Most of my life I was afraid to ask questions . . . especially about the really hard stuff. Sure, I was curious about plenty of things, but there was a line drawn around my faith because, after all, that was not to be questioned. I was afraid God would be angry with me, or even worse, that I would lose my faith altogether. Instead, I found comfort in believing the world was black and white. Some beliefs were right, and others were wrong. Some people had doubts, but not me, because I had faith. As time went on, it became more and more difficult to deny I had been fooling myself. I DID have questions, concerns, and doubts. I could feel my faith crumbling as questions mounted.
So, I did one of the hardest things I had ever done: I began to ask tough questions, lots of them, and somehow the world didn’t collapse. God didn’t smite me, and my Christian community didn’t ostracize me. I realized everyone had questions and that God could more than handle these.
This fall, we’re excited to be relaunching a ministry called Alpha. Alpha is a space for open, honest, judgment-free conversations with people looking to explore the Christian faith. Each week, we will gather for a meal – after all, what better way to build community than by sharing food together? We’ll watch videos with varying perspectives on life’s biggest questions and discuss the videos in small groups – and no question is off-limits. As we launch Alpha, we’re asking you to consider three questions:
IS ALPHA FOR ME?
Do you find yourself asking questions about church, religion, and your own faith journey? Alpha is for you! If you’re skeptical about Christianity and have questions but don’t want to be “judged” – Alpha is for you! If you’ve been attending church for years and know all the “right” answers but don’t feel like you’ve ever really asked the right questions, Alpha is for you, too! If you are new to Schweitzer and are looking to build friendships with other people who are looking for community, this is the place!
WHO CAN I INVITE?
Maybe you’re not sure if Alpha is for you. No worries. You still have a role to play. Do you know someone who is often asking questions about God or faith? We believe everyone has someone in their life for whom this would be perfect! Prayerfully consider who you know who might benefit from this type of open discussion. Invite them to try out Alpha and consider coming with them the first time. There’s no commitment needed, and if it’s not the right fit, then at least they got a delicious meal out of it! Who will you invite?
HOW CAN I PRAY?
We know that no ministry can succeed without prayer. We’re asking for you to keep Alpha in your prayers as we expect the mighty work of God in the lives of those who attend. Pray for wisdom for the discussion leaders and open hearts for those joining the conversations.
If you have more questions about Alpha, email me at email@example.com or call the church office at 417.881.6800.