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  • Writer's pictureJohn Caldwell

Rethinking Alpha


One of the small group resources I've recently (re)discovered is the Alpha Course.


Last year I launched three Alphas in a prison.


This year I've launched two in a prison and two through our Church plant.


The new Alpha materials have come a long way since the older course.


The new content is well paced, high quality, and deeply engaging.


There are a great variety of testimonies featured on the new Alpha, everything from Professionals to Prisoners testify to Jesus changing their lives.


Alpha gets bad press in some circles. Especially from ultra conservative or reformed types. For those folks there is not enough Angry God, Total Depravity, or Hell for their liking. And let's not forget the scary Holy Spirit stuff that goes on!


I confess, I used to think that too. However, I was judging something I hadn't engaged with enough.


The only way to truly assess Alpha is to see it in action. It's to see it running with people who aren't Christians. It's to see the impact of the Holy Spirit on a group of searching individuals.


Alpha isn't a magic bullet but it's a God given gift that equips us to create a space, offer hospitality and friendship and discuss the central claims of the Christian faith.


And here's the amazing thing: anyone can lead an Alpha. You don't need to be a Bible teacher. You simply need to just create a space, invite some friends, have a meal and watch and discuss a video together. The Holy Spirit does the rest.


What's not to love?


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