It has been an interesting year thus far, to say the least. At the start of lockdown, it was my intention to keep a low profile and say as little as possible during these uncertain times or write about other things. Today I took note of the fact that I had published eight times on this blog in 2020 and every post was a response to the pandemic lockdown. I guess I was not phenomenally successful in keeping quiet…
At the end of this post I will provide a short recap of these lockdown posts. You may have missed a couple. But today I want to convince you to join me in an online adventure.
Over the years in ministry I have often used the Alpha Course. It is a great way to accomplish a number of goals.
- Alpha helps to nurture honest and open conversations among people as they journey together in faith.
- Alpha helps people to understand the basics of their faith, laying a solid foundation for their future growth.
- And most importantly, Alpha creates a safe space where new believers, old believers and people investigating Christianity can ask any questions they might have.
I am convinced that we should be sharing our faith journeys with each other more often, more accurately and more honestly. And I strongly believe that such sharing will create stronger disciples and closer and more real community in our churches. Alpha helps you to accomplish this better than any other tool I know.
Velocity Community Church has graciously invited me to be a part of launching Alpha Online on Thursday, 27 August 2020. This opportunity excites me greatly! We have a remarkably diverse group of people joining in. There are prominent community leaders, leaders from other churches, individuals from a local homeless shelter, a haven for children and a youth development center, as well as people from other countries joining us. And, of course, you! But we will get to that later…
Did I mention that we are doing this online? It will be a first for me, and for everyone who will be involved in leading the groups. Here is a picture of some of the people who have been training over the last couple of weeks to make this a success. They are a crazy bunch, crazy enough to make this work!
There are several firsts in this journey.
- Meeting new people online and getting to know them over 11 weeks via a video call.
- Guiding people towards and praying for the infilling of the Holy Spirit via video conferencing.
- Praying for people’s needs and during one session for healing via video conferencing.
- Doing Alpha without sharing a meal or being in the same space.
Do you see the challenge? Do you think it can be done? I want to invite you to join us! Whether you have been reading my blog for a while now or just stumbled across it today, you are welcome. We can accept registrations until 2 September 2020. I think you should join us if any of the following applies to you.
- You are interested in Christianity but need more information.
- You are a young believer with questions.
- You miss the fellowship of believers and are willing to give this Zoom thing a chance.
- You are considering launching Alpha Online in your own community and want to see how it well it works. Or learn from our mistakes.
I hope that there are people who have been engaging with this blog over the past year or so, who will now move a little closer and connect via Alpha. And I am praying that if the Holy Spirit prompts you to join us, that you will say yes.
We also need people to pray with us and for us. If that is you, I can connect you to our prayer team and to our online prayer meetings. You can be a part of this from anywhere!
Registration is simply a matter of filling in a form by clicking here.
It is free!
It is now!
And I am hoping, it is for you!
Here is a summary of all my lockdown posts on this platform.
In this blog I shared three scriptures as the world became an even stranger place than usual.
Favourite quote: “So why would I fear the future?”
An appeal to start journaling your conversations with God evoked wide and positive responses. I know this discipline helped me during this time of unusual isolation.
Favourite quote: “His Words, His promises and His deeds are all geared to causing us to love Him as He loves us – with our whole being and for all eternity.”
Perhaps my favourite piece encouraging believers to expect God to bless them with creative solutions to unexpected challenges.
Favourite quote: “God filling you with His Spirit gives you great wisdom, great ability and great expertise in doing your work.”
Links to people whose response to lockdown on Facebook I enjoyed. Several people responded with appreciation.
Favourite quote: “In this blog, I want to share with you a couple of people/churches/ministries that have filled my phone with God’s Word during lockdown.”
This may be the most substantive and intentional response to lockdown. The advice remains relevant.
Favourite quote: “Gullibility is NOT a spiritual gift!”
In a time where there were lots of reasons to panic, this post provides help to see the opportunity of the moment.
Favourite quote: “Your relationship with God holds such powerful keys to unlocking your future right now in lockdown.”
Responding to an explosion of fake news and conspiracy theories, this post poked a bit of fun at the lazy way in which we consume media. The title is misleading and most of the people calling me names on various platforms only read the title. I had fun!
Favourite quote: “Don’t be like me. Your mind is a beautiful thing. Open it a little.”
Favourite quote from one of the people who did not read the whole post: “Stupid is as stupid does. Get over yourself and your hate and incapability to control yourself. You probably argue cigarettes, vape are great. You are childish and churlish.”
To reach out to family and friends near and far we shared the Aaronic blessing as a family. The response was great.