What Does Church History Have to Do with Modern Ministry?

church history ministry

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl 1:9)

This refrain from the beginning of Ecclesiastes is music to a historian’s ears. The cliché “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” may ring true for those who ignore the past. The modern church often falls into the trap of chronological snobbery, assuming that current intellectual pursuits are inherently superior to the past. This causes pastors and church-goers alike to forego thousands of years of wisdom in favor of the newest scholarship.

In his new book, Church History for Modern Ministry, Pastor Dayton Hartman argues that church history is not old news, but a vital component of a healthy ministry. The previous struggles and conflicts of the church can help us refine and reform our doctrine and worship today. In this practical and engaging book, Hartman shows us that a deep understanding of our past can help us address contemporary issues facing the church.

A solid foundation

Church_History_V5b“We’re so busy worrying about the future that we neglect to consider how the past might equip us for today and tomorrow. The future by its nature is unknowable. Still, we can prepare for what will come by looking to the past.”

The authority of Scripture forms the foundation of Christian theology. The questions and challenges facing the church may shift and change with history, but the underlying truths that inform our response never change. Why ignore the thousands of years of wisdom from those who have faithfully served, suffered, and persevered before you? Learning from this host of witnesses provides a strong foundation for the church, today.

Pastors and scholars alike are raving about the insights Hartman has been able to fit into this volume. Here’s just some of the advance praise we’ve received:

Church History for Modern Ministry reminds us that to fully embrace our future we must first understand our past. One of the most useful features of this book are the theological and historical callouts scattered through the text. These reference tools make this book one to which you will continually return. Hartman’s primer allows the reader to quickly and astutely grasp an overview of Church history upon which to build a foundation of ministry.

—Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, author of I Am a Church Member

Well written, engaging, and entertaining, Hartman provides plenty of theological food for thought and compelling reasons why ministry leaders must sink their hearts and minds deep into the history of Christianity. For the minister who has never seriously considered the value church history for ministry in the twenty-first century, this is a must read.

—Chad Thornhill, PhD, Chair of Theological Studies, assistant professor of apologetics and biblical Studies, School of Divinity, Liberty University

Expand your theological knowledge

The church has much to gain from learning from its own history. Their faithfulness, discipleship, and perseverance have built a strong foundation from which we can take the message of the gospel into the future. Church History for Modern Ministry is scheduled to ship on February 25—pre-order it for just $5.99!