David Pytches: A Thankful Tribute
I've got a pretty short list of modern heroes these days and in my top five is David Pytches, an amazing church leader, author, theologian, and inspiring man who went home to be with the Lord...
David Pytches, an Anglican Bishop, pastor, theologian, and influential author went home to be with the Lord on November 21. As would be fitting, I learned of his passing from John Wimber’s daughter, Stephanie (who I’ve interviewed here and here). It’s fitting because I doubt I’d ever have heard of Pytches were it not for my connection to John Wimber and the Vineyard. While Pytches was instrumental in bringing Wimber to England and Anglicanism, Wimber brought me Pytches!
The short version of the story is that Pytches was impacted by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in his own ministry as Bishop of Chile, Bolivia, and Puru. After he encountered John Wimber, he thought it wise to invite him to speak and train amongst the Anglicans in the UK and the rest, as they say, is history (as attested by the number of Vineyards in the UK).
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From a distance, I’ve always held Pytches in his esteem for a couple of reasons:
First, Pytches blended together seamlessly a commitment to pastoral theology and sound biblical theology. His books were both richly rooted in historic Christianity and offered practical insights and advice on how to apply those great truths.
Second, Pytches demonstrated that one can both be Charismatic and committed deeply to the Church and hold to a form of sacramentality. After all, Pytches was an Anglican Bishop (they actually take the Eucharist seriously) and the author of Come Holy Spirit: Learning How to Minister in Power. He saw no need to abandon his ecclesiological convictions due to his charismatic convictions.
Third, Pytches loved John Wimber and seems to have seen the “wisdom of Wimber” long before Wimber was well known amongst the larger Church. This is evidenced by one of my favorite tributes that was edited by Pytches, John Wimber (there are twelve left, so you better order one immediately). In that I’m increasingly convinced that Wimber’s wisdom and teachings are more applicable in today’s church landscape than ever before, I’m thankful that Pytches exposed so many to his work.
Fourth, Pytches had excellent teachings in his own right! His books on prophecy and hearing from God provided keen observations on the importance of hearing from God and how such ministry mattered so much for the health of the local church.
Lastly, Pytches believed in the importance of investing in the next generation, as evidenced by his support Soul Survivor and championing youthful fervor. On each of the numerous trips I’ve made to the UK, I’ve heard stories of Pytches showing up to various youth events just to support and encourage young people. Moreover, while some Anglicans requested that the Vineyard not plant churches in England (e.g., Wimber’s good friend David Watson), David Pytches encouraged these young churches that were planting churches.
I never had a chance to meet David Pytches by my love, admiration, and appreciation for him and his work continue. I hope there are some Anglican folks in the UK who will flesh out the ongoing application and importance of his work in the coming years.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I’m bummed he’s no longer with us… but I’m also very happy knowing his is now with his Lord. I’m praying for his family and friends as they grieve this loss and celebrate this advancement in his journey.
By the way… sorry it’s been awhile since I have written! I got sciatica last month and was basically bed ridden and on all these medications that caused me to sleep for nearly three weeks. Worst pain in my life… but thankfully I’m back and mostly have recovered.
About the Author
Luke Geraty is a pastor-theologian in northern California. With a few theology degrees and nearly twenty years of pastoral leadership, Luke loves the Bible, theology, fly fishing, coffee, and books. All opinions are his own and not the views of any other organizations he’s affiliated with. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to his YouTube.