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Alpha at MUMC

Week One: Is there more to life than this?

We have just completed week 1 of our Fall Alpha class. In case you were not in attendance, you can watch the video here.

Our small groups were centered around these questions:

What did you think/feel about the content/issues raised in the video? Page 8 of “Why am I here” booklet has some good thought questions.

  • What brings you happiness? Talk about a time when you had a great experience being happy.
  • Before watching the video, what was you concept of Jesus? When you think of Jesus, what do you feel? Has your concept of Jesus changed? If so why and how?
  • If you had a chance to meet Jesus, how would you feel and what would you say to him?

Week Two: Who is Jesus? 

We have just completed week two. In case you missed it, you can watch the video here. Some of the small group questions are listed below.

Before you viewed the video, what was your understanding
of Jesus? Has it changed?
• Who do you think Jesus is?
• Do you think Christianity is a ‘blind leap of faith’ or is there
adequate evidence of Jesus’ divinity?
• What aspects of the evidence presented in the talk today did you
find convincing/not convincing? Jesus’ teachings, character, actions,
fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, resurrection)
• Nicky said there are really only “three realistic possibilities” about
who Jesus is. What do you think about that statement?
a) Lord (He was who He said He was) b) Liar (He lied about
everything and c) Lunatic (He was insane, a madman)

Week Three: Why did Jesus die?

We have just completed week three. In case you missed it you can watch it here. Some of the small group questions are listed below.

• In the video, Nicky said “sin is the greatest problem that
confronts people today.” What is your understanding of “sin”?
• Nicky talked about the power of sin, saying that we become
“slaves to sin”. Would you agree that sin is addictive and
destructive? How so?
• What are some examples of sin that you see in our
world today: individually, locally and globally? (Also
physical, emotional, social, etc.)
• What are you thoughts about the penalty for sin?
Should all sin be punished in some way? Even our
own?
• Jesus took our place on the cross, not only so we can
go to heaven, but so that our quality of life on earth
might be very different. How so? (i.e. freedom from
sin, forgiveness, clean conscience, relationship with
God, peace, joy, strength, hope, healing, future
security)
• What do you think or feel about the idea of
forgiveness? What is it? Have you ever forgiven
anyone and was it difficult?

Week 4: How Can I have faith?

We have just completed week 4 of our Fall Alpha class. In case you were not in attendance, you can watch it here.

These are some discussion questions:

1. What do you think it means to have a relationship with
God?
2. Do you associate love or fear with God? Explain.
3. Do you think it is arrogant for someone to say they are sure
they are going to heaven? What are some examples of people
trying to be “good enough” to get to heaven or for God to be
pleased with them?

4. What do you think when you hear about people’s lives
being transformed by belief in Jesus? What do you feel? Do
those thoughts fill that “hole” in your being? Does it make you
feel joyful? Hopeful? Confused? Doubtful?
5. Nicky said that it is important to base our faith on the
promises of the Bible rather than on our own feelings. Why is
that so important? (Consider: feelings change and sometimes
deceive us)

Week 5: Why and How do I pray?

If you missed the session or if you want to see it again, you can watch it here:

Following are some questions we asked throughout the evening.

If God knows our needs, why should we pray about them?
• Nicky gave various examples of what to pray for, and the
reasons. Which of these can you relate to: crisis, protection,
guidance, spiritual hunger, etc.?
• What are some good reasons we may not always get what
we pray for? (Consider: unconfessed sin, the intention to sin,
wrong motives, desires not in line with God’s will, God says
“wait”…)
• Can you think of a time or know of an incident where prayer
really did change circumstances?
• How do you know God answered a particular prayer and
that it wasn’t just coincidence?

Week 6, Why and How should I read the Bible?

if you missed the video watch it here:

1.Have you read any parts of the Bible? What were your initial thoughts?
2. Have you ever read a modern translation of the Bible? Did you find it
easier to understand?
3.When reading the Bible, have you ever had the feeling that God was
saying something specifically to you?
4. What do you feel about the suggestion that the Bible is a “manual for all
of life?” What advice does the Bible give that relates to us today? (purpose
in life, emotions, money, relationships, death, etc)

Week 7, How does God guide us?

if you missed the video, watch it here:

1. How do you feel about the idea of being ‘guided by God?’ Do you prefer
to plan your own life or are you glad that God is in control?
2. Nicky talked about five ways in which God speaks to people today. Have
you ever experienced any of these? (Go through each one)
a) Commanding Scripture – reading through the Bible
b) Compelling Spirit – listening to thoughts, impressions, desires in your
heart
c) Common Sense – thinking rationally and practically about a situation
d) Counsel of Saints – through the advice/feedback from mature Christians
e) Circumstantial Signs – watching with discernment as God “opens and
closes doors” (opportunities)
3. What suggestions would you make to someone who is looking for a
“spiritual advisor”? (seek mature Christians, people with wisdom and
experience)

Holy Spirit,

Week 8, Who is the Holy Spirit, watch the video here:

Week 9, What Does the Holy Spirit Do? Watch the video.

Week 10, How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit? Watch the video.

Week 14, Does God heal today? Watch the video.

Week 11, How can I make the most of the rest of my life? Watch the video.

Questions:

  1. From watching the video, what do you feel would benefit you and the rest of your life? Be specific.
  2. Tonight Nicky said, “Until we leave the rubbish behind, we cannot enjoy the wonderful things God has for us.” What are some examples of these rubbish things in life?
  3. What are some practical ways we can make the most of our lives in these areas Nicky mentioned: Time and our priorities, Ambitions and our motivations, Possessions and our giving, Our body and what we look at, listen to, etc.
  4. One of the ways Christians are “different” is in their relationships. Which of these areas do you think God may be guiding you?

Week 12, How can I resist evil? Watch the film here.

Here are some questions that we asked in our small groups:

1. Jamie described several tactics the devil uses to misguide a
person: deception, doubt, temptation, distraction, shame and
blame, false guilt.
Can you think of a time in your life when you’ve
experienced one of these tactics? What was the situation?
2. What is the difference between “temptation to sin” and sin
itself? Why is that distinction so important? (Consider: Jesus Himself
was tempted but was without sin!)
3.Before today, did you have a concept of the devil? Has it
changed?
4.Why do you think that the world is in such a mess?
5.Do you believe in the supernatural, black magic or the
occult?
Close with a short prayer:
Ask for intentions to include in prayer. At the end of the
prayer be sure to add something along the lines of “Lord please help
us in all those ways you know we need your guidance and
intercession. And for all the unspoken needs of our guests, we ask
this in the name of your son, Jesus.”

Weeks 13 and 15: We have combined these weeks into our last session. Why and how should I tell others, and What about the church?

Here are some discussion questions:

  1. Since everyone is at a different place in his or her spiritual journey, what are some things you can ‘tell others’ about what you’ve learned or experienced on Alpha? (love, acceptance, forgiveness, etc)
  2. Jamie says that when people experience something life-changing, they want to share the good news. It’s an act of enthusiasm, love and concern, not mere duty. What is your experience with Christians sharing their faith (no names please!)?
  3. There seems to be so much division between churches and sometimes within churches. What do you think about the theologian’s quote: “On the necessary points, unity; on the questionable points, liberty; in everything, love. Is it okay to agree to disagree on some theological issues?
  4. If you were looking for a church to attend, what are some important qualities that you would look for?

5. Jamie said that “praying for people to know the love of God for themselves” is essential. Is there someone you know that we can pray for, someone who might be searching for more to life? Let’s pray for them.