By Dn Yvonne Chong
Angels rejoice with us!
Alpha Online started on the 22 February this year. Since the pandemic, we have been running Alpha online twice a year. Interestingly, the number of guests invited have not decreased but the number of host/befrienders needed to help with the course has. We do not need to provide meals, PA crew, arrange tables and flowers, or get a clean-up crew. God had continued to allow us to use the Alpha course to share the gospel. For this year’s Alpha, we had 14 seekers coming for the first session of the online discussion and we had 20 church members facilitating, hosting their guests. We hope to see ourselves coming back to ‘In-person Alpha’ in the 2nd half of 2022 or perhaps a hybrid model. Nothing beats doing ministry work face to face.
We are in week 5 of the Alpha course for 2022 and we are very excited to share that just this past week, we had 2 ladies from the Alpha course saying the Sinner’s Prayer. Praise God for opening their eyes to see the need for God in their lives. It’s news that even the angels in heaven will rejoice with us. We would like to thank many of you for praying alongside us. It’s a ministry that needs the church (you) to continue to pray; for those who serve faithfully also for the seekers that come to find out more about Christianity. We have another 7 weeks to go and the remaining pre-believers need your prayer support.
Experiences of Seekers
Often while sharing the gospel with pre-believers during Alpha, our guest often focuses too much on where they’ve been, what they have done, the poor choices they’ve made, and the setbacks that they’ve experienced. We have to assure our guests that life isn’t about where you have been, it’s about where you’re going. For Christ can change us and give us hope. People get so stuck looking back at the storms they’ve weathered that they don’t notice where their ship is heading.
Our role as facilitators/hosts is to share the hope we have in Christ. We will share how faith can be the light that shines in through the tunnel. It is the compass that points true north when you get off course. Faith is what gives us as Christians the strength to carry on despite our circumstances. Sharing stories of our faith journeys encourages our seekers to accept Christ.
If you have colleagues or neighbours or friends that have yet to know Christ, try to find the opportunity to have spiritual conversations with them first and then start inviting them to Alpha for them to find out more about the Christian faith.
What Alpha means to Alpha Facilitators
I asked some of our long time Alpha facilitators about what makes them come back to serve in the Alpha ministry year after year. Some of their responses are:
So that the lost will not be without hope, without a Saviour, and would not have to endure the consequences of sin—death. Everyone should have the opportunity to explore the Christian faith in order to be saved.
Romans 10:14: How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
The Alpha Course is a good program that allows us to have life-to-life engagement with seekers over many weeks and it provides a loving and non-threatening environment where seekers can learn what Christianity is all about and ask any questions they want. It also provides us the opportunity to let seekers experience God’s love for them through prayers and our ministering to their needs and as we try to give them a sense of belonging to our Christian community.
It is rewarding! Over the past 12 years I have seen many seekers come to faith and have their lives transformed by the Holy Spirit and my heart overflows with joy!
2022 marks the 19th year of running the Alpha Course at The Bible Church. We have seen many individuals and subsequently families coming to know Christ through Alpha. They are now worshipping with us regularly; some are serving actively in various ministries. It is exciting to see lives transformed and faith growing.
This journey starts with you. By having intentional spiritual conversations with your neighbours or colleagues that could lead to deeper understanding of their needs. Introducing them to Alpha to find out more about the Christian faith can lead them to Christ and a life filled with Joy and Hope.