Beginning this Summer I’ll be beginning a special series of studies at First Baptist Church Henryville. We’re preparing to begin the new sermon series Follow+: Living the Gospel Centered Life on Sunday evenings during the next school year in connection with our AWANA Children’s Ministry. I’ve also been wondering about how we might begin to incorporate and offer some aspects of Church History for our church, and I think this upcoming sermon series provides a great opportunity to see that happen.
Our upcoming sermon series is going to ask a very basic question: How does the gospel impact all of life. How does the gospel impact marriage, dating life (for people who aren’t married!), parenting, jobs, rest, hobbies, housework, retirement, sickness, schedules, social media, and owning pets (along with a ton of other areas of life)? In other words, what does life begin to look like when the gospel destroys the wall that we oftentimes try to build between what we call the sacred and the secular.
So the entire series is about the powerful intersection between the real gospel and our real lives. And that’s where Church History begins to be relevant. Its beauty is more than dates, events, names, and movements. Church History is important because it offers us two thousand years of companions who have lived the life of the gospel before we were ever born. To be familiar with their stories, their struggles, their wisdom, and their examples is to learn from some of the giants of the faith on whose shoulders we all stand.
Crossway Books has recently started a series of books entitled Theologians on the Christian Life. Each book offers a book length spiritual biography of an important figure from the past. Volumes in the series have so far included Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Wesley, Benjamin Warfield, and John Calvin. Many other volumes are planned for release in the coming months. And taking this series as a cue, I believe getting to know some of these great figures of Church History can be very helpful and greatly encouraging.
So here’s what I’ll be starting. Beginning this summer I’ll be offering a series of special once-a-month sessions examining a different figure from Church History and how their life, theology, and example provides insight into what it means for us to live the Christian life. One Sunday a month at 5:00 PM, we’ll meet, go over a brief biography of a different important individual, explain the major aspects of their thought, and discuss together how their stories speak into our stories. In the process, we’ll get to know more about Church History, ourselves, and the Christian life.
I’m looking forward to getting started! I’ve got a rough outline of the individuals we’ll be covering, but if there’s any particular figure from Church History that you’d like to know more about, then let me know in the Comments section below!