If you could access an evangelism resource that has been accepted by the community at large and used by 14 million people worldwide; that shows measurable outcomes in terms of people coming to faith, and that is easily facilitated at local churches of all sizes, would you want to know about it?
The Alpha Course is such a resource. From humble beginnings in a local London Anglican Church (Holy Trinity Brompton, Knightsbridge), Alpha has spread around the world. Churches “Down Under” have been using Alpha since the early 1990’s and around 300,000 people in Australia and New Zealand have attended a Course. The concept is simple. Christians with not yet- Christian friends or family invite them to attend a ten week course that explores the implications of Christian faith. Sessions include a meal or light refreshments, a video presentation of the gospel in bite size pieces, facilitated discussion groups where no question is deemed to be out of place, and an invitation to consider committing to Christ and encountering the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
The latest edition of Crossover’s iDeas DVD (Volume 3, 2009) highlights the Alpha Course as a credible evangelistic tool for churches like yours. Perhaps you’ve already tried Alpha and feel like you’ve “fished your pool.” Perhaps. Crossover encourages you and your leadership team to watch the latest iDeas DVD and to have a fresh discussion about where it might fit in the evangelism strategy of your church. Want to know more? Watch the iDeas DVD or get in touch directly with Alpha Office:
Tel 1800 811 903
Post PO Box 10 Kerrimuir VIC 3129
Some of the missiological principles behind the Alpha course
Alpha is respectful of people’s ideas and journey
Alpha courses are designed to treat people with respect and provide a safe place to explore spiritual truth. People aren’t dogmatically told what to believe, they’re pointed in the right direction and invited to discover the truth about Jesus.
Alpha provides opportunity for hospitality
From its earliest days, Christian gatherings have enjoyed hospitality and the sharing of food. There’s something quite special and disarming about breaking bread with people. Sharing a meal or dessert and coffee helps break to down barriers and sets a great pattern for those who come to faith and join the church.
Alpha courses are an experience of community
Alpha discussion groups can be a place for new friendships to form as people wrestle together with spiritual truth. Alpha is not an impersonal impartation of information. Groups often stay together within the wider church community long after the course has concluded.
Alpha challenges people to make a response
Alpha has a clear and decisive objective in mind. Without putting people under pressure, Alpha unequivocally invites people to respond to God’s offer of salvation. Knowledge about the Bible and education as to the nature of God or the human condition is one thing, but this alone does not save people.
Alpha introduces the person and power of the Holy Spirit in the process of conversion
The third member of the Trinity is sometimes left out of evangelism processes, as if he’s someone to encounter down the track. Alpha recognises the Holy Spirit as the agent of the Godhead at work in the conversion process and invites people not only to meet God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also to experience connection with the Holy Spirit.
Alpha is user-friendly
Alpha courses are not complex or difficult to run and will suit churches of any size. They don’t have to be staffed by seasoned evangelists or people with theological degrees. The resource includes a video presentation, reprepared discussion questions, and a heap of other training resources.