The Building Blocks of Faith: An Overview

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Faith is a hard thing to describe and to talk about. Our conversations about faith are often very broad (“the faith”) or very specific (“my faith”)—and we can’t always easily articulate what helps faith grow and flourish.

The Building Blocks of Faith describe four spiritual needs everyone has that are met in Christ. Meeting these needs helps faith to flourish in people of all ages. The Building Blocks are helpful for assessing faith formation efforts of churches, Christian schools, and other faith communities.

The Building Blocks of Faith were developed by Laura Keeley (a regional catalyzer with Faith Formation Ministries) and Robert J. Keeley, and expanded on in our Building Blocks of Faith Toolkit.

An Overview

The Building Blocks of Faith are four statements that describe what people need in order for their faith to grow. In a nutshell, they are: 

  • The Need to Belong 

  • The Need to Know and Understand

  • The Need to Have Hope

  • The Need to Be Called and Equipped 

Everyone has these basic faith needs: to feel that they belong to God and to a faith community, to know and be part of God’s ongoing redemption story, to have hope for the future, and to participate in God’s work. And the wonderful thing is that all these needs are met in Jesus Christ!

Whether you’re creating a new ministry, evaluating an existing one, or looking at your own faith formation, the Building Blocks of Faith provide helpful targets for growth.

A Closer Look

Each Building Block gives us a different “lens” with which to look at faith. When we attend to these four Building Blocks, both individually and in community, faith can flourish and deepen. 

The need to BELONG to God and to God’s family, the church

Realizing and remembering that we belong to a loving God is so important! It’s one of the foundations of a healthy faith. As people made in the image of God, we are hardwired for connection with our Creator. But we’re also hardwired for connection to other people: family, friends, and a community of faith. In community we tell the stories of God’s faithfulness, support each other, and help each other grow.

The need to KNOW AND UNDERSTAND God’s story and our place in it

Knowing and understanding the story of God’s faithfulness to his people as recorded in the Bible is another important component of faith. Faith is based on a relationship of trust in God, and in the Bible we discover a God who wants the very best for us. We learn about God’s salvation plan and God’s vision for a world where everyone can flourish.

The need to have HOPE, because we are confident that God keeps promises

Hebrews 11 tells us that faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hope comes from knowing that our expectations are based in the promises of the Creator of the universe and in the person of Jesus Christ, who came to earth and is always with us through the Holy Spirit. This hope calls us to live faithfully here and now, in times of joy and in the midst of difficult circumstances.

The need to be CALLED AND EQUIPPED to do God’s work in the world

God has placed each of us in a particular place at a particular time with particular gifts for a purpose! We are called to fulfill that purpose. In God’s family, we help each other discern our calling and become equipped, with the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance, to live into that calling as we serve God and our neighbor.

 

To learn more, visit the Building Blocks of Faith toolkit at crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits.

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