Winkie: He is NOT a Gay Teletubbie!

I went out with Denny last night to hear the teacher Winkie Pratney, who was very quick to say that he was not a gay teletubbie. He was named after his father, William who was a famous New Zealand cyclist, occasionally getting up at 4am to do a 100 mile cycle before breakfast.

winkie pratney doorways to discipleshipAnyway, Wee “Willy” Winkie Pratney, wrote what was probably the first Christian book I had ever seen. “Doorways to Discipleship” was presented to me as a teenager at my baptism. I never met the man but have always wanted to. And since he was in Lisbon, Portugal, and so was I, it worked out to see him last night. The man is a LEGEND.

He is a really funny guy and a great storyteller. A little longwinded when translation is added to the equation, he managed to speak for just over 90 minutes but held our attention the whole time. He had some good words to say about finances and God’s provision. In particular, as illustrated by the two accounts of Jesus feeding the crowds and how much was left over, those with less can end up with more. Soooo glad we finally met. I have preached in many of the same churches as Winkie but somehow we have missed each other . . . until now.

Oh yeah. We parked next door to the church building in a parking area that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the church and subsequently, our car got locked up for the night behind the gate. Thanks to Reuben and the CCC worship team for giving us a lift home in the early hours of the morning. You guys rock!

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Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Many years ago, there was a National Street Ministries Conference and Winkie was faithful to be there every year. His session topics were always “To Be Announced” and they were – when he actually started speaking – but his sessions were always standing room only.

  • Isn’t Winkie great? I credit him in large part for staying in ministry. I was finding it hard to connect my unique strengths and giftings to the context I was in. He encouraged me that it would indeed be hard, but worth the work.

  • he almost died and he was in a coma for a long time but is now well and the 2 million dollar hospital bill has been paid. he looks pretty well, actually.

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