Hans and I grew up in the church… we were baptized, went through confirmation and were married in the church. We were both active as youth, but as we got older, we grew away. We still went to church, but did we really KNOW Jesus? Maybe. But now that we’ve gone through the Alpha Course, I can say a definite yes.
We found PLC with a Google search, browse of the website, and the occasional visit, but it wasn’t until we were pregnant and spoke to Pastor Sean about joining the church and the eventual baptism of our baby, Lily, that we even knew about Alpha. Then we had to plan to take the course, which took some time… almost two years to be exact! “11 weeks is quite a commitment… we’re not sure if we can do that,” is what we would tell each other. But really, “If Jesus can give his life for ours, we can give 11 weeks of our time.” This was our exact conversation as we signed up for the course!
As time grew near, I think we were both a little hesitant, reminding ourselves that this is ONLY 11 weeks and that after this we will join the church, show up every Sunday and enjoy the message and good music, no problem. But then we went… and we were shocked. We were taken by surprise that we looked forward to each and every week. We were drawn into the messages each week, brought the ideas we talked about in our small groups home with us and talked at home. We really learned about Jesus and his love in a whole new light. We even bought our first Bibles since high school!
I think the most rewarding aspect of the Alpha Course would have to be the relationships we made, both with Jesus and the people we met. We used to believe that going to church didn’t matter, as long as we believed and had a “personal” relationship with God, we were fine. But this course has really made us understand that the community, church, and people we surround ourselves with DO matter. That they bond us and make the experience and our faith stronger. Our group was so helpful in this – we’ve committed to staying in touch as well. We have a BBQ planned this summer and we couldn’t be more excited.
The Alpha Course has really sparked in us a need for more… more learning, more community and more time with Jesus. We can’t wait to experience this with our new friends at PLC and are excited to see where the future takes us.