Foundations21(Bible Reading Fellowship)

This is sure to be a welcome addition to the range of resources available and may well encourage a new cohort of people interested in Christianity to begin the discipleship journey.

What is it?

Foundations21 is a purpose-built web-based discipleship course that covers most of the Christian basics and aims to bring people to a place where they can identify their key gifts and ministries.

A particularly innovative and inspiring feature of the course is the quiz at the beginning that enables participants to identify their Gospel Learning Style. The site has four gateways - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – through which participants enter the rooms (sections) of the course.

The twelve rooms are:

  • Jesus.
  • The Bible.
  • God the Father.
  • The cross and resurrection.
  • The Holy Spirit.
  • The church.
  • Prayer.
  • Worship.
  • Intimacy with God.
  • Christian lifestyle.
  • Christian ministry.
  • Christian mission.

A particularly valuable feature of the site is the devotional material that is included. Participants can use Foundations21 for their daily prayers, readings and reflections.

How is the learning process encouraged and supported?

Participants can work through the course wherever their computer is. For most people this will probably be at home, but the course could also be done at work or college, at church or in a cyber café. In each room there are exercises and reflections to be done. Space is provided for responses and also for journalling. Participants are encouraged to invite a mentor to accompany them on their journey. The value of learning networks is recognised and it is suggested that those doing the course meet with others in their church, locality or network.

What advantages does the medium bring?

Two things are very striking. The first is the visual impact. There is lots of vivid colour, imagery and pictures. The inclusion of film clips from the places which Jesus visited during his life and ministry are particularly helpful. The second striking feature is the amount of detail that one can go into. There are lots of options, choices and pathways to follow. The course really does strive to respond to the different ways that adults learn.

Who is Foundations21 for?

Foundations21 has been designed for anyone who wants to explore the basics of Christian faith and discipleship. Input is drawn from a variety of Christian leaders and thinkers and alternative perspectives are offered on questions such as 'Who is Jesus?' and 'What is prayer?'

How simple is it to use?

The course is beautifully produced with good clear instructions. Time will tell how it works out in practice. Given the amount of care that has gone into its production one would expect it to work well. Some of the talking head pieces are very soundbitey. Some may prefer fewer 'vox pops' and more fully developed responses to questions.

Would it work in a fresh expression context?

Most definitely. This is clearly a project of the 21st century and very much in touch with contemporary culture. For younger people in particular, those who are used to going to the web before books for learning and information, this is a much needed resource.

To be able to go to the local café church for an evening and take a laptop to do the course with friends, could be a wonderful experience.

In conclusion

Foundations21 may just be the course that many have been waiting for. It opens up all manner of evangelistic and discipleship possibilities and deserves to do well.

How to obtain the material

Visit the Foundations21 website for access to the course.