Session 1: Getting to know you
An introduction to Foundations and to each other
Take a few minutes to introduce yourselves to each other. You are starting out on a journey and, for the next twelve weeks, these will be your companions on the way.
Q) Discuss among yourselves what you hope to get out of the course.
Q) Tell each other something of your own spiritual journey so far. In particular, think about where you have come from and where you think you are now.
Q) Alternatively you could share briefly one fact about yourself. It could be why you are here, something interesting that you have done recently or just what kind of day you have had, the choice is yours.
About the course
The purpose of the Foundations Course is to communicate and explore together the essentials of the Christian faith. We do not claim to have all the answers but if we can share some of the lessons we have learned and help you to avoid the mistakes that we have made then we will be more than satisfied. At the end of the day being a Christian is about growing in relationship, with God and each other.
You may have heard about Alpha, the popular course founded by Holy Trinity Brompton for people who are curious about Christianity and wanting to take the next step. Foundations was created as the next step on from this (think Alpha Beta!). It is designed for those who have recently become Christians, but would also benefit someone who feels that they would like a ‘refresher’ in their walk with God.
I recommend that you bring along a notebook, pen and Bible each week so that you can look up the passages and make notes as we work through each session.
You will find that you gain the most from the course if you do some preparation before each of the sessions, by looking up the Bible references and thinking about them beforehand. At the end of each session, there is also a suggestion for reflection, which you can choose to follow up at home if you want to.
In each session there you will find there is some teaching, some investigation and some discussion. In the table of contents at the front you can see the varied topics that we will be looking at together over the coming weeks.
There are a number of similar courses available, and some may be simpler and less demanding, but we make no apologies for asking you to think. Becoming a Christian does not mean that you have to leave your brain at the door. Questions can be our friends as they spur us on to a deeper knowledge and understanding of God and his purpose for our lives.
If there are any other things in the Bible that you would like to discuss, please tell your group leader and they can ensure they include this at some point or arrange for your questions to be answered in some other way.
Your choice (home study option)
Your first task is to find, borrow or buy a Bible to bring along to the course each week. Preferably this should be a more modern version – we often recommend the ESV (English Standard Version) or NIV (New International) versions but you should take time to find the one that speaks to you most clearly.
Other excellent alternatives are the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), New King James Version (NKJV) and the New Living Bible (NLT). These represent a range of different approaches to Bible translation and it can be useful to compare the different translations to see the different nuances revealed. The traditional King James (Authorised) Version has some beautiful language but is probably best avoided for present purposes.
Over the coming week think about the following verses
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27, ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105, ESV
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24, ESV
Why not try to memorise them as you ponder them.
If you are not familiar with finding your way round the Bible, don’t be embarrassed about looking up the index at the front and using the page numbers to navigate by. We all do it at times!