This summer, The Austin Stone Institute released Foundations of Faith: Cultivating the Christian Life through Study and Practice, a book designed to nurture our relationship with God and with one another. Spanning 10 sessions, this book seeks to introduce—and reintroduce—us to some of the beautiful, essential truths that define who Christians are and how they ought to inhabit the world. As pastor J.T. English notes in his book Deep Discipleship, “Discipleship is not just a program but a total reorientation to reality. We begin to see who God truly is, who we are, what God has done, is doing, and will do in the world. In being reoriented to reality, disciples begin to view everything through a God-centered lens.”
Foundations of Faith offers this kind of orientation through study and practice. Each session features a teaching component about subjects like who God is (and who we are in relation to Him), what it means to be the body of Christ in our churches and communities, and how to persevere in the faith. Each session also includes application of those subjects. As examples, some sessions ask participants to serve their local community or to spend time with God in His creation.
Through this study and practice, Foundations of Faith hopes to immerse people in the wondrous news that God has not only revealed Himself to us but also invited us to know Him as our Father. This immersion is not meant to be a one-time thing; rather, the immersion should happen continually. For this reason, while Foundations of Faith is written for someone unfamiliar with Christianity, the book serves as a refreshment for people who have followed Jesus for decades.
Foundations of Faith is written in such a way that people can use it on their own. The book’s ideal scenario, however, occurs within the context of discipleship relationships. People can disciple new believers, joining them as they begin the lifelong discovery of the abundant life Christ gives. People can also use the book to host conversations with skeptics. Finally, people can use the book in small groups and classes to encourage believers to sit at Jesus’ fit and know that He is God.
“Come to me,” Jesus says. “Drink of me and be revived with the living water” (John 7:37–8, adapted). Let us come to Jesus, the Living Water. Let us be revived—in Him, through the Spirit, to the Father. And as we drink, let us joyously share the living water with others.
Foundations of Faith: Cultivating the Christian Life through Study and Practice is a 10-week curriculum written for discipling relationships of two to three people, as well as small groups. Foundations of Faith includes:
- Group activities
- Discussion prompts
- Personal reflection questions and activities
- Guided REAP journal
If you have questions about Foundations of Faith and how it might best serve your particular context, contact John Murchison, Director of The Austin Stone Institute.
 J.T. English, Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2020), 21.
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