Is there only one kind of flower? One kind of tree? One kind of fish or mammal, bird or insect? No.
Every species on earth has gazillions of types, colours and purposes. God didn’t make any species, including humans, to be the same. How boring that would be? We should always expect everyone to be different in their looks, their attitudes, their likes and dislike as every one of us is unique.
So, why do people expect every Christian denomination to think alike, to do the same things at the same time? Perhaps that was the greatest mistake ever made, forcing people’s faith to be the same. Christians, however, do agree on one major thing: we believe in Jesus. Each denomination is like a different flower in a big bouquet together, magnificent.
This year, globally, by country, province and municipality, Christian churches are uniting together to offer the Alpha Course. You have heard many times about how the Alpha Course change lives - like mine and hundreds of others right here in Tillsonburg.
Not every church is able to participate at the same time, but we will be offering five venues for the course this fall: Tuesday evenings at St. Andrew’s; Wednesday evenings at Bethel Pentecostal; Thursday lunch at St. John’s; afternoon at the Upper Deck for the Student Alpha; and evening at First Baptist!
We have been busy coordinating publicity, advertising, etc. and planning our training session together, so we can share our experience and help each other both in the discussions and the kitchen.
But, we need you too, especially if you have taken Alpha and know what it can do help people understand why they are here. We need you to talk about the course and your faith to your family and friends. That is not easy for anyone to do, so as well as having Alpha Training Sessions we have the opportunity to learn how to do just that, with sessions from e3.
Here is what e3’s Jeremy Doorten says: “God is on the move in Tillsonburg and we are thrilled at all of the churches that are coming together to be part of the Alpha push this fall and the Why Book campaign. Let me ask you this question... have you ever wanted to share your faith with someone but just felt you didn’t know where to start or what to say? If you said yes to this question then, we are in the same boat! e3 Partners is all about equipping God’s people to help them be part of sharing Gods story (aka evangelism) all with the hope of growing the church or establishing new churches around the world.
In fact, God has challenged us to establish one million churches around the world by 2020 and we are thrilled to see that if our projections are correct, we may even exceed one million! Growth happens through average people like you and me. We start by identifying WHO is in our lives that does not yet have the hope and love that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Once we identify these people, this becomes our prayer list. Then, we train together and learn how to initiate spiritual conversations. We start asking people if we can pray for them and you would be amazed at how many people are open to prayer. If the person we are connecting with is open enough to receive prayer, often they will take the time to hear “my story” aka... a short mini-testimony of what God has done in your life. Sometimes they will even take the time to hear “God’s story” through very simple tools we use to share the Good News or the gospel story. You will be amazed at what happens in peoples lives around you when you simply dare to care and begin to reach out to them. We are delighted to be joining together with all of the churches participating in the Alpha program.”
The planning for Alpha leaders and hospitality volunteers, this fall or perhaps next winter or spring, is the morning of Aug. 19. Stay for lunch and e3 in the afternoon. Those not involved in Alpha are more than welcome to come for lunch and e3’s session. We all have friends and family who need changes in their lives but we don’t know how to reach out to them. You won’t be asked to plant a church, but this is where everyone starts, learning how to take your faith and use it to help others.
If you have taken Alpha, would you consider assisting one of the churches or would you consider allowing an Alpha Lawn sign to be placed on your lawn to make everyone in town aware of the Alpha Course? Contact me at 519-842-9416 if you are interested in any of the above!