What is Alpha?
Have you ever thought about how you came to be exposed to Christianity? Maybe your parents were Christians and they took you to church. Maybe you were not very religious growing up but had a friend who was… you may have learned about Christianity that way. There are all kinds of routes to understanding following Jesus, but there are many pitfalls as well! You may have been taught that illness is a result of a lack of faith in God. You may have been taught that sin was a myth. You may have been taught that only one denomination is truly being saved and all others are lost. There are so many different takes on Christianity, it can be hard to know exactly what is true.
One way to enjoy understanding the claims of Christianity is the Alpha Course. The Alpha Course originated in England as a way to help people who were very unschooled in Christianity to begin to understand it, so that they could decide for themselves if they wanted to live as Christians or not. You do not have to be a Christian to take the Alpha Course and you do not have to become a Christian when you complete the Alpha Course. The goal is understanding Christianity.
Typically, the Alpha Course is approximately ten weeks long, includes some good dinners with friendly people where you will hear a 30-minute talk about some aspect of Christianity (for example, Who is Jesus?). After the talk, you will get to discuss what you just heard with others. There is no hard sell on salvation, no tedious prayers and no requirement to attend church on Sunday. You may have a chance to take a mid-course retreat with the larger group, but that is optional. You can ask any question you want and no one demean you. You do not have to understand a church subculture to attend and participate. All are welcome!
If you have questions about God, Christianity or church, the Alpha Course is a great way to learn, understand and grow in your knowledge of those things. You can learn more or sign up for a course in your area here.