The following excerpt came from one of my teacher's (Dr. Charles Arn) books entitled "Heartbeat".
KESWICK, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) — Walking slowly to the podium, assisted by a cane and his research assistant, the theologian was met by a standing ovation from the overflow crowd on the warm summer evening of July 17th.Several years earlier TIME magazine had named him “One of the 100 most influential people on the planet.”What would he say in his final address to those listening in that room and around the world?
John Stott began by recalling how perplexed he had been as a younger Christian, about the answer to the question, “What is God’s purpose for His people?”In his message that night Stott described the resolution to his lifelong search:
“ I want to share with you where my mind has come to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth.Here it is: God wants His people to become like Christ.Christ-likeness is the will of God for the people of God.”
Stott spent the rest of the evening addressing this matter of incarnational evangelism; a process, he noted, “that can turn the world upside down.”Stott’s simple definition of incarnational evangelism was: “Entering into other people’s worlds with Christ-likeness.”
Incarnational evangelism, said Stott, is the road the church must walk in the 21st century.Our evangelistic efforts often lead to failure, he observed, simply because we don’t act like the Christ we proclaim.Quoting John Poulton, Stott noted that, “The most effective preaching comes from those who embody their message.What communicates now are not words or ideas, but rather personal authenticity; that is, Christ-likeness.”