When India went into nationwide lockdown in early 2020, the concept of hosting Mega Alphas started in South India. On one course, 50 churches worked in partnership and welcomed over 500 participants to Alpha. With over 500 participants on almost 200 devices, the Alpha India team in South India hosted the world’s largest Alpha in July 2020!
Following the impact of the first Mega Alpha, it led to another season of Mega Alpha in the South region for 26 churches and over 200 guests. This inspired the North East team to host their very first Mega Alpha for the Northern region in India with over 23 churches and 40 guests.
Mega Alpha was also hosted in the Catholic Context, with 23 parishes coming together to welcome 85 guests. So immense was the impact that Fr. Vinay Kamath of St. Anthony’s Parish in Mumbai decided to include the Alpha Youth Series (AYS) in their Confirmation Syllabus for batch 2020. They started their Alpha in November 2020 for 100 Confirmation students and are planning to carry on with more Alphas in different languages in 2021.
This unique partnership among the churches has not only impacted every Alpha guest who attended but strengthened the unity of the churches in a time of isolation and fear.
Daunting as it could have been, the team knew that in the midst of the crisis of Covid-19, God was calling His people to greater action – to bring the love of Jesus to the masses. The pandemic had shut down the doors of churches and every area of everyday life was affected. People were asking many questions and searching for answers.
Yet the crisis of having most people shut indoors and spending more time than ever in the digital space was also an opportunity like never before to bring the gospel to them. The doors of churches may be closed, but the doors to the homes of people hungry for answers were open via the digital space. Alpha was the perfect way to get people to gather online, bringing their questions, having discussions, and hearing about the love of Jesus, right from their bedrooms and living rooms. Jesus was meeting people right where they were – stuck in their homes!
Nicky Gumbel, the pioneer of Alpha said, “Covid-19 is a horrible disease, but God can use awful things – He did that with the cross. He took the most horrible event in history, the crucifixion of the Son of God and He used it for the salvation of the whole world. And one way in which He’s using this disease is to get people’s attention. Now is not the moment for the church to retreat, but for the kingdom of God to advance.”
With that, the Alpha India team stepped up with great faith, rallying churches together with the tool of Alpha for the evangelistic opportunity of a lifetime – beginning what was to be the biggest Alpha run to date. This movement has since snowballed to many other countries, with churches in various nations coming together to reach their nation for Christ, using the tool of Alpha for evangelism.
Here is a testimony from Kingsley, an Alpha host.
“I took part in Alpha online for the first time, and it was amazing to be a part of this great tool of the Gospel. The sessions were fabulous and the video session was really useful for us and for our church youths and for the unchurched youths too. For me, the best session was the Holy Spirit weekend where we experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit, it was very special for us because in lockdown we did not have our church service but that session gave us a real time worship experience and we were filled in the presence of Holy Spirit.
An interesting story also happened with one of my friends. He was an atheist and after many hindrances we asked him to attend Alpha online with us. He joined and he was very happy with the sessions. He does some magic shows and now he is sharing the Gospel in his magic shows! God has transformed him and his life entirely. Even though his family members are are not Christians, he is sharing prayer requests now and he is walking in a godly path.
We thank the Alpha team and the coordinators for giving us this opportunity to take part in this great Gospel tool. It is a great blessing for us and for our church and the unchurched youths who have joined us and now slowly they are attending the church services as well.”
We are so thankful for the opportunity to partner with these wonderful churches, and we invite you to join us in prayer, that the nation of India will continue to see a great harvest for the Lord.
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Don’t lock down your mission.
It’s time for us to re-imagine evangelisation.