Stott, John. Basic Christian Leadership: Biblical Models of Church, Gospel and Ministry. Inter Varsity Press, Downer’s Grove, IL. 2002. price 21.50. pp.123.
Ch. 1. The Ambiguity of the Church. 1 Cor. 1: 1-17.
The apostles were a group of leaders who had special qualifications. They were chosen by Christ, eyewitnesses of his ministry, and recipients of a special inspiration. The Church at Corinth was "the divine community in the human community". 21. Herein lies the "ambiguity". 21 Paul planted the church. In this body, however, there is disunity. There is always the tension of the ideal and realism.
Ch.2. Power Through Weakness. 1 Cor. 1:18-2:5.
Power is intoxicating and addictive. It corrupts. Scripture has much to say about its use and abuse. "The demand of power (a Jewish demand) and the insistence on wisdom (a Greek demand) are still the basic idolatries of our fallen world." Gordon Fee. The crucified Messiah was really an oxymoron. Paul goes on to explain that Christ has become our wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption. Christ chose the place of weakness and humility and his Father gave him power. We must be like Christ.
Ch. 3. Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture. 1Cor. 2:6-16.
"God is the author of revelation, the Spirit is the agent, and the apostles are the recipients." 61. The Holy Spirit is at work searching the depths and thoughts of God. He reveals these to biblical authors who in turn are inspired to communicate them to us. Finally the Spirit enlightens our minds as we read the Word.
Ch. 4. The Church and the Trinity. 1 Cor. 3.
Paul use the illustration of children’s diet and behavior to describe the spirituality of the Corinthians. He uses the word carnal as meaning immature. Paul is downplaying the role of leaders in the process of spiritual growth of the body (church). He uses two metaphors, the growing of a crop and the building of a building. We are God’s temple, his dwelling place.
Ch. 5. Models of Ministry. 1Cor. 4.
Four models of ministry are discussed.
"1. Pastors are the servants of Christ." 1oo
"2. Pastors are the stewards of revelation." 103.
"3. Pastors are the scum of the earth." 105.
"4. Pastors are the fathers of the church family." 109.
What is common to all four models is humility. In 2 Cor. 10:1 Paul refers to "the meekness and gentleness of Christ". These are the characteristics of spiritual leaders.
John Stott’s status as a writer is legend. In this book he gives an exposition of the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians with a focus on leadership. A great resource for expositional preaching.