Our Flops: God's Success

Zambia is missionary David Livingstone's greatest legacy. But this Christian nation isn't always heaven on earth.

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David Livingstone is perhaps the best known missionary to Africa. A nineteenth-century pioneer and explorer, he is largely regarded as the one who opened up the Christian mission to southern Africa. However, his success cannot be measured in numbers, at least not numbers of converts during his own lifetime. As Christianity Today's online managing editor Ted Olsen writes, Livingstone could claim only one convert, and that one backslid! Let's look at the successes and failures of Livingstone-and what constitutes true success.

Table of Contents


    • Identify the Current Issue

    • Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: God can use church conflict and cantankerous people to achieve his purposes.
Teaching point two: What appears as defeat and failure from a human perspective can be used by God to advance his kingdom.
    • Apply Your Findings



    • One African Nation Under God, by Ted Olsen (February 4, 2002, p. 36)

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