Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Let Me Count The Ways

I'm writing this post for a reason. I intend to send it to as many churches in Alberta as I can. It's all about opportunities and needs. How many are there? How many ways and places are there to run Alpha? These are both needs and opportunities.
  1. First of all I think of the Youth Film Series and the many opportunities there are to run it in schools. We can't do it. By, 'we,' I mean adults, leaders, pastors. It has to be the kids. and it has to be a very special kind of kid. One who has a heart for it and the courage to approach their principal (with the backup support of a church, a Youth Pastor or a Christian teacher) with a proposal to run it in their school. It is being done. There are at least 20 Alpha's being run in high- and junior high schools in Edmonton alone. We now have a very committed and knowledgeable Youth coach for Alberta and there is lots of help to get things going.
  2. Campus Alpha. Do any of you churches out there have students in universities, community colleges or Technology Institutes. Let us help you help them get one going on their campus.
  3. Seniors Alpha. Several Alpha's have been run by and/or for seniors, in churches, seniors' centres, community halls or other venues. It's never too late for someone to come to a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. One of my own Alpha stories is of the senior's table I led a year or so ago where two people in their '80's came to a new or renewed relationship with God.
  4. Prison Alpha or ex-offender aftercare. Here is a real need, a real opportunity to make a real difference, and it's not as intimidating as one might think. I ran Prison Alpha for 3 years and it can give an Prison Alpha team a real sense of making a difference where it counts.
  5. Alpha for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Here is a growing opportunity to communicate the Gospel to those whose first language is not English. We now have a team to help you in this area. Our National Chinese Alpha Director, Wanda Ho, has taken ESOL on in her portfolio, and we have an ESOL Alpha coach right here in Alberta. Between us, we can give you all the tools and advice you need.
  6. Alpha Marriage and Alpha Parenting courses. These come under the umbrella of Alpha's, "Relationship Central." They are not so outrightly evangelistic as Alpha itself, but for that reason they may actually be more attractive to those in the community outside the church. They may serve as a doorway into your church. You can actually advertise, for instance, a Marriage Prep Course, and find that young people planning a wedding will respond.
All this is not to ignore Alpha in the, 'normal' venues. There are lots of opportunities, lots of needs, and lots of help. Just like Home Depot,

"You can do it. We can help."

Blessings,

John

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