Deerfield, IL (PRWEB) February 19, 2010
A Christian ministry that last year drew more than 115,000 people to churches nationwide—many of whom were exploring faith for the first time—will hold a conference on dynamic church growth, June 22-23 in Naperville, Ill.
The 2010 Alpha Americas Conference: A Model for Dynamic Growth in the Local Church is being put together by the team behind the hugely successful Alpha course, which in 2009 saw more than 57,000 people in the U.S. make personal decisions for Jesus Christ through its partner churches.
Started in 1979 as a brush-up for rusty churchgoers, Alpha helps churches to create a pressure-free environment where guests can explore the Christian faith. The free course is held over a 10-week period and is open to everyone. Each session starts with a family style meal followed by a short talk and spirited discussions on topics ranging from “Why is there suffering?” to “Is God a delusion?”
Around the world, 13 million people have taken the Alpha course, which is now offered in 163 countries and 81 languages, by more than 100 denominations. More than half of those who attend the course make first-time decisions for Christ.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of the worldwide bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life, calls the Alpha course “one of the most effective evangelism tools for the 21st century.”
“It harkens back to the early days of Christianity, when believers met in homes for a meal and discussed what they believe with their friends and neighbors. It’s very effective,” explains Gerard Long, president of Alpha USA.
Originally conceived in the United Kingdom, Alpha is catching on in the U.S. in a big way. Last year, Alpha USA saw an increase of 47% of churches running the course.
These congregations are working to reverse a trend identified by researcher George Barna, who reported that one out of every four adults (23%) in America are now “unattached” people who attend neither a conventional church nor an organic faith community (e.g. house church). About one-third of the segment was people who have never attended a church at any time in their life.
At the conference, participants will receive tools to address this challenge head on, receiving advanced training in all aspects of how to run the Alpha course. Together, they will learn to:
- Initiate a process for Kingdom growth that is sustainable, accessible and adaptable.
- Engage people with truth in a way that is both authentic and applicable.
- Develop a community environment that leads people to Jesus and draws them into the church.
Guide people toward a personal encounter with God.
Energize their congregations for outreach.
- Create a path to discipleship that raises up new leaders.
Featuring Nicky Gumbel, bestselling author and senior pastor of London’s Holy Trinity Brompton, the conference will welcome delegates from across the Americas—including Canada, Latin America and the U.S.
To learn more visit http://alphausa.org/Groups/1000041726/2010_Alpha_Americas.aspx. For interviews, contact Janine Longoria at 224-588-8526.
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