Over my years as a pastor I have discovered that many believers have never established a solid foundation for spiritual growth. This can create a huge challenge!
Think of it this way: A house built on a faulty foundation will have problems. You do not want to cut corners when laying a foundation. A solid foundation can eliminate potential trouble down the road.
The lesson here is simple: Constructing a spiritual life follows the same principle for a foundation as that of building a home. It pays to lay a solid spiritual foundation in order to build a spiritual life. Laying a solid spiritual foundation means being equipped with four essential building blocks of biblical knowledge. It means knowing what you believe (Doctrine), knowing the Bible (Scripture Survey), knowing how to live the Christian Life (Spiritual Disciplines), and knowing how the church operates (Church Structure). These four building blocks are the keys to laying a strong foundation.
Christian Doctrine: One part of a solid foundation for a disciple of Christ is to know the beliefs of Christianity. Often called a “systematic theology,” every believer needs to have a basic understanding of what they believe about the Bible, God, and Jesus, the Holy Spirit, man, sin, salvation, and eternal life.
I went to church for years but was never taught doctrine in a systematic approach until I enrolled in a theological seminary! What happened to me should never occur. But I fear it happens in more cases than not. Every church should have a plan to teach Christians a basic understanding of what they believe.
Bible Survey: A solid foundation for being a disciple includes a basic understanding of the Scriptures. A “Bible survey” is a study that gives an overview of what each book of the Bible is about and how the books fit together. Every believer ought to have a primary knowledge of the Books of the Law, the Books of History, the Books of Wisdom, the Prophets, the Gospels, and the Epistles.
As a pastor I began to notice spiritual leaders in the church who did not have a good grasp of the Scriptures. I realized they had a shaky foundation and their leadership influence would crumble if they did not know the Bible. Therefore, our church made a commitment to teach every believer an overview of the Bible.
Spiritual Disciplines: The Christian life is one that requires spiritual growth. Spiritual growth takes place as the Holy Spirit works in the believer through spiritual habits or disciplines. Learning the basics of Bible study, prayer, Spirit-filled living, worshipping, witnessing, stewardship, and fellowship are just some of the spiritual disciplines that every believer needs to know.
One of the most important lessons I have ever been taught in my Christian journey is how to experience a time with God on a daily basis. Through the years, I have been amazed at how valuable this discipline has been in my life. And I have been astonished at how few Christians actually know how to put this discipline into practice.
Church Structure: People can attend church their entire life and never know how Jesus intended the church to operate. I know this is true; it happened to me! It took me years to discover the mission of the church, the model for the church, the methodology of the church, the management practices of the church, and more. Think how much stronger the church would be if every believer were given a basic understanding of how the church should operate!
The need for a solid foundation is huge! In fact, it is so important I have spent the past several years developing a simple to use resource to help believers gain this foundation. The Impact Basics Series is designed to give believers a solid foundation of biblical knowledge. In four, eight-week courses, the Impact Basics will give disciples a solid foundation of Christian doctrine, Bible survey, spiritual disciplines, and church structure.
Check out the Impact Basics Series – Know that You Know, Walk the Walk, Book of Books, and Being and Building at www.impactdiscipleship.com. A download copy of the first chapter of each book is available for your review.
Let us help you lay a solid foundation for spiritual growth.