BY Pastor Ken Dyck

Alpha Course: Who are you investing time in?

Investing in relationships with skeptics is, or at least could be, the most natural and enjoyable part of inviting someone to Alpha. Frankly, it should or could be one of the most enjoyable disciplines of the Christian life. Unfortunately, it’s also the part many of us tend to skip.

In short, “investing” means being a friend with someone God has placed in your life…that doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. Every one of us knows how to select and be a friend. We look for people who have similar interests as us, who seem to like us and we enjoy being around. Then we spend time together. We talk, we laugh, we come to know what is important to them and share the same from our lives. 

“Our post-Christian neighbours need to hear and see and taste and feel authentic Christianity, hospitality spreading from every Christian home that includes neighbours in prayer, food, friendship, childcare, dog walking, and all the daily matters upon which friendships are built.” – Roseria Butterfield

Practical Challenge: Think about the people around you…that don’t know Jesus. I like to draw a table with nine squares, me in the middle. Make a list of eight people, four from your networks of relationships and four from the community in which you live. Pick out the two, look at your calendar and pick an evening or Saturday afternoon.  

Call one of them up and see if you can spend time together. Make it enjoyable. Invite them into your home. If invited into theirs, say “yes.” It’s that simple.  

And as you begin to know this person, you will begin to care about them…and you will begin to feel the weight of your new friend spending a hopeless eternity without Jesus. Begin praying for them to be interested in your faith story. As you come to know of their hurts and disappointments, begin praying that God would work in those areas. Ask them to tell you their story — what is most important to them, etc. Eventually, they will ask you your story and that is when you tell them your story of how you came into a personal relationship with Jesus.

Then just live out your life before them. Pray before meals when they are in your home.  Make it short. When they are going through a difficult time, ask if you can pray for them. Then pray for them, right then and there. Don’t be weird. You are friends.  The more normal and attractive you are as a friend to them, the more like Jesus you appear to them, the more likely they will be interested in your Christian faith.

All along, continue asking the Holy Spirit to prompt you as to the right time to invite them to watch a Village service with you…or attend Alpha Course with you — it’s dinner and a discussion that will help them better understand you and why you are a Christian.

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