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Get stuck into Alpha!

September 11, 2005

"I met Jesus Christ at Alpha for Students.  I never used to like myself, and now I do.  With God’s help, I am learning to become the person that he always intended me to be: just like him, and yet totally unique from every other individual on the face of the globe!  No one but Jesus can give you confidence like that."
I love those words. They’re from Hazel, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University. Words like that are the reason that my heart is in Alpha for Students.

I wish you could read this as something more than just a load of old blurb from a desk in London somewhere. I hope it’s more to you than a posting on a website by some bloke who’s promoting something or other. I’d love to show you my heart; share with you how exciting it is working with students who are gripped with a passion to see their friends come to know the love of God for themselves. But I’m very aware that I may well not be the best person to encourage you about Alpha for Students.

So I asked a couple of new friends to tell you instead.

The first is John Clark, Fusion networker at a  church in Hull. This is what he says about his experience of running Alpha for Students

 “If you want to be involved in touching the lives of young academics looking for purpose in their lives, then running a Alpha for Students course fits the bill!

Our last 2 courses have seen 130 students come through our church doors, exposed to the life changing message of Jesus through exploring real issues that they face today.  We get all sorts of people: unbelievers with atheist and agnostic views and believers, many of whom are disheartened with either church or lacking a deep experience of God. For all of them the content and structure of the Alpha Course manages to catch their attention, bringing discussion, understanding and ultimately change.  
Our vision is to use the course as a tool to break down students’ stereotypes of Christianity and Church, so that their hearts may be open to encounter Jesus.  Student culture sets itself up for the question to be asked: “what is the meaning of life?” This question is posed all around them and the Alpha Course with its informal style allows for a forum of dialogue with some real answers to their questions.

We have seen seeds sown, the prodigals returning, students come into relationship with their God and people filled with his power. We are understandably excited to be launching another Student Alpha next January ; we’re expectant that it will be the best yet, especially as we are far more experienced from having run our previous two courses."

The other guy I asked is Mat Walls. Mat works with students in Manchester. He puts it like this:
“Alpha for Students is an excellent resource for anyone who has a heart to see their friends, hall mates and course mates get to know Jesus. We often find it possible to witness to our friends but become unstuck when it comes to encouraging them to make a decision for themselves. AfS takes the embarrassment and awkwardness out of that situation and does all the hard work for you. The format of having a meal together and being able to argue your viewpoint in small groups seems inviting to others and all we have to do is invite them along.
Alpha isn't the only course out there at the moment, but in my opinion its probably the best one. Not only is the material excellent, there is a clear God-anointing on the Alpha movement in our country and around the world. To see so many Churches from so many backgrounds coming together for the good of non-believers and seeing hundreds of lives transformed by the power of the Gospel is clearly not an opportunity to miss out being a part of.”
I think that says it all. I’m tempted to go on, but I won’t. Just get yourself involved in running Alpha courses for Students .



(Revd Jamie Haith, Director of  Alpha for Students)




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