Oct. 24, 2012
-- The 10-week Alpha small group experience for those within and outside the church promises to bring spiritual life-change into U.S. cities and towns, churches, workplaces, homes, cafeterias, prisons and universities. And, yes, into the hearts of thousands of people—changing, renewing and transforming them for Christ.
Why such a “hope-filled”
For starters, like the first significant weather event of the season, the aptly named Alpha course
is all about new beginnings and setting life-change in motion in ways that have proved effective around the world. Since it was launched in London’s Holy Trinity Church-Brompton (HTB) in the late 1970’s, and with the introduction of Alpha Publishing in the early ‘90’s, the Alpha course
has reached 18 million people in 169 countries and in 113 languages. Great Britain, France, Japan, South Africa and dozens of other countries have seen huge increases in the number of personal commitments to Jesus Christ. According to various research studies, one-half of participants in Alpha
make a commitment or recommitment to Christ.
Popular media has noted this astounding response. Not only has Time
magazine asserted that the Alpha course
has sparked an unexpected and largely unnoticed spiritual awakening in HTB’s London, where crowds of young people “line up hundreds deep each week” for the next Alpha
gathering, but it also reveals, “Many claim Alpha
has changed their lives and appear genuinely happier for the experience.” Newsweek
notes, “Alpha. . .
uses modern methods to promote and explain Christian teachings around the world.” And Susan Lee, senior editor of Forbes
exclaims, “It works. I can testify to that. Indeed, it even worked for snobby old me.”
The worldwide phenomenon has made great headway in the U.S., with three million people in all 50 states impacted and every major denomination (127 total) participating. As a result, thousands of new transformation stories are on the horizon and gathering energy. Dr. Rick Warren, founding and senior pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life
, agrees. The Alpha course
is “one of the most effective tools for the 21st century,” he says. The New York Times
reports, “This novel approach to Christian education . . . has been catching on nationwide.”
What makes Alpha USA so “right for our time” as Dr. Tim Keller, popular Christian author, speaker and senior pastor, attests?
“At its core,” explains Alpha USA president Gerard Long, “Alpha USA is a practical introduction to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Its key to effectiveness is that it allows people outside the church—where it’s aimed—to come and ask the big questions: Why is there all this suffering in the world? What about the other religions? What happens when I die?” For more information visit AlphaUSA.org