500,000 Australians explore faith in Jesus through Alpha
Alpha Australia is pleased to announce that as of May 2019, we will celebrate the 500,000th Australian to have explored faith in Jesus through Alpha.
It’s estimated 24 million people have attended an Alpha globally and despite the reports of Christianity in decline in Australia over recent decades, Alpha has seen the reverse with over 350,000 people attending over a 20-year period up to 2013. Shortly after this point, a 10-year goal to reach 1 million people was cast.
Alpha National Director Melinda Dwight says: “13 million Australians identify as Christian in the most recent Census but many don’t know what that is. Together we can engage our communities in a faith-stretching goal. Whatever people’s background or language, wherever they work, live or study, we can gather to eat and explore faith in Jesus Christ.”
While Alpha has significantly updated its resources in recent years with a new Alpha Film Series and Alpha Youth Series, Alpha’s model remains unchanged. It is an interactive series held over 8-11 weeks where participants are invited to share a meal, watch a Christian presentation and openly ask questions that the topic raises.
“Alpha is an opportunity for a spiritual conversation; a place where you can laugh together, eat together, ask anything and explore life’s questions. It’s an invitation to gather around a table in community,” explains Melinda.
Alpha Australia reports that 1,260 churches from almost every denomination hosted an Alpha in 2018. The number of churches running two or more Alpha’s per year has also increased, meaning many are doubling their reach with those enquiring of Jesus.
Phill, a recent Alpha participant in QLD, shares: “The first thing I noticed was that they were very welcoming and very loving. I liked the topics; they opened my mind up.”
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. My world was collapsing around me. I had lived relying on my own strength. Now I can lean on Jesus’.”
Phill is representative of the 150,000 who have attended an Alpha in the last 5 years – bringing the total to 500,000. People really matter at Alpha. Each and every person who has come along has their own story of exploring and encountering the love of God. Many have made life-changing decisions during an Alpha and others are still on the journey.
The founder of Alpha, Nicky Gumbel is also celebrating the Australian milestone.
“Alpha Australia, what a story!! Five hundred thousand people have now done Alpha in Australia thanks to God and the Holy Spirit who’s behind this. There is something extraordinary happening in Australia which you’re all making possible. As you keep going, you will never know, this side of heaven, the impact that you are having.”
“We love Australia, we love what you’re doing and we are so excited hearing all the stories of lives being changed!”
Alpha Australia wants to humbly acknowledge and thank the many thousands of church and volunteer Alpha leaders across the country who have helped reach this significant moment. As Alpha National Ministry Director John Lamerton says: “It is due to the efforts of many people generously hosting, promoting, cooking, inviting and importantly, praying that has enabled us to collectively host 500,000 people. We are all playing a part, be it sometimes small, in this big salvation story.”
Most importantly, Alpha Australia offers the highest thanks to God for what He is doing among His Church at this time and acknowledge His blessing as we continue towards our goal of one million Australians exploring faith in Jesus by 2023.
Over the coming months, Alpha Australia will be celebrating with churches, leaders and supporters and we welcome the opportunity to help every church in Australia to run Alpha.
Would you like to help more Australians ask the important questions of life, faith and meaning? Simply go online, check out the free Alpha resources and register your series here.
For further details or for media interviews, please contact:
EA to Melinda Dwight National Ministry Director
0438 407 678 0400 537 966More