Big Questions in Small Groups

Big Questions in Small Groups

London, UK

I wasn’t the only one who came from a non-Christian background, who didn’t know much about the Bible, but who wanted to know more.

I was carried to Alpha by pure impulse. As a first-year student at university in London, I often heard some of my older friends talking about how great it was. However, being new to the big city and full of energy and arrogance, I expected to blow everyone away with my progressive attitudes and my controversial opinions on faith.

The first thing I noticed about Alpha was the eclectic crowd queuing outside. While waiting, I chatted to a man who had been forced to sleep on his brother’s couch after being made redundant and defaulting on his rent. I would never have got the chance to meet someone like this in my usual university bubble.

My walls started to come down as I realised I wasn’t the only one with questions to get off my chest. From my early teens I had felt a slight emptiness, a feeling of imbalance with the world around me that eventually developed into a heady dissatisfaction with life. I had attempted to consume information and great, almost spiritual, literature to fill this void. But nothing really provided me with what I needed.

I wasn’t expecting Michelin star cuisine, but the Spaghetti Bolognaise they served was better than anything I could have cooked up. Life doesn’t get much better than a free meal, does it?

According to Charlie Mackesy, who gave the first Alpha evening’s introductory talk, it does.

Expectant of a severe, traditional religious stereotype taking to the stage and preaching to the ‘sinners’ assembled, the message was refreshing. To hear someone talking about faith in the same way that I perceived it – with equivocation, bewilderment and scepticism – was music to my ears.

The ultimate message was that we are all hungry for spiritual fulfilment, and that there is no alcoholic beverage, no shopping mall and no vocational obsession that can contend with the love of God, and the direction that having a relationship with him provides.

I felt like I was finally in the right environment to address the questions I had about faith and life. The conversations we had in small discussion groups were the highlight of the evening. People’s stories varied, but all shared a uniform characteristic: a hunger for spiritual fulfilment. It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one who came from a non-Christian background, who didn’t know much about the Bible, but who wanted to know more.

Our general discussion centred upon the question: ‘If you could ask God any one thing, what would it be?’ This isn’t a question that comes up in everyday conversation, but it felt like we were all working towards something together, something serious, and something that would have implications for us all. People responded with questions like, ‘I would ask God why there is so much suffering in the world’, and ‘I would ask him what our purpose in life is.’

Being free to voice these questions was cathartic. This was the first opportunity I’d had to talk about faith without being judged. I realised that my controversial opinions were masks for questions and ambivalences that had been bugging me for years.  As I returned every week, learning more about Jesus step-by-tiny-step, the people in my Alpha group quickly became my close friends.

We are all innately hungry for spiritual gratification. By the first week of Alpha, I had begun to escape the pessimism that had grown in me. The opportunity to ask some of the biggest questions I had about life was too good to miss. 

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Få den nye Pocket Bibel 'Mød Gud' tilsendt gratis!

Få den nye Pocket Bibel 'Mød Gud' tilsendt gratis!

Kan man møde Gud?

I tusindvis af år har mennesker haft oplevelser, som de kun kan beskrive på én måde: de har oplevet et møde med Gud.

I MØD GUD finder du eksempler på 10 nye og hundredevis af gamle møder med Gud. Ofte har folk mødt Gud, når det har været mest ønsket. Nogle gange er det sket, når det har været mindst ventet. Andre gange er det sket for folk, der slet ikke troede, at den slags var muligt.

MØD GUD er verdens vigtigste bog med et usædvanligt langt forord. Verdens vigtigste bog er den del af Biblen, der fortæller historien om Jesus. I det usædvanligt lange forord møder du mennesker som dig og mig, der har mødt Gud.

Hvem er den for?

MØD GUD er skrevet til folk, der er nysgerrige på at tale om tro. Den er mest skrevet til unge, men den rammer bredt. Første del af bogen er 10 menneskers historier om møder med Gud og hvad det betyder for dem.

Det nye testamente på en måde du ikke har prøvet før …

Anden del er ny testamente på hverdagsdansk. Den er skrevet som en helt almindelig bog uden versopdelinger der kan være forstyrrende. Det betyder, at du læser teksterne på en ny måde.

Værktøjer

I den sidste del af bogen får du gode idéer til hvordan du kan

… lave bibelstudiegruppe som de kendte i Hollywood.

… gå i kirke som Dronning Margrethe

… gå på Alphakursus som 29 mio. andre

+ en bunke andre gode sager.

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Min største oplevelse

Min største oplevelse

Alpha er det bedste jeg nogensinde har gjort. Det hjalp mig med svar på nogle store spørgsmål og til at finde en enkel tro som giver mig styrke i livet.

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