For the past few weeks we've been talking about this thing, this program called Alpha - but what is it really, and why are we so excited to run it? Let's take a minute to talk - have you ever had questions about faith, prayer... about God, that you were too afraid to ask because you thought they might not be a) good questions, or b) people would think your not smart?
We all have things that we might not understand about the Bible, but we don't ask them because we don't feel like we're in a safe place; and then there are people who don't even know Jesus or have never contemplated reading the Bible, but they also have questions about God, about life, about their purpose on earth - and those questions, the ones you have and the ones the person sitting in the coffee shop at Starbucks pondering life has, all those questions are important and should be talked about, and answered in a safe place. That is what Alpha is - it's a safe place to learn, grow, and discuss who God is and how we fit into His plan.
That's why we will be launching Alpha at Rev October 17th. We know people are searching, we know people have questions that are burning in their mind and hearts - and we have prayed and thought about this a lot and we believe that the best way we can help you #RevFamily to grow in your faith, to take your next steps - and to invite those who don't even know Jesus to come and discover who He is. This is the first time that Rev will be running Alpha on Tuesday nights and we couldn't be more excited. Last year we ran Alpha in over 20 schools, and we saw God move in incredible ways, I asked a few students to share with me about their experience running and attending Alpha in their schools, this is one of the many stories that I know echoes so many other student's experiences;
"I think its worth running Alpha because you can greatly impact people's lives and help set them on the path to God and plant seeds which can grow later in their lives. Leading Alpha gave me more confidence in sharing my faith. Investing in Alpha was a great way for me to make new friends and grow friendships because I didn't expect my friends and classmates to show up but to my surprise they did. I wasn't expecting people to come out to Alpha but I was so happy when we had 18 show up! My prayers had been answered! Prayer was a big part and my foundation of running Alpha by myself because I had little faith that I could do this on my own. I had to have faith that God would use me to bring people in and give me the confidence to share my faith.
My experiences with Alpha were sometimes difficult but the outcome of the conversations was that they were engaging and in depth. One of the experiences I had with my classmate, Sterling, was that he showed up even though he was an atheist. He shared his views and thoughts about Christianity and was engaged in conversations and the video. It was neat to see someone coming to Alpha that didn't know the Lord but was interested in the subject!
Running Alpha was a great learning experience and I was glad to be a part of it in sharing my faith with my school."
- Brayden Janz
We saw God use running Alpha in schools as a massive blessing - because a lot of people don't feel comfortable coming to a church, but they will sitting with their friends in a classroom at their school - eating free snacks and talking about the hard questions no one feels like they can ask. We are so excited to bring back Alpha in school's starting next year, if you feel like running Alpha in your school - let us know and when we roll out the launch we'll get you details so you can start putting this together in your school.
But what does this look like to have Alpha on a Tuesday Night? Every week we will gather together, hear a few announcements and then split into 3 groups, Grades 6-8, Grade 9 & 10 and Grades 11 & 12. In these three groups you will get to go through a video from the Alpha Team, talk about a few questions and ask a few more, eat some good snacks, and build community with those who are in your grades. Remember there is no such thing as a 'stupid' question, if something is in your mind about God or the Bible or your Purpose, please ask!
What can you be doing right now before we launch on October 17th? You can be in prayer - prayer over the night, prayer over your leaders, prayer over who to invite - prayer that those searching will come, that things will be clear, and questions asked that can be open and honest. Like Brayden mentioned, prayer is foundational to running Alpha - but don't leave it to just your leaders to pray, you can and should pray too. We're all a part of what happens at Rev, at Alpha - because we are family. Last week we gave out prayer cards for you to know what to pray each day of the week, if you lost that card we've listed the days of prayer just below;
Monday - For lasting Friendships (From Alpha)
Tuesday - For Alpha (That Night)
Wednesday - For Boldness for ourselves (To Invite)
Thursday - For Openness for our friends (To receive the invitation)
Friday - For 1 Specific friend (By Name)
Saturday - For Wisdom for our leaders (To Discern)
Sunday - To Invite the Holy Spirit (To Work)
So why Alpha?
We believe that God has called us to Gather to Grow in order to GO. In Matthew 28: 19 - 20 Jesus tells us, "Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." We have been called not only to hang out and have fun, which we love to do - but to teach about God and about the Bible, answering the hard questions so that people can grow in their faith and understand it for themselves, so that they can have a personal relationship with Jesus - because Jesus changes everything, He changes the whole meaning of our lives. Once we have been changed by Jesus we're called to tell other people about Him and we want to because of what He has done for us- but we need to know why and how - and Alpha equips us to do that.
Won't you join us next week Tuesday for Alpha? Bring your friends, their friends and all the questions you have been wanting to ask about God, Jesus and the Bible. We'll be waiting. See you at 7pm.