First Principles Courses
The First Principles Series is a set of 13, six-session Bible study guides used to establish believers in the faith. Rather than a typical information-based, fill-in-the-blank approach, the series employs a highly effective learning process involving Bible passages and readings, community dialogue, personal reflection, and projects. Teaching core principles of Christ and His Apostles, this series guides participants in becoming firmly established in their faith.
Series 1: Relationship
1.1 Becoming a Disciple
First Principles of Faith
This course teaches what it means to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is also designed to bring participants to a point of commitment, of fully embracing the faith—the teachings of Jesus Christ.
1.2 Belonging to a Family of Families
First Principles of Community Life
This course looks at the local church as a family of families. This is God’s design for His disciples—to become part of a family of believers, a local church family.
1.3 Participating in the Mission of the Church
First Principles of Community Purpose
This course examines Christ’s plan and identify how they can fully participate in that plan. Few Christians know that Christ has a specific plan for fulfilling His mission, that He has a global strategy.
1.4 Cultivating a Heart
First Principles of Disciplined Living
This course helps participants take a radically different approach to the habits of the heart. God never intended our lives to be based on a set of individual daily habits, but rather on a whole life orientation that grows out of family and community life. We are not to gain insights from the Word fundamentally in isolation but from disciplines in all spheres of our lives. God carefully designed these habits to guide each believer into a life in which Christ can richly dwell in our hearts, resulting in our entire lives being transformed by our calling.
Series 2: Ownership
2.1 Enjoying your Relationship
First Principles of Marriage
This course focuses on learning the core principles for building a lasting, enjoyable marriage relationship that produces faith and a heritage for your children; for building a productive successful economic unit; and for producing a family that can participate together in building Christ’s church.
2.2 Passing on Your Beliefs
First Principles of Family Life
This course focuses on the first principles of family life, particularly from the vantage point of passing on the faith to their children, with the vision and expectation of each generation growing stronger and producing a heritage of blessing that is beyond imagination.
2.3 Envisioning Fruitful Lifework
First Principles of Ministry
This course turns focuses on the role of work within their family life, helping each person develop an increasing sense of the lifework that God has called them to, helping them lay foundations in their life that will be deeply satisfying and bear fruit for many generations.
2.4 Building for Future Generations
First Principles of Success
This course focuses on building your life on the right foundation and laying hold of the true prize. This involves extending the fruit of their lifework to several generations in the future with the vision of making their lives count for eternity. This kind of success can be enjoyed in any generation, in any station in life, and in any culture.
Series 3: Witness
3.1 Handling the Word with Confidence
First Principles of Bible Study
This course teaches solid principles and practices for validating an author’s intended meaning as expressed in a text of Scripture. You will develop personal confidence in handling the Word, enabling you to use it effectively in training your children.
3.2 Unfolding the Great Commission
First Principles from Acts
This course looks at Luke’s intent for writing the book of Acts and carefully looks at what Luke marks out as the keys to the Great Commission unfolding in the first generation.
3.3 Laying Solid Foundation in the Gospel
First Principles from 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This course looks at Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica––1 and 2 Thessalonians. You will look at Paul’s intent in writing the letters and focus on Paul’s process of establishing the church––founding, shaping the church around the Apostles’ teaching, and stabilizing it (despite their suffering) into a strong church, able to stand in the pagan community in which it found itself.
3.4 Catching God's Vision for the Church
First Principles from Ephesians
This course looks at Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus––Ephesians. You will look at Paul’s intent in writing the letter, his process of maturing the Ephesian church––helping them understand God’s vision for the church in Christ’s plan for this age and the importance of mature individuals and households to churches.
3.5 Living in God's Household
First Principles from Pastorals
This course looks at Paul’s final letters––the Pastorals––to his two young, faithful leaders, Timothy and Titus. You will look at Paul’s intent in writing these letters as he turns his attention to developing churches into strong, intergenerational households of God and preparing leadership for future generations to guard and protect these churches.