My journey with Alpha started nine years ago, little did I know that it would not only change the trajectory of my life but it would bring about opportunities for me to live out my purpose with fellow Christians while building the Kingdom of God. When asked to share my story I immediately felt overwhelmed because what I had to share about my personal journey with Alpha would be near impossible for me to encapsulate in one story, so this testimony is not my personal one but rather one of how Alpha is able to build a group of people and knit them together in order to do as a collective what God had called us to do.
Isaiah 6:8 - Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" – This verse speaks into the call that I had roughly 5 years back when I was part of a growing ministry. A ministry that’s vision and mission is a church for the city and a word for the nation however we had not yet established a youth group and God was calling me to fill the gap and do what was necessary. Now the Bible speaks of obedience being better than sacrifice and that the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you , so I found myself submitting to the call of filling the gap to start a youth ministry full knowing that God not only had made provision for the call but that He had already equipped me for the call. I found myself approaching a good friend and sharing what God had placed on my heart. I must add that at that point this friend and I had experienced not only life together but also the adult and Youth Alpha courses and my friend would be able to understand the burden impressed on my heart by the Spirit of God. We prayed on it and God confirmed to both of us that He had prepared us for this moment. The question was how do we launch this? The answer was simple, God said: YOUTH ALPHA! I found myself meeting with our senior pastor telling him about what God had mandated me to do and the exact instructions of how it ought to be done. Completely new to the concept of Alpha and accepting only the testimony that my friend and I shared with him about Alpha he listened and sought the counsel of God. After a week he had given us the permission to do what we needed to do but shared what was placed in his spirit about the course. He said that the primary outcome of the course would be to build leaders and relationship between those leaders and a bi-product of that would be that God would establish the youth and work in their hearts so that they would come to Christ and serve. I did not understand this statement until we launched Alpha Youth.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says this: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. This verse spoke into everything that was about to happen on the course. My friend and I were given a selected group of leaders who share no relationship, nor have they ever worked together, nor have they been on an Alpha let alone heard about Alpha, yet here we were going about the Lord’s business. The only common denominator was that we were all seeking the heart of God and that is all we needed. We were six leaders that needed to navigate our way around getting acquainted and introducing something brand new while building the youth. The Alpha model had all we needed. The recipe was perfect. The grace of God and the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit prepared the way and the intercessory prayer from our Alpha family continued to strengthen us in the spirit. Youth Alpha was launched, its reach was further than we expected, we were being visited by youth who did not belong to our church, our leaders fell in love with the model and started to immerse themselves in what needed to be done. The leaders were being stretched and the children started opening up but the challenges started to come. Now we know that when we are about the Father’s business the enemy tries to shake us but we remained firm footed and confident that this was God ordained and that it would bear the fruit apportioned to it.
In Galatians 6:9 Pauls says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. This scripture is what we had to stand on, when we were questioned about the Alpha recipe and absolutely not one person turned up for our Holy Spirit weekend, NOT ONE. The leaders arrived, prayed up, the food was ready and the programme was in place and not one guest arrived, but GOD, He had a plan. We could not see what He was doing, and He did not need us to see, all He needed was our obedience. After two hours of waiting and hoping for someone to arrive we packed up, disheartened and questioning whether we would experience the promised fruits, we left and decided to spend some time together. I found strength in 2 Corinthians 12:9 where God says that His grace is sufficient and that in our weakness His strength will be perfected. The following week we arrived still hopeful and obedient to the mandate that God had given us, still not knowing His plan. We successfully finished the course despite what had happened on the most important weekend of the course.
The bible tells us that the word of God will not return void and I can testify that it did not. Relationships were forged and children were brought to Christ and the word spoken to our pastor about the course came to pass, this however was only part of the testimony. God had something greater in store for the leaders who submitted and committed to the course. Everything that Alpha sets out to do was done in our lives, the answer of whether there is more was answered. We were reminded of who we were and who God called us to be. We celebrated and grew together. We built something lasting not only in the spirit but in the natural, we explored our faith together and got the answer we needed in that season. God had used Alpha Youth as a preparation ground. Every one of the six leaders who were on that team not only went on to step into something that God had called them for, but they also sowed back into Alpha and touched the life of someone else.
The Alpha Youth journey was a testament to God using this platform not only for new believers but to build leaders and help people into their calling.
Praise God for what He has done and continues to do through Alpha.