There have been lots of conversations recently about football. As England began their World Cup campaign there were conversations about how far into the competition they could go. Expectations were low. Yet as goals were scored and progress was made through the group stages and then through the knockout rounds – even winning a penalty shootout for the first time ever in a World Cup! – there was a growing sense that maybe, just maybe, against all predictions and odds, this time around, football was going to ‘come home’.
‘It’s coming home – I just have this feeling’
‘This is totally our year. It’s going to come home’
But there have been other matters of conversation too: plastic in our oceans, Brexit, President Trump…
And conversations are a good thing. Through conversations, we explore ideas, we engage with issues, we can be inspired, we can see things differently, we can share our perspectives and listen to the perspectives of others.
The church should be a place of conversation. And amongst all the conversation, there should be conversation about those things that really, really matter: conversations about Jesus, and about life, and about faith. It is through conversations like these that we are helped to grow in our walk with God. It’s through conversations like these that we discover faith for the first time.
We are planning to launch Alpha in January 2019.
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, designed to create and facilitate conversation. We see the Alpha Course as being a key tool in our evangelistic strategy, helping us further to develop a culture of conversation about Jesus and about faith in Him at the very heart of our church life.
The value of Alpha is well affirmed:
· 95% of church leaders say Alpha is an effective tool for evangelism
· 96% of church leaders say Alpha is an effective tool for discipleship
· 99% of church leaders say Alpha has created a safe place for people to come and ask questions about the Christian faith
· 99% of church leaders say Alpha has been successful at drawing people to Jesus*
(* according to a Barna survey in 2016).
And Bill Wilson of Willow Creek Church in the US describes Alpha as, ‘the most predictably redemptive tool I’ve seen in forty years of ministry.’
So, it’s our hope and prayer that Alpha will be something that God will use in a powerful way here at EMC as we seek to grow as a witnessing church in the heart of our community.
Please join us in prayer as we work towards the launch of Alpha, and please do consider whether it is something you would like to be involved with – as a guest or as a volunteer – or whether there are others you know who may be interested in coming along.