In the fall of 2016 we facilitated the Alpha course at Calvary. Many churches in Burlington banded together for to advertise and invite our community to learn more about who God is and who Jesus is. It was so encouraging to see people invite their friends out and see people learning about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
One of the key principles of Alpha is that the program invites questions. Any questions! There are no questions that are considered limits, and all questions are treated with kindness and respect.
There were some really great questions raised throughout the course. Honest and heartfelt inquiries about God, good and evil, suffering, love, and grace. Our table leaders did a great job of helping people grow in their understanding.
It impressed on my heart the words of the Apostle Peter when he wrote to the church about “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Peter says that it is the responsibility of each of us to be thinking about good answers to the questions that our friends and family have about God. It’s not that you have to know everything about the Bible and theology but as God’s disciples we should be able to guide people through some resources that will help them.
To help us all out, this January I am going to tackle some of the big questions that were asked during Alpha. Our sermon series will be called Skeptics and will be designed to engage not only our hearts but also our minds to reach this generation for Jesus. There are big questions that need answers and, frankly, as our culture today is becoming more and more like 1st Century Rome, we have amazing opportunities to engage with people around us. But this is only if we choose too.
Join us this Sunday as we start off by looking at the question of “Why is there evil and suffering in this world?”. I’d appreciate your prayers as I prepare.
Have a great week – remember your resolutions – “By Grace, and for His glory!”