Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Todd Hunter, Alpha, & and the Emerging Church

Todd is currently the President of Alpha USA, an organization that is focused on motivating and equipping Christians to connect with missing people in natural ways. This role allows Todd the opportunity to express his leadership and creativity in his core area of passion -- evangelism. Todd is the former President of the National Association of Vineyard Churches and has been involved in church planting and leadership development for 25 years. Over the past few years Todd has spent a great deal of his time working with young/emerging church leaders.

OTM: Isn't Alpha really more appealing to "the boomers"?

When I first began investigating the Alpha Course, I too thought that might be the case. While Alpha is reaching a lot of boomers who are churched, but unbelieving, in mainline congregations, that is not the only place Alpha works well. Here are two representative courses that demonstrate another large and growing aspect of Alpha. In Midtown Manhattan-normally thought of as a center for secular, post-Christian, postmodern culture-- at St. Bartholomew's Episcopalian church, my friend Nancy Hanna ran an Alpha course for several years. A couple thousand people went through the course. The average age of people coming to faith was 26. A sociologist measured this phenomenon and discovered that these young people not only made "decisions" but became rooted in that community of faith, gave of their time, money and energy, served the poor, etc. In central London, also normally viewed as secular, postmodern, post Christian culture, the same phenomenon can be seen at Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican congregation (www.htb.org.uk). Several hundred young people are on each of their three annual courses. Again, the average age of people becoming Christ-followers on the course is in the mid-twenties. These two examples and others I have seen since lead me to believe that a thoughtful person who honestly loves secular, postmodern, post Christian people, can use the Alpha course in a way that appeals to all age groups. It just takes a little thought and creativity.

Off-the-Map interviews Todd Hunter

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