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New Bible Engagement Project's Foundations for Faith Focuses on What We Believe and Why

“What are the Assemblies of God's 16 Fundamental Truths and why do we base our beliefs on them?” is explored in-depth with Foundations for Faith, a new and free BEP curriculum.

When Bible Engagement Project (BEP) began offering its new three-tier Listen, Learn, and Live curriculum — which introduces, explores, and then applies the Bible in three 40-week sessions — for free, the number of churches and ministries using the resources exploded, from fewer than 800 to over 11,000 in just a few months’ time.

However, executive presbyter Melissa Alfaro, who is co-pastor of El Tabernaculo in Houston and who at the time represented minister under the age of 40, came to the Executive Presbytery and Executive Leadership Team with a concern she was hearing repeatedly from the under-40 ministers’ group: “We need to have a resource that explains the Assemblies of God Fundamental Truths in accessible language for younger generations.”

The observation was well received and as a result, the new BEP Foundations for Faith series was created. What’s more, just like the Listen, Learn, and Live resources, Foundations for Faith is also free.

Alfaro says that ministers realized that their congregations didn’t fully understand the what or the of Assemblies of God beliefs and the only materials available to teach those beliefs were extremely outdated.

Also, the desire for “accessible language” had nothing to do with changing the Fundamental Truths, but to make the Fundamental Truths understandable to younger generations as well as new believers with no biblical background.

“We want to imbed our Fundamental Truths into the hearts and lives of kids in kindergarten all the way to high school in a way that students can understand them,” Alfaro says. “We knew the material had to be understandable to those with little — if any — biblical literacy. Then as students grow older, they can go deeper in each truth at an age-appropriate level.”

Julie Horner, Curriculum Development director, says that the new Foundations for Faith curriculum offers three levels: kids, youth, and adults, enabling churches the option to be teaching the same fundamental truth in age-appropriate lessons at all levels at the same time.

“For kids, the lessons are more Bible story-based with kid-friendly descriptions,” she says, “and then for youth and adults, it’s more focused on core Scriptures. There are also family devotions provided to develop family discussions. In all, the 14 sessions cover all 16 Fundamental Truths.”

Alfaro notes that Foundations for Faith places the Assemblies of God ahead of the game.

“The Alpha Generation doesn’t always take things for face value; they want to know the why behind the belief. Foundations for Faith helps us get in front of those why questions through in-depth teaching and discipleship in God’s Word.”

Another group of ministers looking for the materials that Foundations for Faith now provides were Chi Alpha leaders ministering on secular campuses. They needed materials for new believers that had no reference point to church, Scripture, or the Assemblies of God. Chi Alpha also typically draws in many international students where English is a second language — the need for accessible language being vital for clear communication.

But Foundations for Faith isn’t just for those sitting in small groups or being introduced to God’s Word for the first time.

Foundations for Faith is great for training staff and new small group leaders,” says John Hailes, product development manager. “It’s a great avenue for making sure leaders all have a complete understanding and that they know and are able to teach about what we believe and why. It’s also a great tool for training up people to be elders one day.”

Alfaro notes that sometimes pastors shy away from teaching on the Fundamentals Truths as they’re not 100% convinced that they can properly and accurately communicate each of the 16 Fundamental Truths.

“In Foundations for Faith, each Fundamental Truth is broken down in the sessions, providing an in-depth study where ministers or leaders can really dive deep into each truth,” Alfaro says. “The materials are ideal for a sermon series, life groups, kids church, youth group, Sunday School classes, discipleship groups, and new believers classes.”

Two of the great features of Foundations for Faith, Alfaro observes, is it’s not set up to be 45-minutes of lecture and the prep time for leaders is minimal.

“Each session begins with videos and some teaching/talking points, but it also has interactive discussion questions interspersed throughout the lesson,” she explains. “This allows people the opportunity to ask questions, for groups to wrestle with those questions, and for people to walk away with a clear understanding.”

Returning to where Foundations for Faith originated, Alfaro expresses her appreciation to the under-40 ministers who are not only serving well, but have the best interests of their congregations at heart.

Foundations for Faith wouldn’t have happened without them,” she says.

To create a free BEP account and view Foundations for Faith (under the Library tab), click here.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.