On Sunday night we held the first session proper of our new Alpha Course.
This year we are running it with our friends and neighbours at The Abbey and St Peter's which has been fun as it is always good to meet other Christians.
The unusual start time of 6pm on a Sunday meant we are starting with pudding or cake rather than a full blown meal and this obviously suited enough people for us to break into 2 very viable small groups following Nicky Gumbel's talk.
I have run Alpha courses where I (or someone else) have delivered Nicky's talks live, but showing them on dvd is equally effective as long as the technology works fine which, thanks to Paul ,ours did last night.
I have heard these talks probably 20 times or so over the years and have therefore heard the jokes and illustrations that Nicky uses to hold peoples attention many times. After a while they do stop being funny BUT what cannot be denied is that he is a great communicator who gets across the essential facts in a memorable and easy to understand way , that last night provoked plenty of discussion.
However having used Alpha and other courses, in different churches over many years,I am convinced it really is all about relationships and providing a safe space for people to explore the Christian faith for themselves
We finished in good time and I was delighted it was a very promising first session