I spent a lot of time over this last summer preparing my new version of ‘Foundations’ for the printers. This made me reflect on the origins of the material in this book, and some of the experiences that forged it into the material it is today.
I have had the privilege of serving in church leadership for over 40 years. I started off working alongside a good friend as the co-leader of a charismatic house church in Hastings back in the 1970s. Both my friend and I had young families and demanding jobs, on top of that we had no experience of leading a church. However, we soon learnt the truth of the promise that ‘God’s grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in weakness.’ To our surprise and delight people began to be saved and added to the church.
Almost immediately it became clear to us that people saved out of an ordinary, unbelieving background in modern Britain did not have much idea of what it meant to be a real Christian. The material that now forms the basis of my ‘Foundations Course’ was material that I developed for going through the foundations of the Christian life with these new converts. We took some through the material in a one to one discipleship setting and others in small groups in our homes.
We also found that established Christians who were looking for something different in church life were beginning to join us. We didn’t set out to encourage this but we knew such things happened, after all it had happened to us, so we did not turn these newcomers away. However, we were not sure they all understood what our church believed or where it was going. Therefore, we found that the Foundations Course was helpful for them to understand us and for us to ensure we were all going on the same direction. Many of these people said they benefitted from going over these truths and quite a few said it gave their Christian lives new impetus.
In recent months, as the new ‘Foundations’ book has been publicised, people have approached me with their stories of when they went through ‘Foundations’ years ago. I have found it moving and humbling to have mature Christian leaders come to me and say ‘I remember doing an early version of that course with you in Hastings, it really helped me in my early Christian life.’ It has been equally moving and gratifying to hear the same thing from a much wider spectrum of people who benefitted from the course in various other settings.
So I hope and trust that you too will be blessed by these principles or perhaps are able to help others in building good Foundations in their life. Find out more about the Foundations Book here.