Can we make biblical, deeply changed disciples of Jesus without learning from the successes and failures of our church family over the last 2,000 years – and from the global church today?
The answer to both those questions, I believe, is no.
Unfortunately, many of us have a limited, often mistaken understanding of how the church unfolded since the book of Acts. This lack of historical memory has done great damage to our approach to discipleship as well as our leadership.
This podcast traces the history of Christianity, looking at the two great splits (in 1054 and 1517 A.D.) and how this has impacted us in evangelicalism today.
I conclude with two simple, but profound, applications:
1. Be a humble learner. We have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, especially those who are very different than us. We also have so much to learn from the church in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where the church there will constitute 72% of all believers by the year 2050.
2. Slow down for Jesus. The Western church is characterized by a frenetic activism that has little room for silence, solitude, and reflection before the Lord. If we are to slow down for a sustained being with Jesus out of which we do for Him, we will need to learn from those outside of our tradition while, at the same time, holding firmly to our distinctives and unique strengths.
In addition to listening to this podcast below, let me invite you to download the free e-Book Church History Matters for a Discipleship that Deeply Changes Lives as a companion resource.