John Stott on One Quiet Day a Month

By Dick Loizeaux

John. R. W. Stott, who died in 2011, was Rector of All Souls Church in London for 25 years, wrote 50 books, was a leader of the evangelical movement, and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. How did he maintain spiritual and emotional balance through 5 decades of a demanding church and international ministry? He explains his secret in  “I Believe In Preaching” Hodder & Stoughton, 1982, p202-203:

“I have discovered the immense profit of a quiet day at least once a month. I learned this from the Revd L. F. E. Wilkinson during an address he gave… it is the only thing I remember from the whole conference. But it came to me as a message from God. I had been precipitated into being Rector of All Souls at the age of twenty-nine, when I was much too young and inexperienced for that responsibility. I began living from hand to mouth. Everything piled up and got on top of me. I felt crushed by the heavy administrative load. I started having the typical clerical nightmare: I was halfway up the pulpit steps when I realized that I had forgotten to prepare a sermon. Then came L. F. E. Wilkinson’s address” ‘Take a quiet day once a month,’ he said, or words to that effect. ‘Go away into the country, if you can, where you can be sure of being undisturbed. Stand back, look ahead, and consider where you are going. Allow yourself to be caught up into the mind and perspective of God. Try to see things as he sees them. Relax!’ I did. I went home immediately and marked one day a month in my engagement book with the letter ‘Q’ for Quiet. And as I began to enjoy those days, the intolerable burden lifted and has never returned…I could not exaggerate the blessings which these quiet days have brought to my life and ministry.”

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Church Health, Church Planting, Dick Loizeaux