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16 & 17 September 2023 (Pastoral Page) THE ALPHA COURSE 2023

By Dn Yvonne Chong

On the 9th of September, we concluded the Alpha course with an evening of celebration. It was a joyful occasion as we commemorated God's goodness and His faithfulness to us over the past three months. The Alpha course spans 11 sessions, taking place every Tuesday evening from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. At the course's conclusion, we gathered for an evening to celebrate the journey we had undertaken together.

You might be wondering, "What is the Alpha course, and what do we do?"

The Alpha course is an evangelistic program designed to introduce the fundamentals of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. The Bible Church has been running this course for the past 20 years, offering invited guests the opportunity to explore the meaning of life with us.

Our evenings typically begin with dinner, followed by songs and games, after which we will watch a video from Alpha. Subsequently, we will engage in discussions on the topics covered in the Alpha video. Throughout the course, many participants posed questions about life and Christianity, and our facilitators guided these discussions over the course of the 11 sessions, with the support of fellow Christians in the group. We also provided opportunities for our guests to say the sinner's prayers, and this has led many in our congregation to embrace Christ. It is not uncommon to witness new families joining our services because a family member found Christ through Alpha.

Surprisingly, even during the Covid years, we managed to conduct this course on Zoom, reaching individuals in distant parts of Singapore, as well as in other countries such as Thailand and Canada. We sow the seeds and water them, trusting in God to touch the hearts of those who participate. It is remarkable that people found Christ during a time when the world was grappling with the pandemic.

Alpha Celebration

At the conclusion of the Alpha course, we held an evening of celebration, where many participants prepared their "famous" dishes to share with everyone. This night is particularly special because Alpha guests can invite their family members to join, allowing them to introduce their loved ones to the people they have been spending Tuesday nights with for the past few months.

Following a delicious dinner, we proceeded to the chapel. Both the Chinese and English ministries’ guests came together to sing songs, played games, and enjoyed jokes from our lively host. Some participants stepped forward to share their testimonies, expressing what they have learned about God and how God has touched their lives. The evening concluded with an altar call segment.

Throughout the course, we had the opportunity to share with seekers who Jesus is and how to find Him. We have exchanged stories of God's faithfulness and truth in our Christian journey, forging new friendships within the group as we shared our fears, joys, doubts, and questions about life and God.

During this year's Alpha run, we witnessed 8 individuals finding salvation, with 2 confirming their faith. It is truly uplifting to see their enthusiasm for their newfound faith.

The successful running of this course would not be possible without the dedicated volunteers from our church. Many returned to this ministry year after year, facilitating, coordinating, befriending seekers, serving food, arranging chairs and tables, setting up audio equipment, playing the piano, leading worship, and preparing meals, among other tasks. Alpha is a ministry that brings together numerous volunteers to fulfill the church's calling to seek and save the lost.

When the Alpha course runs next time, would you come and join us? Perhaps you could invite a guest or even volunteer with us.

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