Partnering with Alpha to share the good news of Jesus
Mark Greenwood interviews Marie-Louise Aitken, who heads up Alpha England and Alpha UK networks, about Elim's evangelism partnership.
I am very excited to welcome you to the first of four interviews with our strategic evangelism partnerships, says Mark Greenwood.
They offer us an amazing opportunity to advance with this life-changing gospel both as local churches and also as a movement.
We really are advancing into this decade of evangelism.
First up is an interview with Marie-Louise Aitken, who heads up Alpha England and also Alpha UK networks.
Marie has become a good friend as she was key in helping us with our Alpha online.
What do you do as an organisation?
Alpha is for the church, through the church, by the church. This means we exist to support the church in its mission to share the good news of Jesus.
What are you seeing God do around the UK?
The church is going back to basics.
Over the years, I have seen over-complicated processes, over-filled calendars, and over-stretched people.
But during the past twelve months, I have heard one phrase repeated by leaders: ‘we’re making the main thing, the main thing again’.
Putting the greatest commandment and the great commission first is a prayerful and faithful response to God by his leaders.
However, this has exposed areas of challenge. There is a friendship shortage.
Yes, we love God, but how do we love people and share the good news if we don’t know people without faith?
Social isolation has taken its toll on our communities, and the gap between those with and without faith has widened.
This exposure to challenge and call to simplify has created a drive to innovation as I have never seen before.
There is a new season ahead of partnering with churches as they discern how best to display their love for God and people, teach and equip their congregations to know, love and invite people to meet Jesus, and how Alpha can help play a role in their mission.
Why are you excited about a strategic partnership with Elim?
I believe Elim has heard and responded to the call to simplify.
There is a clear roadmap all Elim churches can utilise for evangelism. Together we will see a nationwide invitation.
There is nothing more exciting than movement momentum – everyone gets impacted. From the church leader feeling resourced and supported to the new-to-faith member seeing the church family on a national scale.
There is so much more to come with our partnership, and we are committed to every Elim church.
How can local churches reach those outside more effectively?
Focus on friendships. Create intentional spaces for people to connect.
One thing I heard recently – people know the ‘why’, they are just stuck on the ‘how’ and don’t know the ‘who’.
I think going back to basics also involves teaching, modelling, and championing friendships.
What resources will be available?
Alpha UK will release a four-week invitational plan that churches can use to help launch a course and kickstart a new invitational culture.
This has been created as a model to mobilise a congregation to invite and also to build confidence in the inviter.
This won’t fix the friendship shortage, it may even expose the challenge, but it will help congregations feel championed and resourced as they seek to invite their friends and family to Alpha.
Watch Mark interview Alpha UK's Alex Wood and Marie Aitken, as they share how Alpha is partnering with Elim to help resource our churches with sharing the good news of Jesus. Recorded December 2021.
How does Alpha work? What do I need to do to get started? Where can I download the free resources, including training materials, course videos and manuals, plus let everyone know we are running Alpha at our church?
Learn everything about Alpha and how to run it at alpha.org.uk/run-alpha
Why partner with Alpha?
Watch Chris Cartwright and Gary Gibbs discuss with Mark Greenwood why Elim is encouraging our churches and leaders to maximise their reach into their local community with the good news of Jesus with Alpha.
Article first published in the July 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.
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