This week, the Alpha course starts again at our church. We ran two in the fall (Youth and Adult), and now are offering another one. I’m excited, as many of you know, because I love the way God uses Alpha to help people find Jesus.
Maybe you’ve never done the Alpha Course, or perhaps your church has talked about it but never pursued it. Let me tell you why I love it, and hopefully you’ll check it out.
Here are 5 reasons I love Alpha.
First, the incredible conversations. One thing that shines at Alpha is the quality of the conversation. Because people get to know one another over a series of weeks, eating a meal together (always eat at Alpha!) and hearing about one another’s lives, the level of engagement is fantastic. The content of the teaching inspires healthy, focused conversation on topics of real relevance. When we nurture a space for people who are new or exploring to safely ask their questions, the conversations are real and people feel heard.
The second thing I love about Alpha is the helpful teaching. Whether the talks are given live or on screen, the content of the Alpha talks are super relevant and well thought-out. Covering the basics such as “Who is Jesus?” and “How Do I Pray?”, the talks move people closer to an understanding of the Christian faith. The teaching on the Holy Spirit is often new for many Christians as well, inspiring greater levels of commitment to Jesus for everyone.
Third, the relationships formed. Probably one of the most significant results of Alpha are the new friendships. Men and women who might never have met grow to know and love each other, often staying together in some kind of small group following Alpha. And as Nicky Gumble relays in some of the Alpha training, these relationships are absolutely key to a person continuing to follow Jesus into the future.
The fourth reason I love Alpha is seeing life change. Trusting the Holy Spirit is at work, we simply walk with people through Alpha, listening, sharing, praying and learning together. And to see how God changes lives in that context blows me away. This is what Alpha is all about, and it’s so amazing to see change happen as people experience God’s grace and love in their lives.
And fifth thing I love about Alpha is the courage people show. Whether it’s the bravery of inviting a friend to Alpha or the willingness to come to a strange place (a church building!) and engage a group of unknown people, I am so impressed with the courage people show at Alpha. And on through the sessions, as men open up, as women share their stories, courageously asking deep questions, courageously admitting areas of hurt, courageously stepping out to follow Jesus–courage shines at Alpha.
We are looking forward to another great Alpha course, excited about the folks who are coming, expectant for God to work.
Find an Alpha course near you. Start one in your church. See what God can do.