E. Stanley Jones was one of the great missionary communicators of this century – to India, to America, to the world. His thoughtful and passionate presentations of Jesus and the Kingdom challenged American Christians to break out of their cultural blinders and see a bigger Christ.
Whether he began his message with a social problem or a personal story, he always aimed at presenting Christ. Stanley Jones’ vision began when, as a boy, he went to a series of evangelistic meetings at a little Methodist church in Maryland. On the third night of the series, he ran a mile to the church and could hardly wait to kneel at the altar to pray:
I had scarcely bent my knees when Heaven broke into my spirit. I was enveloped by assurance, by acceptance, by reconciliation. I grabbed the man next to me by the shoulder and said “I’ve got it”. “Got it?” “What did I mean? I now see that it was not an ‘It’ – it was a Him. I had Him – Jesus – and He had me. As I rose from my knees, I felt I wanted to put my arms around the world and share this with everybody. Little did I dream at that moment that I would spend the rest of my life literally trying to put my arms around the world to share this with everybody. The center of being was changed from self to Savior. I looked into His face and I was forever spoiled for anything that was unlike Him. The whole of me was converted. There was nothing the same except for my name. It was the birthday of my soul. Life began there.
So too, when we see Christ, we may begin to see with the eyes of Christ, to be visionaries in him.
Adapted from Transforming Leadership by Leighton Ford (1991, InterVarsity Press)
Photo cred: www.christianashram.org