Teaching Church History In Church: Where Would You Start?

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor

In May, the church I attend decided that instead of breaking up into small groups for Sunday School and having separate groups based on topics during the summer, we would all meet as one larger group. There have been lessons on the Bible, God, the person of Christ, and the Holy Spirit among other things. I have been asked to do a 45 minute lesson church history. I had been leaning on one direction for a few weeks with my outline, but after talking with Optimistic Chad on Monday, I have changed my tentative outline.

Here is what I have:

1st 12 minutes:

The Bible, Judaism, Jewish Christianity, Gentile Christianity, and The Roman Empire

In this portion, I would move from talking briefly about how the Bible was canonized to the split of Christianity from Judaism.

[honestly, this had not occurred to me in my original plans, but thanks to the Optimist, I realize it woulda been a mistake to NOT talk about this, the idea of Christianity as a sect of Judaism at first]

2nd 12 minutes

Constantine, The Nicene Creed, And Christendom

I was originally gonna start with just the Nicene Creed, Christian beliefs about the humanity & deity of Christ. I do believe that Constantine’s reign sparked a new change in church history. Good or bad? You be the judge.

3rd 12 minutes

The Protestant Reformation & Baptist Roots

A brief discussion of Luther, Calvin, and the Anabaptists, the Reformation in England and the eventual movement here into the North American colonies.

3-5 minute Conclusion

Why Church history? What is it all about? What is a Baptist? What is unity?

The End.

How would you teach church history in church? Where would you start?

And of course, I plan on incorporating Doctor Who into the presentation!

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6 thoughts on “Teaching Church History In Church: Where Would You Start?

  1. Alison

    And here I thought cramming a graduate church history course into 4 weekends was tough (to live through as student -still not sure how our prof pulled it off except she is Awesome!)

    45 minutes?!?!?!

  2. Charles

    I helped lead a youth group that had a “submit a question” feature. One student asked “Why are there two kinds of Christian?”, meaning Protestant and Catholic. I was asked to prepare a ten-minute talk answering the question (including addressing the fact that there is more than just TWO kinds of Christian). I tried. I really tried to do a ten-minute talk focusing just on the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation. I failed. Fifty minutes later, I still wasn’t done.

    So, my response to the possibility of doing Church history in 45 minutes: Good luck, buddy.


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