Friday, 20 September 2013

My Stroke of Brilliance (I Hope)

I had an interesting day this past Tuesday. I was invited to Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) in Three Hills Alberta to address a discipleship class of about 30 young people, to inform them and hopefully enthuse them about Alpha. My presentation was well received. I ran through a Power Point slide show on, “What is Alpha” (not all of them were familiar with it) and a quick overview, “How to run Alpha.”  Especially relevant to them, I spoke about the new Youth Film Series, coming out right now. The students learned how Alpha can be a low-key, non-judgmental and non-threatening way to introduce others to Jesus.
I shared with them that their generation is the most un-churched generation in history, and yet many of us, for various reasons, feel awkward in communicating the hope that we have to others. Alpha can be an effective way of overcoming our fears in this regard.

Let’s back up a bit. Years ago I took some classes from Briercrest, another good Bible College. I was also the Alpha coordinator at my home church in Edmonton, and I was able to earn Field Education credits for my work in this area. (“Field Education” is a requirement in many Bible School programs.)

So… a brilliant idea occurred to me: we in Alpha might approach various Bible colleges with this idea: that their students be offered the same opportunity to earn such credits in their own educational path, by participating in or instituting Alphas in various churches, either locally or in their own home churches.

Briefly, this would accomplish a number of things;
           It would raise awareness of Alpha in one of the very generations we are yearning to reach – youth and young adults.
           It would, “multiply” our own efforts, by sending out a number of enthusiastic young students eager to earn credits toward their religious education by participating in Alpha
           Again, 30, or 20, or 10 young, “ambassadors” approaching local churches on Alpha’s behalf would increase our effectiveness beyond just one Regional Director trying to do the same thing.
           Done properly, it will raise up a whole new generation of leaders; leaders within Alpha, or young people developing their leadership skills through Alpha and moving on to lead in other areas of church or missions.

Thus the call and the trip to PBI. The next logical step is that I return, hopefully with an assistant or so, and present a more intensive training on how actually to run an Alpha. This has already been discussed with both the discipleship coordinator at PBI and the school’s president, both of whom are familiar with Alpha and enthusiastic supporters.

Please pray with me that this will indeed come to pass, that much fruit will come out of this relationship, and that other Bible Colleges might join this vision so that many more of our teens and young adults would be inspired and equipped to reach out into their communities through Alpha.

Take Care

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