We recently conducted an Alpha course as part of the Alberta 2013 Alpha movement. Although Alpha has been around for years, I had never taken nor led a course. So it was all new for me! I’d heard many positive testimonies about Alpha. But it’s been around so long — would it still work?
We chose to use Campus Alpha because it’s shorter (7 weeks). I’ve found that in our busy, face-paced Central Albertan culture, 7 weeks is a considerable commitment. But most of our “guests” did their best to commit to the course. And once they experienced the fun, food, fellowship, and faith of Alpha, most of them kept coming back for more!
And they didn’t just return for the food! As important as the meal is in Alpha, I think many hungered for something deeper: friendship. I was amazed how quickly friendships were formed through Alpha. After all, you don’t eat with the same people every Wednesday night for 7 weeks, without becoming bonded! So, if you’re looking to build relationships in your church and community, Alpha can help.
It’s also a great way to train leaders. Happily, we had some young leaders step up to be table hosts, and this was a great way to train them. I believe they all grew as spiritual leaders over the seven weeks — thanks be to God! So I would encourage you to consider Alpha as a form of leadership development.
But I think the best thing that happened through our Alpha is that we became more gospel-centered. Alpha does a fine job introducing people to the person and work of Jesus. The gospel is clearly and winsomely communicated. So if you are looking for a ministry that will help people to proclaim and receive the gospel, then I encourage you to consider Alpha.
Based on our experience, I’m pleased to report that Alpha still works!