst
and who bow down before him in great humility,

who regularly frequent the table of the Lord Jesus,
to celebrate his mighty act of redemption on the cross,

who enrich the worship with their musical skills,
who believe in prayer and lay hold of God in prayer,

whose worship is expressed not in Sunday services and prayer gatherings only
but also in their homes, their weekday work and the common things of life.

I have a dream of a worshipping church.

Read here.

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