I was raised in a very Catholic family, but it wasn’t until college that I really came face-to-face with my own sinfulness. Before that point, I didn’t have any strong convictions about Jesus, and I certainly didn’t realize I needed a savior. I can laugh about it now, but I was shocked to find out that I am, in fact, a sinner!
But not all people, and certainly, not all cradle Catholics have had this opportunity.
So today, we talk with Jodi Meyer, Network Director for Alpha Nebraska. Alpha is a program whose purpose is to propose anew the core of our faith, the Gospel message. If its content were to be summed up into an elevator speech, it would be this: God loves you. He sent His son to die for you, and this truth brings meaning and purpose and hope and joy for your life…and that matters. And, this is a gift so big we have to share it with others.
Alpha’s goal is to invite people back to a decision point and to decide for Christ. But, there are so many other aspects to this program that make it work.
What is Alpha?
- An Idea: Alpha proposes that we must go beyond the walls of our church to be healthy
- A Tool: Alpha equips churches to be able to do the above effectively
- A Course: In its basic elements, Alpha is a 12 week program where people come together for a meal, a talk, and a small group discussion
- Leadership Development: Alpha invites those who go through the course to help lead it the next time. Also, people who go through Alpha are more likely to be engaged in their parish’s other ministries.
What has made Alpha so fruitful?
- It is real: People can come and be who they are, bringing their doubts, their fears, their sinfulness. They don’t have to be following the morality of the church to participate.
- It is relational: Alpha is not someone at the front of the room, preaching content at people. It’s really provides an opportunity to dialogue, process, and wrestle with the tough stuff about facing life together, in relationship with people.
- It is reliant on the Holy Spirit: Alpha is completely founded on prayer and the intercession of the Holy Spirit.
- It is reproducible: Alpha material is free and easy to run in many different contexts.
Continue the Conversation
Fr. Jeff Lorig – Pastor at St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More
Jim Jansen – Director of Pastoral Services, Archdiocese of Omaha
Jodi Meyer – Network Director, Alpha Nebraska
Andre’s Story – Password: ALPHANE