Rick Warren Endorses Alpha
Rick Warren, founder of the Purpose Driven Network and one of the most influential
pastors in America, has urged church leaders around the world to “check Alpha out.” describing the course as “one of the most effective evangelism tools for the 21st century,” he said Alpha is “a good way to bring people to a small group study who would never be caught dead in a church.”
Pastor Warren, whose book The Purpose Driven Life has sold tens of millions of copies, was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world last year. He was speaking via a special video filmed in India where his organization is working with Alpha and the Billy Graham organization in the My Hope India project through which millions are expected to become Christians next spring.
In the recording, he said, "Over 30 years ago in London, England, God began a movement that has now spread all around the world. Begun by my good friend Nicky Gumbel...it's called the Alpha course. We've seen this course expand to be used to reach literally millions of people for Christ. The Alpha course can be used in three different ways:
- First, it can be used with people who have absolutely no religious background at all. It can be used for seekers or enquirers. It is a good way to bring people to a small group study who would never be caught dead in a church - they'll take that first step, they'll sit on a couch with some friends and examine the claims of Christ and what it really does mean to be a follower of Jesus. Millions of people have come to Christ through this way.
- A second way you can use it is to revitalize your church, to bring renewal to a church which has lost its vision; that has lost its commitment; that has been on auto pilot for some time. Many, many traditional mainstream, mainline churches have used Alpha to find new growth and new renewal as people come alive, rediscovering the vision of the great message of the good news.
Many of you have heard of the 40 Days of Purpose campaign that is also being used by God mightily around the world. 40 Days of Purpose and Alpha fit together like ‘hand in glove.’ It really doesn’t matter which one you do first. If you have done 40 Days of Purpose, you need to do Alpha; if you have done Alpha, you need to do 40 Days of Purpose, because these two are similar programs inspired by the Holy Spirit to deepen and develop the Church; to help us worship better; fellowship deeper; to help us grow more like Christ; to help us learn to serve in ministry; and to help us share our faith in mission. So as the author of The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life, I, Rick Warren, tell you that Alpha has my 100% endorsement and I would encourage you to use it in small groups in your Church and anyway that you can."
- A third way you can use it is to help with new believers. It is a great first-step course because it goes over the basics of why do we believe what we believe; and what exactly do we believe?