The topic this week is "Why and How Should I Read the Bible?" Personal Bible reading is virtually non-existent in this culture and still very rare among our own baby congregation. I can imagine the group discussion going to one of two extremes (dull and "religious" or riveting and sincere). We'll see. After the discussion time, I intend to let the Alpha groups know about the Bible reading program we are doing with the Comunidad Cristiana. I wrote a Reading Guide for the Gospel of John (56 days of short readings accompanied by reflection questions), which we're offering at the bargain price of $0.15. I would love to see some of them get involved in that. After completing about 30 readings, they also get a free hardback Bible, which has been a big incentive for others.
The other big news this week is that we're asking them to let us know whether they're coming to the retreat or not (next Sunday, November 2) and if they are coming, to go ahead and pay the $2/person. From the rumblings we've heard so far, I think we'll have a big turn out. There have been a lot of questions about who can come to the retreat, and we decided to offer childcare for those who don't have another place to leave the kids. I'm a little nervous that we're going to have, along with our Alpha participants, 20 kids and a bunch of other adult family members. We'll try to address that tonight, and I think the $2/person will help deter some, but what we've learned in the past 6 months is that after a certain point, we just have to let go. Another scary thought for the control freak at the keyboard.
Here's how you can pray for us tonight:
- The Groups. This continually is a bit confusing for us, but I think pretty much we have our different small groups down. Please pray for the conversations and the leaders. One group in particular is a bit difficult since it includes 2 16-year-old boys, who tend to cut up. Tim is going to try his hand at subduing them tonight. Please pray for wisdom and the ability to keep the discussions on topic.
- The Retreat. In two weeks we are having a day retreat and people seem to be pretty excited. Pray that God would hand-pick the participants and that we would be content with His choices! Pray, too, that we would be able to communicate clearly about the retreat details (especially that it is for Alpha participants, not a family retreat), that we would have some warm sunshine, and for the logistics of food, set-up, etc. Start praying now that this retreat would be a time of transformation in the lives of many!
- The Leaders. Please be praying for us and our other 3 leaders. Pray for discernment, peace, confidence, and love.
- Incorporating the People into the Church. This is a big deal to us. We are working to encourage all these new Alpha folks to come and worship with us on Sundays. Some have come but it still seems that there is a general hestiation about being involved with the current community of believers.