February 1, 2011


Today I'm writing at Internet Cafe Devotions. Won't you grab a cup of coffee and join me there?

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” (Matthew 13:13,16)

For most of my adult life I had an approach-avoidance relationship with Jesus. Nine years ago my husband and I took a course at the church we casually attended— a 10-week introduction to Christianity called Alpha. At the beginning of Alpha I was a skeptical seeker. By the end of the course I was an on-fire Christian who finally “got it.” To say Alpha launched my faith life (and my husband’s too) is an understatement.

Now I help to run Alpha at my church and have made many friends who have had similar experiences. Alpha answered our questions, ignited our faith and connected us to other believers in lasting relationships.

We’re organizing this year’s course which begins in a few weeks. But, interest is not as robust as we hoped. Believe me it’s not for our lack of trying. I scratch my head and ask, “Why?” Why aren’t folks registering in droves—when we believe so passionately in this program? Why don’t those with doubts and questions want to explore answers? Why don’t others want to commit ten Sunday evenings to a program that could likely change their lives?

My most thoughtful and fully-formed answer is, “I don’t know.”

I’ve been asking questions like these for a while. And not just with Alpha—but with all the ministries I'm involved with. I’m impatient to see results. I expect my efforts will bear fruit and I feel frustrated when they don’t. I wonder, “Why?”

  • Why do some have ears that “hear,” but others appear deaf?
  • Why does the word of God inspire some to respond radically, but leaves many indifferent, defiant or even hostile?
  • Why do some Christians visibly grow spiritually while others seem to remain the same?


Sassy Granny ... said...

Ahhhhh ... questions my own heart wrestles with too, my friend. I have concluded (rightly or wrongly), much of it has to do with lukewarmness. People simply take for granted that which is most precious & costly. Counting the cost will result in one of two things: stepping up, or stepping back.

These are "interesting" days. I pray God sends revival to His Church. In the meantime, may He send attenders to so worthy a class as Alpha.



So glad to hear that God used Alpha to draw you to Him in fresh ways. It is difficult to plan and work hard and then not have others show up or sign up. (I always want everyone to come, when I planned a women's ministry event.) There is freedom in knowing that only God can change a heart. I appreciate your thoughts here.


Doreen McGettigan said...

I'm afraid it is like the old saying you can lead a house to water but you cannot make him drink...
I became stronger in my faith when I prayed for help with something and received a miracle beyond my expectations. That made me hungry to share and to also know more.
All you can do is create and hope they come...good luck!

Sue J. said...

The bell choir was preparing to give a concert at a senior residence. The woman showing me the room we were to play in apologized up and down for there maybe not being as many people as we would want. I said to her that those who are supposed to be there will be there. (And then, the threat of bad weather made them cancel the concert, so ????)

God's plans and ways are definitely not ours. Even in our service to Him, there are reasons why our offering is not received as we expect. That we put expectations on our service--even worthy ones--adds to our lack of understanding, sometimes. God, it doesn't add up!

My daytime bell group never brought in a soul, even as our established group continues to be sought after. If I had great expectations that this day group would serve even more senior residences, I probably would have become bitter at its death--and it would have shown on the other group.

If it's meant to be....

Just realize, Kelli, that He sees your heart, your passion, your love for Him--even if "not enough" others will this time....