Answers to Common Questions about the Foundations in Christ Workshop

“What exactly is it?  What’s the purpose?”

We are all in different places along our faith journeys and that’s a good thing.  Some of us race along with ease, others meander, and some of us have simply sat down alongside the path for awhile.  Regardless of where you are, Foundations is an opportunity for individuals — men, women, young, old, church members, non-members, seekers — to explore core issues of faith in a fresh way.  The workshop takes place over two weekends and offers a little bit of everything:  interactive exercises, Scripture, conceptual tools, discussions, cornerstones of Christian faith, time for reflection…it’s for both head and heart!  Our hope is that you will experience daily life with God in a whole new way.

“Two weekends—why?”

Realistically, a meaningful exploration into core issues of faith and daily life with God takes more than a couple hours.  In fact, it takes more than two weekends.  But two weekends is a good start.  So we invite folks to try on a different perspective (which some participants come by naturally):  “Two weekends?  You mean I get to spend two weekends thinking and talking about God?  Fantastic!”

“Why is there a break between weekends?”

We have found that participants appreciate the chance to reflect on insights, digest new concepts, and try out practical tools after the first weekend.  During the two-week break, we encourage participants to reach out to their small group leaders to ponder things and try out new approaches.


“Is it a class?  I’m used to Sunday School, but what happens in a workshop?”    

Foundations isn’t a class.  The structure of the workshop assumes that learning is most effective when participants figure things out for themselves with God.  Thus, not only do we talk about the presence and activity of God, but we expect the Holy Spirit to be with us in the workshop, guiding and teaching us about God and ourselves in fresh ways.  Throw in interactive presentations, group discussions, practical tools, exercises, and an atmosphere that invites all kinds of questions, and you have Foundations.

And here’s the really cool part:  since the Holy Spirit gathers participants for each workshop, every group is unique and different.  Each participant brings his or her own issues, questions, and experiences into the workshop.  What happens is up to God, and what each person discovers is, by God’s grace, specific and unique to them.

“Do you need a strong Biblical foundation to understand it?”

No.  Some understanding of basic Christian concepts is helpful, and sometimes workshops have some participants who are well-versed in Scripture and Biblical history, but the workshops also have many who are not.  Come as you are!

“What are ‘exercises’?  Do we do yoga?”

We are many things, but yoga master is not one of them. “Exercises” refer to structured opportunities for participants to work through a concept, question, or issue for themselves.  Depending on the exercise, you may be working on your own, with a partner, or in a group.  While exercises may involve moving chairs around, they don’t include yoga, physical athletics, or anything that requires running shorts.

“Will I be required to talk when I don’t want to or do things I don’t want to do?”

No.  All participation in the workshop is completely voluntary.  We do not believe in forcing people to share.  The Foundations workshop involves an authentic search for reality.  Anything forced is neither authentic nor real.

“What do I wear?”

Participants generally wear comfortable business casual clothing.  We do recommend layering with a sweater or jacket since our workshop rooms can run hot or cold.  We attend a worship service as a group on both Sunday mornings, so participants usually choose to wear somewhat dressier attire on the two Sundays.

“Does the workshop tell people what they have to believe?”

No.  ICSM doesn’t claim to have all the “right” answers.  In fact, we suspect the typical human desire to be right and in control is often part of the problem. The workshop does, however, offer for consideration some core concepts of Scripture and cornerstones of the Christian faith from the early church, the Reformation, and great theologians that are often overlooked in modern Christianity, but loaded with Good News!

“Do you have to be Presbyterian?”

No.  We’ve had participants from many backgrounds, including some who do not currently have a church home.

“Is there a liberal or conservative leaning?”

If we lean at all, we lean to the middle. We have no political agenda.  Foundations workshops are filled with people from a variety of political spectrums, which enriches and opens up new perspectives for everyone.

“Is it weird if you don’t know anyone?”

Not at all.  In fact, some participants feel not knowing anyone enhances the workshop experience.  Others prefer to come with a friend or spouse. During exercises, participants are paired or grouped randomly, and in the course of the two weekends, you’ll get a chance to know everyone in your workshop.

“Will the workshop just show me all the rules I’m not following and make me feel guilty?”

No.  Foundations is not about giving you more things to do in order to measure up.  We believe the aim of the Christian life is not about making ourselves good and righteous, it’s about being with the One who is all good and righteous!  Since we can’t possibly be good enough to earn God’s love, we get to experience the joy that comes with grace.  Welcome to the freedom of the Gospel!

“I can’t afford the workshop fee.  What do I need to do to get scholarship help?”

Just tell us.  There are no forms to fill out, no proof required.  If the Spirit is nudging you to come, we want you to join us.  So contribute what you can, if anything, and we’ll cover the rest.

“As a pastor or church staff member, I work on Sunday mornings.  What can I do?”

Because of the nature of the workshop, participants need to be able to attend all workshop sessions.  However, ICSM recognizes this can be tough for a pastor or church staff member who works on Sunday mornings.  Thus, we work with pastors and church staff members who have Sunday morning obligations to see if there is a way to make up missed time.  If you fall within this group and want to attend, please contact us to discuss your situation.

“Can a religious workshop be fun?”

As a matter of fact, yes.  In Foundations we move back and forth between knowledge of God and knowledge of self until the two merge in the second weekend, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.  In the process, each Foundations group becomes its own unique community.  All personal experiences are kept confidential within the group.  In such an authentic setting, we get to know each other quickly and deeply.  In fact, some Foundations groups even hold unofficial “reunions” after their workshop.  The joy of sharing authentically as the body of Christ is a special blessing.

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So…could the Holy Spirit be challenging you to engage with Christ at a deeper level?  Come, join us!

Contact Us

In Christ Supporting Ministries
7615 Colony Road, Suite 210
Charlotte, NC 28226
(704) 554-2490