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Churches across Winnipeg are continuing to see success running the Alpha program. For some churches, it's something new, while others are nearing two decades.

Westwood Community Church (WCC) is one of the Winnipeg churches that will be using the new Youth Alpha course. "My leaders have looked over it quite a bit," Terry Doerkson, the youth pastor at WCC, says. "We've watched the videos and have done lots of reading on it. It's really engaging. It goes back to the basics that we often overlook and assumed kids have learned. 

"It's a fabulous program. We've used the adult's version and had fantastic results. We're excited to see how the youth program goes." WCC is launching their Youth Alpha on January 24.

Cher Paulson, the discipleship pastor with Calvary Temple, says they've been utilizing this program there for 18 years. "It was brought to us by a staff member. The pastors weren't sure if it would go well, but 18 years later it's the main way we do evangelism here at Calvary Temple."

Paulson says that it's not only a great tool for evangelism, however. It's one that also gets the rest of the church involved. "It's an amazing program because people in the church take ownership of being involved anywhere from registration to table hosting, to making meals. It's a great place to bring people that may not be ready for church but have questions about faith and God. It's a safe place to eat a meal together, watch a talk, ask their questions. We've had a lot of people come to Jesus through this program and stay in communication as well as the congregation."

Paulson feels the relationships and the connections are her favourite part. "It's so hard to connect right away and invest in relationships through the church service. When you invite someone to Alpha, they have that ability to build relationships over the nine weeks to ask questions and seek out God." Paulson says that in that space they really see God at work. "We use this as a tool, but the Holy Spirit does the changing. It's a great place to build relationships and allow the Holy Spirit's work to take place." 

Calvary Temple's next alpha program launches Wednesday, January 17.

Read more:

How youth in Winnipeg are setting out to change the city