I'm not sure I would pass muster if the OffAlpha inspectors came round but I love the course. We have ten weeks and a Saturday to introduce people to what Christians believe, with an opportunity for questions and discussion over a meal. My doubts about my authenticity are largely because I don't tend to present such a dogmatic version of Christianity as the course does. On the ethical or divisive issues I tend to say, 'Some Christians believe this; others believe that, what do you make of it?'
No matter how many times I do Alpha though I have to say that the nervousness at the start of a new course doesn't go away. By and large this is not to do with the content or the discussions. I love the opportunity to do the talks and take part in the groups afterwards. Most of my hesitations are to do with admin. What if people don't turn up and we've ordered too much food in the pub for which we will have to pay? What if the atmosphere in the room is wrong? What if I've told everyone the wrong time? (I'm sure I haven't.)
Over the years I've been OK at admin but that is, I think, because it causes me so much more stress than most people that I go over-the-top in double-checking. It's not my best side.
What if someone who I booked in to tonight's guest supper three weeks ago is sitting at home expecting me to confirm? What if someone has forgotten to tell me they are a vegetarian? Help.
Could the next five hours pass quite quickly please?
Oh, and it's too late to come to the Nailsea guest supper tonight (unless you beg) but if you wanted to join our Alpha course, or bring a friend you can come to week one next week when the course proper begins. Just give me a call or drop me an email, message or tweet.