Category Archives: Discipleship

Posts relating to Discipleship

The Bible for Everyone

Miraculous Movements BookAt the start of May I preached a sermon after reading a book called Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale. I rarely read a christian book from cover to cover (maybe that’s a confession!), however I read this one and then read it again.

The book is about a miraculous movement of God amongst muslims in some of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world for christians. It tells stories of hundreds of thousands coming to know Jesus the Messiah, stories of dreams and visions, stories of miracles of healing leading to individuals and villages converting to christianity.

However what amazed and challenged me was the simplicity of the Gospel and how it is spreading. There are no conferences or programs, no Alpha Courses or well known preachers. The foundation of what God is doing is based on three things, prayer, the stories of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

There is a movement of simple, yet profound prayer that undergirds this movement. Prayer that is very real, immediate and effective. Prayer that sees changes in both individuals and communities.

Alongside prayer the greatest tool for the spread of the Gospel is the simple retelling of the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Jesus, by ordinary people. Indeed the book is littered with God using ordinary people in extraordinary ways to tell others the stories of the Bible that lead to changes that can be seen by others. They then tell the stories to others who come to faith and they in turn … and so it continues.

For the past few years I have had an increasing passion and concern to put the Bible back into the hands of ordinary people – you. For too long we have relied on someone else to interpret and apply the Bible for us, it’s time each and every christian heard God speaking to them, for themselves, through the pages of Holy Scripture.

As you read the Bible day by day the two most important questions of christian discipleship to ask yourself are these:

What Is God Saying To Me?

What Am I Going To Do About It?

Don’t expect or rely on me or anyone else to answer those questions for you!



Moneyball and Change in the Church

It’s a long time since I last posted anything on my blog! Six weeks ago or so I was reading a blog by another church leader and he recommended seeing a film called Moneyball. In fact he didn’t just recommend it he said: “If you haven’t seen the movie Mo
neyball yet, you need to. Like now. Click out of this window. Close your laptop. Get in the car. And go buy it. Not rent. Buy.”

I haven’t bought it, but I might. But we watched it last week. Interestingly at the same time I was preparing for my sermon last Sunday on how the early church responded to the radical challenges that Christianity brought to the Jews who made up the worshiping community of the church as it started. Based on the book called “The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why” by Phyllis Tickle, I talked about a 500 year cycle of upheaval and change within both the church and wider society. In the clip that I used she ended with these words: “we’re just lucky – we get to live through one!”

Our society has radically changed in the past 50 years or more and the pace of change doesn’t seem to be slowing or diminishing. Children today are being educated for jobs with technologies that haven’t even been invented yet. Work has changed, society has changed, views on morality and ethics have changed and community has radically changed. The church has also changed, but not nearly so radically. Sadly one of the changes has been that the number of people connected with church in the UK has greatly reduced. For many in our society today the church seems an archaic reflection of the past with little or no relevance to their lives today. I don’t agree with them, I believe that the Gospel has every relevance to life in 2013. The Gospel hasn’t changed however the way that it is communicated has to change.

What has that got to do with a film? Moneyball is about baseball – something I know nothing about. BUT the story of the film has everything to do with the state of the church today. The film is about the fascinating mix of men behind a major cultural shift in the game of baseball and how a risky vision, born from necessity, becomes reality, when a ragtag team of cast-offs rejected due to unfounded biases, get the chance to finally prove their potential.

In the game of baseball there is received wisdom as to how you pick and run a team of players. It’s always been done this way and it’s the only way of running a professional team. Two men see a different way to pick and run a team and they risk everything to do just that. They go against the received wisdom, they fight against the way things have always been done. They fail, but they keep going. They force their way on others who don’t agree, willing to take the criticism and the knock-backs. They keep going until the team starts to win, and then carries on winning and achieves an all time record for the number of consecutive wins.

Towards the end of the film the owner of one of the richest baseball teams offers the coach who has risked his career on a new system a once in a lifetime offer. In doing so he says: “The first one through the wall always gets bloody.”

What if we’ve been trying to build church based on the wrong principles for decades, if not centuries? We may not have known the foundations and principles were wrong, but they were all we knew. What if there are new principles, principles that make the Gospel understandable to the majority in our nation who never darken the doors of our church buildings? Maybe, just maybe, we need to seek God for the principles and foundations for making disciples in the 21st Century and allow him to build his church which will probably look different to anything we’ve known before?

“If you haven’t seen the movie Moneyball yet, you need to. Like now. Click out of this window. Close your laptop. Get in the car. And go buy it. Not rent. Buy.”


A Church For Me – Vision Part 4

This is the last post about God reigniting the vision that he gave me before I started at St Paul’s:

A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children

In my first post about Vision I talked about my Personal Vision,
In my second post I asked: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched?’
In my last post I asked: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For Children?’

This time I want to ask: Where do I fit in this vision?

After a notice had been up in the entrance to our church building at St Paul’s for a few months I was asked the question by more than one person in our congregation: So where do I fit in this vision?

Good question!

I think there are two directions this question can come from. The first is saying, I’m not unchurched and I’m not a child so is there anything here for me? How will you meet what I need and want if I don’t fit into these categories? My answer is simple, as you seek to become fully part of a church community with a focus on mission to the unchurched and children you will find all that you need (although you may not find all you want). As Christians we learn and grow far more as we witness than we do as we study. If your desire is to grow as a disciple of Jesus then you will have ‘making disciples’ as the highest priority in your life. We don’t learn in order to witness, we witness in order to learn.

The Christian faith has at it’s heart the incarnation, the willingness of Jesus to give everything for those he loves. I like the Message translation of John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” The character of God is that of giving and generosity. Jesus ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ so that he could become one of us and ultimately live within us. He calls us to have the same character of giving and generosity, for us to become truly one with others so that they too can become disciples of Jesus. The question is not what’s in it for me, rather it is what can I give so that others can experience what I’ve experienced.

The second direction that the question “Where do I fit in this vision” can come from is saying “What can I do to help?” For the answer to that I would suggest starting to look at your family, friends, neighbours & colleagues and asking yourself “How can I share the love of Jesus with them?” This can make many different forms, from handing our free strawberries at a Summer Fayre, to inviting a friend to come with you to Back to Church Sunday, to offering to go to their home and go through the Alpha Course with them. It may mean supporting the Under 2s and Under 5s ministry during term time, or offering to help with our Sunday School on Sunday mornings, or perhaps helping with the Light Party in October.

I started this series of posts by saying that God has confirmed to me a personal vision that I believed was directly related to the church he would call me to lead. I hope that by sharing thoughts about my personal vision I have encouraged and challenged you to think about your own vision.



A Church For Children – Vision Part 3

This is the third post about God reigniting the vision that he gave me before I started at St Paul’s:

A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children

In my first post about Vision I talked about my Personal Vision,
In my last post I asked: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched?’

This time I want to ask the question: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For Children?’

According to analysis of church attendance statistics in 2010 the average age of churchgoers was 61 (against the average adult age in the population of 48), and on average half of all churchgoers are pensioners. In the UK there are approximately 12.5 Million children under the age of 16 of these approximately 218,600 will usually be in a  church service on a Sunday. That equates to less than 2% of children in the UK!

Why do we need to be ‘A Church For Children?’ Put simply – if we aren’t the church will cease to exist in the next generations!

So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For Children?’ It means that children and young people have as much right to be part of who we are, how we worship and what we do as adults have. It means that the resources we give to working with children are the very best, both in terms of people and in terms of finances. It means that children have as much right to be fully part of our Sunday corporate worship as adults have even if their expression of worship is different.

At St Paul’s I believe we have come along way in becoming a Church for Children. We introduced the areas at the back of the building for toddlers which have been well used. I very, very rarely hear reports of children being ‘tut-tutted’ for the noise they make (although I am always saddened when I do hear such comments). There is a simple answer if the noise of children at the back of our building disturbs you – there is always room on the front row! A lot is invested in our relationship with Sarisbury Junior and Infant Schools and that investment will reap long term benefits that we may never see personally. Our Carol services have been revitalised as we have welcomed the choir from Sarisbury Junior School and in recent years we have had to hold multiple children’s services on Christmas Eve to fit everyone in.

More recently the growth of our work with young families in our Under 5s and Under 2s groups has been fantastic. Led by Clare and Brenda we regularly have contact with over 30 families with good relationships and friendships being built. I am convinced that one of the side effects of this is the increase in the requests for infant baptism that we have seen in the past 12 months. Out of this the Tea Service started in December 2010 and has grown and matured in the last 18 months, so much so that others have come to see how we do it. Once again this has been led by Clare, Phil and their Small Group who have mission to young families at the foundation of their group.

This is good news, however we are still only reaching a small percentage of the children and young families in Sarisbury Green. We have very few families with school aged children who regularly attend our Sunday Services, I wonder why? Is the content wrong? Is the music style wrong? Is the time wrong? I wonder if this last one is perhaps one of the most important questions. I’ve seen some of our families leave because sport happens on a Sunday morning, or because children are with mum and dad on alternate weekends and Sunday morning is just the wrong time. Perhaps to be truly a Church for Children we need to experiment with moving our Family Services to 4pm on a Sunday with a bring-and-share tea and see if more families come?

What do you think?



A Church for the Unchurched – Vision Part 2

In my last post I shared that God is reigniting the vision that he gave me before I started at St Paul’s:

A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children

Read the previous post

So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched?’

One of the passages in the Bible that I keep returning to is Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples (and through them of each and every Christian) in Matt 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” These are some of the very last words of Jesus to his followers and so they are really, really important. He could have said anything. He could have said go and pray for four hours a day, or go and fast twice a week, or go and feed the poor. Praying, fasting and giving to the needs of the poor are all vital and important, but Jesus didn’t say any of those as his last words. He said, go and make disciples. NOTE: he said go and make disciples not go and build the church, he also told us to go to ALL nations, that is to every man, woman and child, not just to the people who are already in the church.

The life and ministry of Jesus was an example of just this. In fact Jesus got quite a reputation for who he spent his time with. In Matthew 9:11-13 we read: When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Archbishop William Temple said, “The Church is the only organisation that exists for the benefit of its non-members”. Think about that statement, it has a lot to say. The church does not exist for my benefit, it does not exist to provide what I want, when I want it and in the style I prefer. We live in a consumer society, but the church is not a consumer organisation, if anything the church should be profoundly counter cultural in this.

In 2004 the Church of England published a report entitled ‘Mission Shaped Church’ and one of the statements that was at the heart of that book was: “It’s not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world.”

For decades, if not centuries, the church of God has understood that it had a mission in the world, that is, mission was one of the reasons for the existence of the church amongst many others. That isn’t want Matt 29:19 says, rather it is the God of mission who has a church in the world, that is, mission is at the very heart and foundation of the existence of the church, it is not one of the reasons for it’s existence amongst many others, it is THE reason for the existence of the church.

Let me return to the question I asked at the start: what does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched?’

It means that we examine all that we are and do against how it serves God’s mission of making disciples of all nations. Let me take one, possibly controversial, area of the life of many churches and ask what it might mean if we were truly a ‘church for the unchurched.’ At a recent meeting of the PCC our Archdeacon remarked that he was surprised how many churches in the Diocese had communion as their main service almost every Sunday. That wasn’t his experience in other Dioceses that he has been in and the question he raised was should we reduce the number of communion services at St Paul’s to maybe twice monthly and at Whiteley to once monthly. He was clear that this wasn’t because of the lack of priests to celebrate communion, but rather in a mission minded church was it appropriate to have so many communion services?

Why might he suggest this? The reasoning behind this question is that communion can be a barrier for the unchurched. Every Sunday when I administer communion I know how many people receive the bread and wine, how many people I pray a blessing over and how many people are in the building. And every week that are a number who don’t come up for communion or a blessing. Why? I would suggest that it is because communion is a meal for Christians and they don’t feel included. Instead of welcoming and including them communion becomes a barrier.

In a previous church community that I was part of the question of the regularity of communion was raised. The suggestion made was the we should ask the members of the church community how often they felt we should celebrate communion, my strong suspicion was that if we did so the answer would be ‘as often as possible.’ If the church is a ‘church for the unchurched’ perhaps the best people to ask aren’t those who are already part of the church community but those who are on the outside. I wonder what they would say?



Personal Vision

In Myers Briggs terms I am an Introverted Intuitive, that means that personal vision is really important to me. So I like the KJV translation of Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” It is vision that gets me up in the morning, energises and recharges me.

“You see things as they are and ask ‘Why’? But I dream things that never were, and ask ‘Why Not’?” George Bernard Shaw


“Unless you see it before you see it, you will never see it”

Reflecting back on the past months before my sabbatical it wasn’t the workload or the plethora of Christmas services that I found the most draining and that led me to a point of exhaustion at the end of 2011, but a lack of vision. As a result one of my prayers over the past few months has been for God to reignite and restore my vision of what he is calling me to be and to do.

Reflecting back on the past months before my sabbatical it wasn’t the workload or the plethora of Christmas services that I found the most draining and that led me to a point of exhaustion at the end of 2011, but a lack of vision. As a result one of my prayers over the past few months has been for God to reignite and restore my vision of what he is calling me to be and to do.

What has happened isn’t a new vision but a reaffirmation of an old vision. God has taken me back nine years to just before I came to St Paul’s. In those weeks before my interview God gave me a personal vision that I believed was also to be a vision for the church he would call me to lead.

It is summed up as this:

A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children

That statement is simple and yet immensely profound. It is a statement that I have found myself returning to again and again in the past weeks. What does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children?’ I’ll be unpacking that in my next few posts.

What has God called you to be and to do? You might like to share with others by commenting, I’d certainly be interested in hearing, and if you have no idea how about asking God and then listening to what he has to say?



The Importance of Physical Fitness in Christian Ministry

I have just completed 56 lengths of the pool at the Spirit Health Club which I understand equates to just over 1/2 mile! I know, I know, it’s amazing that this unfit vicar can actually swim that far! At the start of my sabbatical earlier this year one of my goals was to get fit. I joined the health club for six weeks and went 4-5 times each week. At the end of that time I felt a lot fitter and generally better in myself. But it’s one thing getting fit, it’s another thing staying fit!

I remember some years ago hearing Mike Breen telling about the start of the Form year out course at St Toms Crookes. One of the first things he did was to get in a number of fitness machines and transform one of the rooms in their hall into a fitness room. Why, you may ask? His answer was that you have to be fit to be in Christian ministry. I heard him say that and it lodged in my memory, but until January this year I did nothing about it.

In January I had the time to stop, reflect and make changes to my life and work schedule. I had got to the stage in December where I had run out of resources, mentally, physically and spiritually. So something had to change. I needed to find a pattern of life that would sustain me in the long term. One of the major changes has been to join a health club and to use it at least three times a week. It costs, but the investment in my physical health I believe will have long term benefits in my mental and physical health.

I am investing my financial capital (see my post on the 5 Capitals here) as well as the important resource of time in order to benefit my physical capital which will in turn benefit my spiritual capital. That will have real and long term benefits for me personally, but also for those amongst whom God has called me to minister.


Church Attendance & Belief in God

At our service yesterday morning I shared some of the details of a report that I read recently from The Church Army. For me, as a church leader, it makes challenging reading.

If you want to read the report yourself you can read a summary of it entitled: How does church attendance relate to beliefs and values? Or you can read the report itself on pages 7-10 of their publication Tomorrow’s Evangelism, it is entitled: Lies, dammed lies, and statistics: what do statistics really tell us?

The most challenging aspect for me, and what I preached on this morning, is the question of the uniqueness of the Christian faith. What I find deeply challenging in the Church Army article is how the understanding of this question relates to frequency of church involvement.

This really started me thinking. I had a conversation with someone at the end of the service who suggested that there were maybe less than 10 people in our church community who are there at every Sunday service! I don’t think it is quite that bad, but our of an Electoral Roll of 92 I could think of less than 15 people who are involved every Sunday morning! That in itself worries me. However I know St Paul’s is not alone in that the regularity of attendance at public worship is now less than I think it has ever been before, and that includes those who would consider themselves part of the core of church membership.

Sunday has changed and there are many reasons people don’t worship every week, indeed the term ‘regularly’ is often understood these days as being once a fortnight, or even once a month. Those reasons include Sunday sports and leisure, families who are geographically distant, the breakdown of family life for many, and a plethora of other attractions now on Sundays that compete for our attention and participation. As a church leader for instance I know that on a hot sunny Sunday in spring attendance at church services will be reduced, sometimes significantly!

I find this hard as I was brought up with the understanding that worship and God came first, above and before anything and everything else. If I could physically get out of bed on a Sunday morning I went to worship. As our children grew up this was the norm for our family which meant saying no to sports and other activities. As they are now grown up both our children know that we are not available on a Sunday morning, not just because I’m a vicar, but because worship and God simply come first.

Even more worrying is the correlation that the Church Army highlight of frequency of church involvement with belief in the Uniqueness of Christianity. In the report they correlate frequency of church involvement with the answers to the following question:

These are statements one sometimes hears. Please choose the statement that best describes your view?
1 – There is only one true religion
2 – There is only one true religion, but other religions do contain some basic truths as well
3 – There is not one true religion, but all great world religions contain some basic truths
4 – None of the great religions have any truths to offer

Approx 60% of those who are involved in churches on a weekly basis answered either that ‘there is only one true religion’ or that ‘there is only one true religion, but other religions do contain some basic truths as well’ leaving nearly 40% to answer ‘there is not one true religion, but all great world religions contain some basic truths’ – this 40% statistic is worrying to me, however it is the next set of statistics that is even more worrying. For those who are involved less than weekly (a significant proportion of those involved now in many churches) nearly 60% say that ‘there is not one true religion, but all great world religions contain some basic truths.’ The article suggests that those who attend less than weekly should perhaps be viewed as ‘partly-churched’ or as ‘church-fringe.’

This raises lots, and lots of questions. What, for instance, does it say about monthly or bi-monthly services for families like our Tea Service or Messy Church (or monthly 8am Traditional Communion services)? What difference in our understanding of our church communities would it make if we only counted those who were involved on at least a weekly basis? How do we understand discipleship, are we preaching and teaching a form on ‘Christianity lite’?

If you want to listen to my sermon from this morning on the question: Is there only one true religion, or are there many paths to God? you can find it here.

In His Image

Over the past week or so I’ve been reading a book called In His Image by Andy Matheson. The book reflects a theological foundation for Christian ministry amongst the poor and marginalised. It comes out of Andy’s years of ministry in India and then in many different parts of the world. In it he argues that the starting point should be original goodness rather than original sin. As I’ve read this book I have struggled to ask the question of how these principles apply to the rich as well as than the poor.

We have lived for the past eight years in an area of greater affluence than we have experienced before and one of my struggles is ministry amongst the rich rather than the poor. I sometimes look back and think how much easier ministry would be in Leigh Park where the needs of the community and of individuals was so clearer to see!

But Andy has touched a thread that has been running though my mind for the past few months and that I now have the time to examine in more detail. It can be summarised by this question:

What Is The Gospel?

Does the understanding of the Gospel that I was brought up with actually reflect the Gospel in the scriptures? Have I missed something, and if so how important is it? Have I shortchanged God and those amongst whom I have ministered by not proclaiming the whole Gospel?

These are big questions and ones that I intend to grapple with in the coming weeks.

So how does Andy’s book fit in with those questions? Andy proposes a starting point for understanding humanity and our relationship with God that is different to the one I was brought up with. “Many Christians have traditionally taken sin as their starting point … The crucial thing for people to understand (they have reasoned) is our alienation from God, who is perfect, and our need to confess and receive God’s forgiveness … I propose we begin by affirming their capacity for goodness, compassion, perseverance and love … Genesis 1 comes before Genesis 3. People are made in the image of God before sin comes into the world … Original goodness existed before original sin … Regardless of what we do or what others do God’s image remains in us.” Andy is not in any way denying the existence or effects of sin, or the need for repentance and forgiveness. Rather he is suggesting this is not the starting point for our ministry amongst others, and especially amongst the poor.

The Gospel I was brought up with is the one Andy is talking about. Traditionally, at least in the Evangelical tradition, the starting point is the fallenness and sinfulness of mankind and our need for a saviour. God is holy, we are sinful, we need a saviour, Jesus is the saviour, through repentance we receive forgiveness by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and have our sins forgiven, our relationship with God restored and we receive eternal salvation.

Whilst this is true (and I don’t want in any way to deny the truth of mankind’s fallenness and need for salvation), I would now ask is this the whole truth or are there important, even vital, facets of the Gospel that are missing? What difference does it make if we recognise that we are made in God’s image and that God’s creation was good, before we recognise sin and the fall?

Alongside this I wonder if we have created an environment in the Christian church where the focus has been on our ticket to eternity and we have missed, almost entirely at times, the focus on discipleship, the restoration of God’s image in us now and God’s Kingdom coming today as well as after we die.

This is for me a work in progress and I will post more reflections in the coming days and weeks. On a practical basis I’ve started to slow down and let go, which is easier said than done! One of the goals for this time is to get physically fitter and find a rhythm of life that will help me sustain that when I return to parish ministry. So I’ve joined a gym and will be going regularly (my body is already complaining!). I’ll post again in a week or so.

Alpha – But not as we've known it before


Something unusual, surprising and encouraging happened a couple of months ago. Since I arrived in Sarisbury we have had a church Alpha course most years starting in January. It has happened following the traditional pattern of Alpha. A meal together, Nicky Gumble on DVD, coffee and then a chat about the talk and anything else that comes up. They have been great, and we have a number of people who are now regular members of our church community who came to faith, or whose neglected faith was renewed through Alpha.

I was encouraged and excited over the summer with the possibility that an Alpha course might happen that I wouldn’t lead. There was one person who I knew would be interested plus others who had friends who might go. For various reasons this didn’t happen and I was left with the question of what to offer the one person I personally had contact with who was interested. The offer I made was, rather then you coming to our church Alpha course, why don’t I come to your home and we’ll listen to the DVDs together?

I now have the privilege of spending an evening each week in his home talking together about the Christian faith. And, here is the BIG and, he has been joined by his family! So instead of one person coming to ‘our’ church Alpha course, there is a whole family together exploring the Christian faith. WOW!

There’s no meal, but there are drinks, nibbles, cakes and one week I had the privilege of sharing in a family birthday cake! We watch the Alpha DVD which is either Nicky Gumble or the Student Alpha talk and then we chat.

The privilege of leading the Alpha course is amazing. Each time I have led one I have sat alongside people exploring faith and coming to a real, living relationship with Jesus for themselves.

Instead of saying ‘come to us’ I’ve ‘gone to them’ and the difference is great. This has led me to ask myself how we use Alpha in the future. Should we run ‘come to us’ Alpha courses? Maybe. But maybe we also need to free Alpha from the constraints of arranging meals and from the constraint of the vicar being involved?

Here’s what I’m thinking. Do you know friends, family, neighbours, colleagues or other acquaintances who might be interested in spending time with you to explore the Christian faith? Why don’t you do Alpha with them yourself, or maybe with your friends in the church community? Run Alpha as a small group for the people you know. Do Alpha with your own friends. Go to them and don’t expect them to come to you. Do it over a beer or glass of wine in an evening. Do it in the morning with some mums after they’ve dropped their children at school. Do it at lunchtime with colleagues at work. And when they say yes to your invitation ask them if they know anyone else they could invite to join you as well.

You won’t have all the answers, neither have I! One thing I can guarantee – you will grow amazingly in your own faith as well as introducing others to Jesus. We’ll provide the material and the support, all you have to do is dare to ask others if they’d enjoy doing Alpha with you. Don’t wait for the next ‘church’ Alpha course, it may not happen again! Go for it yourself.

Before you jump in with both feet, and I really, really hope some of your will, here are three things to consider. Firstly be prepared to grow as a Christian yourself. One of the greatest ways of growing in our own faith is to share it with others, the more you give the more you’ll grow. Be prepared after the Alpha course has finished to continue to journey with your friends as they explore the christian faith and get to know Jesus. And lastly have someone else with you or supporting you. When Jesus needed a donkey even he sent two people! Do Alpha with other christian friends, as well as the friends who are exploring, or have someone who regularly prays for you and who you share how things are going with.