Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alpha - Questions of Life

When facilitators are trained to run small groups in the Alpha Course, because Alpha is all about questions,  they are told that an Alpha guest can ask any question he/she wants to.  "No question is too simple; no question is too hostile."   This video (below) is used for some humour in Alpha training, to over-emphasize and prepare the new facilitator for the kind of questions he or she may face, and how to (or not to!) respond to them.

I guess because I am British, I think this video is hilarious -- perhaps you have to be British to appreciate the sense of humour, which is nearly always over-the-top!  But having facilitated Alpha courses for a number of years now, I think it's a great example of the kind of questions we often do face...albeit, again, over-emphasized, for fun.

Of course, the facilitator needs more than the patience of Job. One needs the Spirit of God to be able to respond in a non-confrontational way: "Yes, well, that's an interesting thought. What do YOU think, Joe?"  The premise being that the guest finds Alpha to be a non-threatening place to be able to ask questions, without being preached at, or 'beaten over the head with a Bible'  and will continue to attend Alpha each week, hearing the gospel being taught through the DVD during the course of an evening.

To watch the Holy Spirit at work in a person's life each week, through the Word of God on the Alpha video, and in the discussion groups, is awesome. And as I look around church on a Sunday morning seeing all those who have given their lives to Jesus through Alpha, and who have now found a niche for themselves in the 'community' of our church, I am blessed! Most of them are now fellowshipping and learning in other small groups; some are leading small groups themselves, others are ushers, greeters, on the prayer team etc., and many return to Alpha as facilitators and helpers. 

Have YOU ever been a part of Alpha?