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Portraits of Radical Disciples

JRWS BW Matthew Smith

John Stott (1921-2011) – Langham Founder

One of John Stott’s earliest memories at All Soul’s Church , Langham Place, in London, was sitting in the gallery as a child and dropping paper pellets onto the fashionable hats of the ladies below! A rather inauspicious start for a radical disciple, but that is far from the end of the story.Following his ordination in 1945, Stott become assistant curate at All Souls and then, unusually, was appointed rector in 1950. He became rector emeritus in 1975, a position he held to the end of his life. All Souls Church grew substantially during the 1950’s and 1960’s, yet in typical radical disciple fashion, Stott pleaded for others not to abandon their local churches in the surrounding areas and also resisted opportunities to advance in leadership in order to stay at one church for his entire ministry.

In addition to his role at All Souls Church, Langham Place, Stott was an influential Christian author, writing more than 50 books which sold millions worldwide, including the classics Basic Christianity and The Cross of Christ. A key leader in the global church, he drafted the landmark Lausanne Covenant, was eulogized in 2011 by Billy Graham as “the most respected clergyman in the world,” and was affectionately known around the world as “Uncle John.”

John Stott is the inspiration for the RADICAL DISCIPLE FUND because he lived a life of selfless service to others. Few know that very early in his ministry he irrevocably renounced all of the income from his books and speaking honoraria in order to help majority world pastors and leaders receive biblical training. That ministry, 45 years later and known throughout the world as Langham Partnership, has equipped more than 350 theological leaders, tens of thousands of pastors and has provided hundreds of thousands of books to the developing world.

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James Wainaina – Reaching Remote Tribes

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“Before Langham trained me, I had gone about preaching in the wrong way. Langham introduced me to the Bible I never knew.”

James first heard the Gospel in elementary school through the Jesus Film, but it wasn’t until he was in university that it touched his heart. As his desire to understand more of God’s Word grew, so did his faith. He became involved in local youth ministry, and eventually began working with iServe Africa, which gives young graduates biblical training and the opportunity to explore serving the local church in Kenya. James has received training from Langham on how to study and share God’s Word, and says it has helped him in his ministry with iServe Africa. “Before Langham trained me, I had gone about preaching in the wrong way,” he says. “Langham introduced me to the Bible I never knew.”

Today, through his work with iServe Africa, he is able to minister hope from the Gospel to some of the remote tribes across Eastern Africa. In addition, he is studying to receive his M.Div in Biblical Studies from Africa International University, and his desire is to serve the church as a Bible teacher.

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Myrto Theocharous – Incarnational Ministry in the Margins

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“There’s a lot of work to be done for people to hear the message of the Gospel and hear about Jesus.”

Myrto is a Langham Scholar and professor at a Greek Bible college. Her work training and teaching her students, the future pastors and leaders who will serve the church in Greece, is critical for this nation where the evangelical church is a small minority. Myrto says, “Greece is predominantly Greek Orthodox, about 99%. And, of course, the society is very secular. So, there’s a lot of work to be done for people to hear the message of the Gospel and hear about Jesus.”

In addition to teaching at the college, Myrto’s deep concern for women who are subject to human trafficking and prostitution has led her to be a groundbreaking advocate for their care through counseling, education and sharing Christ’s incarnational love.

She says, “We go to the red light district and we find these women. Incarnation is proclaimed when those who get no benefit from these women decide to simply go find them, simply to love them . . . to hear their pain and cry with them.”

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Multiplying Messengers of the Gospel

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 “Three words I have in my mind when I preach: clarity, faithfulness and relevance.”

Pastor Bo leads a growing church in a remote province of Cambodia near the Thai border, where Buddhism is the primary religion and very few evangelical pastors have the training they need to teach God’s Word. Before he received training from Langham on how to study and clearly preach from the Scriptures, he says, “My preaching was not so clear, and sometimes not so faithful. . . Langham helped me to stay in the message. . . Three words I have in my mind when I preach: clarity, faithfulness and relevance.”

Today, Pastor Bo is sharing all that he has learned with other pastors in his community. At least once a month, he travels more than 100 miles among local villages to lead 7 preaching clubs—groups of pastors who meet together to study the Bible together and practice sermons. “I started these preaching clubs because when a pastor doesn’t preach clearly, church members can’t correct him,” he says. “But when a preacher and a preacher sit together, listen to each other and correct each other, they can improve more.”

 

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The world needs more faithful disciples. That’s why Langham exists and why your gift makes a radical difference around the world.

Thank you for prayerfully considering a gift to the RADICAL DISCIPLE FUND, which truly makes such a difference in the lives of believers around the world, helping biblically equip leaders and pastors and providing the resources needed to bring the transforming truth of God’s Word to churches and communities in the hard places.

 Other ways to give

MAIL TO: Langham Partnership – P.O. Box 189 – Cave Creek, AZ  85327  (postmark by December 31, 2015)

Langham Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and long-time member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. All gifts made to Langham Partnership are tax deductible.

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