Alpha and The Pastor
Having the pastor involved in your course is critical to its long-term health and integration into the heart of church life. However, pastors have differing gifts and passions, so the role you encourage them into will vary. It’s always better not to force your pastor into supporting Alpha, but rather convince him or her of the benefits of the course.
One great attraction of Alpha for pastors is that it is the front line of ministry, and those who come have no expectation of him or her. So much of a pastor’s time is taken up dealing with problems and sorting out difficult situations. To come into a positive atmosphere like Alpha, where church members are serving and seekers have the freedom to share and ask their questions, can be very liberating for them. The pastor can have a significant impact on the course simply by endorsing it in services, even if they don't take on a big leadership role.
Some share in the teaching, especially at the Weekend Away, at the healing evening, or with the talk “What about the Church?” Others simply come and meet people over dinner a few times during the course.
It will be much easier for the Alpha guests to transition into the mainstream of church life if they feel a sense of connection with the clergy. As far as commitment to the value of the course in the overall life of the church is concerned, both coming to a conference and beginning to see real fruit in the life of their own church, are both very effective.