How does this work?
  1. First you form a group
  2. Choose a topic to discuss when the group meets from our list of discussion ideas
  3. On the specific page for the discussion idea you’ve chosen, there will be 6 tabs (Discussion, research, truths, essentials of faith, dogmas, and bonus). Give the group two weeks or more to research the discussion idea, but tell everyone not to go beyond the “Research” tab so that they can form their own ideas and thoughts.
  4. When your group meets, simply go through the tabs left to right: state the discussion idea, have everyone present their research, ideas, thoughts etc, pull out the truths and essentials of faith, and identify the dogmas and other nonessentials. Your group may choose to include the ideas and thoughts from the website under each tab as you go through your discussion or not.
  5. Keep a journal of your groups ideas, conclusions, and thoughts so you have a running record of how your faith matures and refines.
  6. The bonus is a fun discussion idea just for kicks and is of no real consequence. Your group may or may not choose to do this at the end of your main discussion idea.
  7. Use this new wisdom and thought to better serve God and approach others about christ.
Who is the website for?

Essentials of Faith is for anyone who wants to hold a discussion and idea group.  Obviously it’s geared and directed at Christians.

How do I get into a group or how do I start one?

Essentials Of Faith does not facilitate any groups, just resources for groups to use if they choose.  If you want to join a group and do not know of any, start your own.  If you want to start your own group, all you need to do is get a few people together, choose one of the discussion ideas from the site, give everyone in the group a few weeks to research and study up on that discussion idea, and then meet to break down and deconstruct that idea.  On the specific  page for the discussion idea you’ve chosen, you will see several tabs (Discussion, research, truths, essentials of faith, dogmas, and bonus).  Use these tabs as you hold your discussion to help guide the process.  Take notes and keep a log of your group’s progress and conclusions.  Each person could maintain a journal of ideas that they can use to reference and share with others.

How long, when, and/or how many times should my group meet?

This is totally up to each group.  Give your group at least an hour to an hour and a half to meet to discuss an idea.  It’s really up to your group how long, when, and how many times per period you want to meet.  Discuss it with the group and come to an agreement that seems to work well for everyone.  One thing to consider is that for each discussion topic, you will need at least a couple weeks for everyone to research and study up before holding the discussion group.

How do I research the discussion ideas?

Essentials of Faith has a research page full of suggested  links where you can find relevant information, resources, and other research information on secular and theological content.  Additionally, each discussion topic page also has a research tab where you will find questions to get you started, since it’s tough to know what to ask sometimes.  These questions should give you a good idea as to what and how to research that idea.

What do we do when we meet?

There is no specific thing you must or must not do. There are no beginning routines or rituals, etc. Just get together, chat, and have some good conversation. Then get into the discussion idea by simply going through the tabs on the discussion idea page:

  1. State the discussion idea and the range of ideas on that idea
  2. Discuss each person’s research, findings, ideas, etc
  3. Discuss what, if any, truths lie within or are derived from the discussion idea
  4. Discuss what, if any, essentials of faith lie within or are derived from the discussion idea
  5. Discuss what, if any, dogmas lie within or are derived from the discussion idea
  6. The bonus discussion idea is just for fun and typically holds no real kernels of wisdom to excavate. You may choose to do the bonus at the end of your session or not, it’s totally up to the group.
My question isn't listed here, who and where can I ask?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please send your question or comment from the Contact page.