The First Principles Series is a set of 13, six-session, dialogue-based Bible study guides for use by church leaders and mature Christians to establish believers and churches in the faith. Rather than a typical fill-in-the-blank approach, the series employs a highly effective learning process involving biblical passages and readings, community dialogue, and personal reflection and projects. Teaching core principles of Christ and His Apostles, this series guides participants in becoming firmly established in their faith.
The First Principles Series is built around Paul’s idea of the elementary principles (Colossians 2:8, cf.Hebrews 5:11-14). These “elementary” or first principles, are the basic fundamentals of the faith. They represent the first things that must be learned, upon which everything else is built. In the early church, new believers were expected to learn the Didache (Greek word for “the teaching”; referring to the teaching of the Apostles) as they were assimilated into the local church. The First Principle Series teaches the same truths in a sound and practical manner, establishing a solid foundation upon which a mature life in Christ can be built.
It is our hope that, over time, each member of SHCC will work their way through The First Principles Series and strengthen our church as a base for Gospel expansion.
Series I covers the process of establishing believers in their faith in the context of a local church—a household of God.
Becoming a Disciple
Belonging to a Family of Families
Participating in the Mission of the Church
Cultivating Habits of the Heart
Series II turns participants’ attention from the household of God––a local church––to individual households––the family. God’s plan for husbands, wives, parents, and children is set in the context of the local church family.
Enjoying Your Relationship
Passing on Your Beliefs
Envisioning Fruitful Lifework
Building for Future Generations
Series III moves from passages to entire New Testament books, first developing a clear process of accurately interpreting these books, then revisiting the first principles in the context of Acts and Paul’s letters.
Handling the Word with Confidence
Unfolding the Great Commission
Laying Solid Foundations in the Gospel
Catching God's Vision for the Church
Living in God's Household
The First Principles use a format that will thoroughly prepare you to discuss the issues in community in Socratic discussion.
Consistent Study Process (CSP) The Consistent Study Process used in The First Principles takes participants through a complete learning cycle each time they study a passage or concept in the Scriptures. There are four basic steps to the process and one final step that integrates the work from the first four.
Study the Scriptures: You will begin with a passage to read, answer a few basic questions about the passage, and finally summarize the core teaching of the passage.
Consult the Scholars: You will begin by reading and reflecting on a commentary and key quotes and then recording your insights from the readings.
Think Through the Issues: You will begin by thinking through the issues and recording your initial thoughts, then discussing the issue in your small group and recording any final thoughts after the discussion.
Apply the Principles: In this step you will think back through the first three steps and design an application for your life.
Reshaping Our Lives: This step brings together the entire study process as you reflect on your work in the first five sessions and rethink your entire life in light of the truths you have been studying—rearranging your worldview.
Here is a summary of the texts and themes for each lesson of each of the booklet studies.