Looking for resources to empower your local church to share their faith with others?
Here are some great programmes and courses we recommend to help get you started.
Its great to have evangelism programs and tools such as Alpha and Long Story Short, to help us in our efforts to reach out and share the gospel with others. Yet often people will point to a friend or someone as being the main influence on why they came to know Christ or indeed who invited them to one of these programs. It reminds us that we all can be that friend or influence and indeed we have a responsibility to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15
As Pastors and church leaders we can help equip and prepare God’s people to be ready, committed and able to articulate their faith and give an answer for the hope they have.
We are pleased to advise that we now have a special 5-week sermon series resource: CAN I GET A WITNESS? designed to do just that, developed by Pastor Clint Usher (The Well). It tracks through the early part of Acts and takes a look at evangelism through the life and words of the Apostle Peter.
This sermon series resource comes complete with a sermon outline and small group study. It will be a great resource to prepare your church for a season of outreach especially coming in to time when you are running a program such as Alpha. You can download using the link below
Please consider a time when you can schedule this sermon series in to your preaching calendar. An ideal time would be during the season of Pentecost in May. We offer you the opportunity to be part of a ‘cohort’ of Pastors and churches in 2021 which simultaneously will preach through the series together, sharing in the experience and insights. Sign up for the cohort using the link below.
Alpha is a great evangelism and discipleship course for churches to offer people interested in the Christian faith and for new believers. A benefit is that Alpha has got good brand recognition in New Zealand and globally in terms of a Christian program that churches run. Globally millions have attended it. It is not uncommon for people to seek out an Alpha course in their local area because one of their family or friends have attended or know of Alpha and recommend it.
Pastor Denise Barrington came to faith and involvement in the WMCNZ because she did just this. She first enquired of one of our churches about attending an Alpha Course and hooked up with the church because the did.
Alpha is a series of interactive sessions exploring the basics of the Christian faith. There are at least a couple of options or formats Alpha provides for delivering these sessions. Primarily they start with a video presentation, then followed by discussion. One format is presented as a series of inspiring talks with Nicky Gumbel (the founder) sharing on each topic or question. Recently a format has been produced called the ‘Alpha Film series’ where ‘the episodes feature inspiring stories and interviews from all around the world, as well as visual illustrations and motion graphics.’ – There is also ‘Youth Alpha.’ The Alpha website details the different versions for different contexts.
Each session of the Alpha Course looks at a different question and is assigned to create conversation. No two Alphas look the same – they run in coffee shops, churches, bars, prisons, universities, schools and homes. There’s no pressure, no follow-up and no charge; it’s just an open, informal, and honest space to explore and discuss life’s big questions together.
Long Story Short is a video series designed to unfold the story of the Bible. It’s a NZ produced resource with a high level of production standards that takes one on a journey across the world to share and reflect on the meaning and heartbeat of the bible story.
‘The story starts at the beginning, taking us back to the moment it all began… and then follows the main storyline which eventually brings us to Jesus, explaining who he is and why he came into the world. And, during this journey, some of life’s big questions are addressed: What about the Bible? Who is God? Who am I? What’s gone wrong with the world? What about all the different religions? Who is Jesus and why is he important? What about faith?’ (Long Story Short)
It does this in seven short sessions and they can even be accessed freely and readily on the YouTube.
The course is a good stepping stone for people who are wanting to learn more about spiritual life. It deals with some of the ‘big questions’ around such things as: ‘Is there a God, a Creator.’
Reflections on Long Story Short
Omega has ‘powerful discipleship resources to equip churches and small groups provide a clear discipleship pathway designed to bring transformation and spiritual growth.’ (Omega)
‘Resources for all ages and stages - for ‘seekers’, new Christians, right through to mature Christians – with training manuals to keep you going and growing spiritually on the faith journey. For young as well as old - with training manuals to help turn ‘seekers’ into believers, believers into disciples, and disciples into disciple-makers.’
There is not always time for a seeker or new believer to wait for the next time you run and Alpha course. These are pictorial resources you can use one on one or as part of a group.
The specific studies for seekers/enquirers and new believers include:
Come To Me, My First Steps, Come Follow Me
(Mandarin Versions are available)