Don’t mess with the Alpha recipe.
If you’re gearing up to run Alpha, I hope you’ve heard that message. It’s an important one. Don’t tinker with the Alpha recipe. Don’t think that your situation is “special” and people don’t need open conversation, time for a meal, or shallow-entry music, etc.
But why? What’s so special about a meal? About open conversation without “teaching”?
- A meal is hospitality, plain and simple: whether catered or home-cooked it’s giving of one’s own resources to others, requiring nothing in return.
- For many in the U.S., meals are inconvenient…a burden of time and coordination that seems a bridge too far for many or an implied pressure. By providing this, we’re giving nourishment beyond the physical.
- A meal and conversation is credibility…it’s saying I’m willing to sacrifice time (something of peak value in our culture!) to simply be with you.
- It’s face-to-face. It’s a level playing field. Many people, due to past hurts and barriers, will never experience the sanctuary or Mass this way [at least at first!]
- Teaching says, “I know” (and you don’t). Conversation says, all of our experiences matter. And this isn’t fake. To God, all of our experiences do matter. God wants to gather up and redeem them all in Him!