Alpha: An Answer for a “Kingdom Advancing Church”

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Alpha is one type of effective plant (group) in the garden of small group discipleship. I have invited Pastor Dave and Diane Huizenga to join our conversation for the next two weeks. They will share information about Alpha but also be following the site to answer your questions or address your comments!Guest Blog by Dave Huizenga

Looking for a way to mobilize more people in evangelism in 1999, a few of us at church stumbled on to the Alpha Course. We were drawn to it because it offered a simple way to involve people in bringing the Gospel to their friends. We got a small pilot group together, followed the instructions, and went for it. By the end of the course, we realized that we hadn’t just a found a tool to mobilize the church in advancing God’s Kingdom, we had discovered a powerful discipleship foundation. Soon, we inspired the whole church to go through the Alpha Course as well as bring their friends!

Thirteen years later, I am convinced that the Alpha Course is a high-level tool for any church. By far, I have seen more people come to Christ through Alpha than any other tool or movement. In fact, a few years after starting the course, our church was so affected by it that we made Alpha our foundational discipleship course necessary to take if you wanted to become a member. Here are some benefits we experienced by taking the Alpha Course Seriously:

  • We had an easy tool for our church to use to see their friends and families come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ!
  • We had a solid discipleship course which enabled us to know that all our members were on the same basic page.
  • We had a church which became used to “transformed lives.” The Course content deals with learning more about the Holy Spirit, healing, and how to handle evil – transformational topics. At the retreat, life after life is touched by the Lord in a fresh powerful way.
  • We had Alpha Course graduates who did not want to leave their Alpha Small Group! We found Alpha to be an excellent tool for helping people step into small community.
  • We found that the Alpha Course structure was an excellent way for “veteran” Christians, new Christian and pre-Christian people to grow together. No other tool can do this like Alpha can.

So, you can see why when we moved to a young church in Savage, Minnesota, the first thing we did was begin an Alpha Course. After two courses, our church has its first discipleship foundation; unity in the Elder body with regard to prayer and the Holy Spirit; “veteran,” new and brand new Christians growing together; and a culture of transformation. We are trying out a new thing this summer: Alpha in Home Groups! I can’t wait to see what the Lord does!

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