Week Beginning: Sunday 3rd March 2013. Question 8: How does God guide us? Bible readings: James 1:19-25, Matthew 7:7-12. Discussion Questions: 1. Can you think of a time when you felt God might be speaking to you? 2. What do you believe God might be guiding you towards? 3. How do you think God’s guidance changes who you are and how you view the world? 4. What are the key themes you can identify from this morning’s session: “How does God guide us?” Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org.
Week Beginning: Sunday 24th February 2013. Question 7: Why and how should I tell others? Bible readings: Acts 1:1-8, Luke 10:1-23. Discussion Questions: 1. When was the last time you heard something that was ‘good news’? Did you tell anyone about it? How? Why? 2. The word ‘Gospel’ means ‘Good News’…in what ways is the Christian message good news to you? How might knowing about Jesus be good news to others? 3. Are there times when you have shared the Good News of Jesus with others? When? How did you do it? What happened? 4. Read these 3 statements: 1. Just sharing the Gospel through saying words can be hollow. 2. Just sharing the Gospel through who you are being is passive. 3. Just sharing the Gospel through what you are doing is ambiguous. Do you agree? Which ways of sharing the Good News of Jesus do you find easy/uncomfortable? Which ways do you find difficult/uncomfortable? Are there things that you could do differently? 5. Don’t forget, this isn’t something that we do on our o
Week Beginning: Sunday 17th February 2013. Question 6: What does the Holy Spirit do? Bible readings: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, John 14:25-27. Discussion Questions: 1. Does every Christian have the Holy Spirit? (see John 3:5; Romans 8:9-10) 2. Do you think it’s selfish to pray to have ‘more of the Holy Spirit’? 3. Is the work of the Holy Spirit for our own ‘private’ enjoyment or does it have some other purpose? (see 1 Corinthians 12) 4. Will the Holy Spirit lead us astray? (see John 14:25-27) Activity: Either on your own or in a group, Sit down and invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in you by praying “Come Holy Spirit”. Then spend the next few minutes in silience, perhaps with your hands open in a gesture of recieving. Finally finish by saying this prayer: Thank you Father that you have sent the Holy Spirit to be a seal of our inheritance until the day we meet Jesus Christ face-to-face. Holy Spirit I give you permission to continue your refining
Week Beginning: Sunday 10th February 2013. Question 5: Who is the Holy Spirit? Bible readings: 1 Corinthians 2:12-16, John 14:15-21. Discussion Questions: 1. Choose one of the 3 images we’ve mentioned this morning: ‘fire’, ‘wind’ & ‘water’. How has it helped you to understand more clearly who the Holy Spirit is & what the Holy Spirit does? 2. Romans 8:27 refers to the Holy Spirit helping us in our weakness and relates it to weakness in prayer. Have you ever experienced this before and how do you think it might be possible in the future? 3. In what areas of your life do you want the Holy Spirit to turn your timidity or fear into boldness and courage? 4. Can you identify one way in which this session: “who is the Holy Spirit?” has helped you to a clearer understanding? Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org Books: “I believe in the Holy Spirit” – Michael Green & “On in the Spirit” – David Watson.
Week Beginning: Sunday 3rd February 2013. Question 4: How and why should I read the Bible? Bible readings: 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Matthew 5:17-20. Discussion Questions: 1. What are your experiences of reading the Bible? (Regularly? Only hear it when read in church? Difficult? Challengin? Enjoyable? Baffling?) 2. Have you read anything in the Bible that has challenged an aspect of your beliefs and behaviour? 3. Do you believe the Bible is God’s word and can speak to us today? Can you give an example of how this has happened? Meditation on the Bible (Lectio Divinia) Chose a passage from the Bible (one of Jesus’ parables is a good starting point). Read the passage through slowly 3 times, as you do notice and words or phrases that you particularly notice, any questions you might have. Spend time reflecting on these and pray for God’s insight. Then be still and open to receive from God. Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org / www.wordlive.org/Lectio Books: R
Week Beginning: Sunday 27th January 2013. Question 3: Why and how do I pray? Bible readings: Psalm 30, Matthew 6:1-5. Discussion Questions: 1. As you read the Lord’s Prayer which phrases do you find are most encouraging and which are more challenging? 2. Why is praying in private different from praying in public with others? 3. What do you think “your kingdom come” might look like when this prayer is being answered? 4. In your life today are there ways you can make the Lord’s Prayer personal? For example a particular need for help in an area of temptation or an area of provision. Further resources for those exploring… Websites: http://www.alpha.org / www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel & “Prayer: Does it make any Difference?” by Phillip Yancey.
Week Beginning: Sunday 20th January 2013 Question 2: Why Did Jesus die? Bible Readings: Romans 6:1-14, John 6: 35-40; Discussion Questions: 1. Which of the images or ways of answering the question “why did Jesus die” speak most powerfully to you and why? 2. If Jesus died to save us, what are you saved from? What are you saved for? 3. Has your view of why Jesus died ‘for us’ changed over the course of your Christian experience? If so, how? Further resources: for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel for those who want to go deeper… “The Enigma of the Cross”, Alister McGrath (Hodder and Stoughton) “Salvation”, T J Gorringe (Epworth Press)
Week Beginning: Sunday 13th January 2013 Question 1: Who is Jesus? Bible Readings: Matthew 16:13-20, Isaiah 9: 1-7 Discussion Questions: Who do you think Jesus is? What images, words, thoughts, feelings come to mind? Having heard the talk in one of the services this week, has your concept of Jesus changed, how and why? How do you respond to what Jesus said about himself? (e.g. “I am the way the truth and the life”, “I am the light of the world”) If you had a chance to meet Jesus, how would you feel and what would you say to him? Further resources for those exploring… Websites: www.alpha.org www.rejesus.co.uk Books: “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel For those who want to go deeper… “Four Gospels, One Jesus?” by Richard Burridge “The Jesus I never knew” by Philip Yancey
St Martins Whole Church Alpha: Exploring the basics of the Christian Faith From Sunday 13th January to Sunday 31st March (Easter Day) at all the services, St Martins will be exploring the questions posed from the Christian Enquiry Course Alpha. We will do this through sermons, small group discussions, questions posed in a small theme guide and over bring and share lunches that will take place after our 11am services on Sunday 27th January, Sunday 24th February and Sunday 24th March (Palm Sunday). This is an opportunity for anyone who is wanting to know more about the Christian Faith to come along listen, chat, ask questions, as well as for those who have been Christians for a while to be reminded and encouraged by what we believe. Each service has it’s own particular flavour and tradition but essentially the pattern will be as follows: Sunday 9.30am, Holy Communion service: Sermon will be given on the theme, with an opportunity after the service for an informal chat over