I am the lead pastor of Monroe Community Church.
On September 27 we launched a new Alpha Course at MCC. The Course will continue through December 13, including an overnight retreat for participants November 3 & 4. I am helping to lead the Alpha Course with the help of our Alpha Team Leader Cate, herself a convert to Christianity through the Alpha Course.
We have broken down the work of Alpha into three phases; preparation, engagement, and follow up. Beginning already in June we began preparing the congregation at MCC to be full participants in Alpha. Each Sunday we shared and “Alpha Moment” in worship. The Alpha Moment was meant to help people understand Alpha but also to begin to find people passionate about prayer and evangelism, people who were ready to step up and join us in reaching out to our community.
On August 20 we help our first volunteer training and we had more people than we thought we needed (turns out we needed them all!). How exciting, The congregation was praying, our small groups were praying, and as preparation for welcoming people to Alpha, each volunteer agreed to fast one day a week to pray for The Spirit to draw people to Jesus.
On September 27 we hosted our Taste of Alpha (even as we were open as a Venue for Art Prize, we welcomed 9331 people during that time to MCC!). Including our volunteers we had 40 people participate. I am wring this as week three is under way, we now have 44 people participating in Alpha, we added 3 guests over the past 3 weeks. Our duties are to be welcoming hosts, patient listeners, but also fearless sharers of the Gospel, which we do through the Alpha DVD’s and small group discussion.
The first result of Alpha was the incredible acceptance, buy in, and prayer support the congregation of MCC offered. Often projects like these capture the interest of just a few. We are so excited by how many people have connected to the work of Alpha at MCC by directly serving, giving, and praying.
Every one of our small groups is currently praying for Alpha (over 60 people and we are a small church!) The second result has been the guests we have been able to reach. Currently we have 6-8 guests who are not connected to any church, fellowship, or community. Most of these guests have some faith experience, none have a church home. Alpha has also reached a good number of under-discipled members of MCC.
Another 6-10 MCC members who have joined Alpha are very new to the fair and are finding the course very helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of their faith. The third result is the opportunity Alpha has provided us to train members of MCC to do evangelism effectively. How often do we win the argument and loose the man (or woman). Alpha shows us how to win the man, win the woman, and win the argument. As a pastor this is so valuable. So far Alpha has exceed out expectations. We expected to only need two small groups. We have three small groups meeting and if we gain any more guests we will have to move to four groups.
The support of Classis South made this happen.
Last Fall MCC was worship with about 50 people most of whom were burned out and discouraged. MCC seriously was considering closing. Right now we worship with 130-150 each Sunday, the atmosphere is full of life, and we meet new people we very week.
But we are not content.
We will not rest until we start reaching the lost. We are praying that the Spirit will make us a gathering community for the sake of the Kingdom.