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!