It has been said that those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it. This is usually applied to our national history, and especially wars, but I also think this applies to the church.
When Christians forget those that have gone before us, we often repeat the same mistakes. Likewise, when we are attentive to learn from those who have gone before us, it helps us follow God. The author of Hebrews reminds us of this in chs 11-12. After listing the works of the patriarchs, he says:
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us’. (12:1)
Perhaps the idea of looking at church history seems dry and dull, but it doesn’t need to be. Our history is filled with great stories of God’s mighty works, and faithful people, ready for us to delve into.
Here is a great place to start: 5minutesinchurchhistory.com
5 minute long podcasts about events in church history. Easy to listen to, perhaps on the way to work one day each week, to help us look at the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us, and point us to Jesus.