Nicky Gumbel from the Alpha Course shares a story about Barbara Clapham who came to live in London. At the age of 33, she decided she was going to look for a church. One Sunday she arrived at Holy Trinity Brompton. The young woman who was welcoming people at the door smiled at her and asked her name. Because of that smile Barbara came back the following week. When she walked in the next Sunday, the same person said, “Hello Barbara”. Because that person on the door remembered her name. She decided that she was going to come back every Sunday. That was 1947.
From then on Barbara came almost every Sunday until she died, soon after celebrating her 100th Birthday. She made a huge impact on the life of Holy Trinity Brompton, including running the finances of the church for years. I wonder if the young woman on the door had any idea on the impact she made by remembering Barbara’s name. There is great power in a name. Names are significant. This is true today, but it was even more true in the Hebrew culture that we read about in the Bible. A Hebrew name is no mere label. The name of the Lord reveals who he is. I wonder who’s name you can remember and how you can impact their life? You never know. You might just smile and impact someone, just like Barbara
Kelly Newton-Wordsworth is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Western Australia. She shares her testimony of her involvement in the New Age movement & her radical transformation during an Alpha Course. www.kellynewtonwordsworth.com
Nicky Gumbel from the Alpha Course shares lots of stories about how he loves his wife Pippa. But he says there is a difference between knowing his wife and knowing about his wife. He said that if there was a book about his wife called “The Book of Pippa”, he could read through it and study it. Chapter one might be about her culinary expertise in the kitchen. Chapter two might be about how she’s an amazing mother and loves her children so much. Chapter three might be about her sporting prowess. That would be a very shot chapter. He could read through all the chapters and study about Pippa, learn about her and have knowledge about Pippa. And in the end it would just be a book about Pippa and the only way to know Pippa is to meet her. It’s a funny analogy; but the truth is, many people only know about God. Many people know about the Bible. They know the stories. They might even go to church. They might even pray. But there’s a difference about knowing about God and knowing God. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” We need to draw near to him in a relationship and he will draw near to us. Maybe today is the day for you to draw near to God and start your relationship with Jesus.
Nicky Gumbel the founder of the Alpha Course tells the story about how he met Eric Idle, one of the comedians behind the famous Monty Python films. They sat next to each other on a chair lift in the Swiss Alps just after Nicky had conducted a wedding. He said they had a great chat together. And Eric said that he wouldn’t call himself a Christian, but he’ll never forget what he said about Jesus. We look for comedy in the gospels. We look to poke fun at Jesus for the things he said, but we couldn’t. We found that Jesus’ teaching was brilliant and it all seemed to make sense. The truth is that Jesus’ teaching has become the foundation of entire civilisations. Many laws that we have today are based on the teachings of Jesus. In John 14:6, Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man will come to the Father except through me.” The truth is even though Jesus had great teaching, the reason that he came was to point the way to the Father in heaven.
Bishop Sandy Millar is one of the founders of the Alpha Course which has reached millions around the world. He shares about how the Alpha Course began, how Bear Grylls has helped promote the course to a whole new generation, and he shares about how many churches are starting Alpha after Easter all over Australia. www.alpha.org.au
Pastor Glen from Open Doors shares his conversion story, his love for the Alpha Course, his vision for church planting and about the work of Open Doors, reaching out to persecuted believers all over the world. www.opendoors.org.au
Melinda Dwight is the National Director of Alpha Australia. Melinda shares about her years of experience as a pastor, and some great stories about how lives have been transformed through Alpha, a short course for those exploring the Christian faith. She also shares about the latest changes and additions to the Alpha course, with some amazing stories about Alpha in prisons, Student Alpha, the Marriage course, and the Parenting course. www.alpha.org.au
Janet Yeo is an ambassador for Opportunity International, a ministry that offers micro-finance loans to the poor. She shares her story of her conversion to Christ mainly through the Alpha course, and being set-free from addictions and the launch of her new ministry, New Hope Care.
Author and speaker Nicky Gumbel, is the pioneer of the Alpha Course, a short course on the basics of Christianity. He was an avowed atheist, and converted to Christianity in his first year at College, through reading the New Testament. He said, “I was enthralled. It was as if I had found what I had been looking for all my life”. Millions have now done the course worldwide. Nicky is interviewed by Leigh Hatcher from Open House. www.alpha.org.au
Tim Hughes is well known for the song, “Here I am to worship”, and many others. In this interview Matt speaks with Tim at Hillsong conference 2010, about worship, missions, the Alpha course, song writing and his love for Australia.
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