What Does It Mean to Say “Love Listens”?

A few weeks ago, close to 2,000 people gathered in person for The Alpha Conference, with over 2,000 more joining us online. Father John Riccardo set the tone and illuminated the theme of the conference in his opening address when he asked the question:

“What does it mean to say ‘love listens’?”

This question reverberated through eight inspiring mainstage messages, 16 workshops, and numerous conversations with diverse leaders. It was a question whose answer was woven through the stories of transformation that were shared during our time together; and one we were able practice as we shared meals, our personal experiences, learned from one another, and worshipped and prayed together.

“The idea of ‘love listens’ and how we can use that concept as a means to make connections with folks who may be far from God is so pertinent to what we are doing. I was also grateful that the speakers at The Alpha Conference were sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in urging us [the Church] toward unity and reconciliation.” —Conference Attendee

The Alpha Conference was a time of encouragement and hope, and a time of challenge—to look at what it means to actively engage with the world, at this time, that makes a difference.

When our love listens, we seek the path of unity across dividing lines. We build bridges by looking not to convince, but to understand. This is the work of compassion, of empathy, of being fully present with one another.

When our love listens, we see brothers and sisters, not enemies. We see people imbued with the image of God and welcome one another by creating spaces for different voices, backgrounds, and perspectives to be heard.

Listening in love acknowledges the dignity of the speaker and provides an opportunity for learning and growth for the listener.

Those gathered represented multiple Christian expressions, diverse ethnic groups, and cultures. Perfect agreement in a group that size and that diverse would have been nearly impossible. But we are not called to perfect agreement; we are called to love and to unity.

Throughout the conference, we had an opportunity to put incarnational listening – to listen like Jesus listened into practice. Pastor Glenn Packiam helped us to answer the question posed in the beginning, when he reminded us that:

“If you set this kind of table (listening table) Jesus will take over.”

We were blessed to be with you at The Alpha Conference 2022 and invite you to watch the highlight reel from our time together. Then, save the date! Plan to join us at The Alpha Conference 2023, January 26-27. Sign up to receive updates directly to your inbox.


This track is full of amazing main-stage speakers who will showcase the power of prayer in every generation, equip you to live a naturally supernatural life and train you to heal as Jesus did. Senior pastors, church leaders, non-profit leaders, this track is you!

Workshops in this Track

Learnings from Asbury on the Power of Prayer

Speaker: Angela Chadwick, Global Director of Prayer, Alpha USA

Alpha’s Global Director of Prayer will interview some of the spiritual leaders involved in the Asbury revival where a chapel worship service caught the attention of our country. You’ll hear stories of how the students were deeply moved by God through the simplest forms of worship and how the leaders made sure the only celebrity on stage was Jesus. You’ll also be amazed by the powerful breakthroughs in young people’s lives through the gentlest of prayers.

Additionally, we will explore how the resurgence of faith in one small American town is relevant to every person in the Church and how it shapes how we share the good news in a good way with this generation.

How to Facilitate Eternal Connections with Jesus

Speaker: Danielle Strickland, Spiritual Leader, Justice Advocate, Communicator, Peacemaker

Encounter is God’s favorite way to spiritual revelation. Why do we emphasize information-formation as our primary means of discipleship? What if we put more time, energy, and effort into facilitating more encounters? Be prepared to discuss together how cultivating curiosity becomes a means to do just that. We will talk techniques, experiences, and new ideas.

Everyday Miracles

Speakers: Dr. Chloe Swart, Associate National Director for Alpha UK, and Dr. Russo Swart, New Wine Cymru Prophetic and Healing Team

This workshop will look at how to heal the sick as a part of our everyday missional lives. Following Chloe’s PhD studying healing miracles in Wales, Chloe found that Christians in Wales were praying for their friends, family, and colleagues, in the gym, in the supermarket, at work; wherever they found themselves, as well as in church services, and Alpha courses. Healing is a missional tool that points toward Jesus. Unpack the theology of healing, while also hearing very practical teaching and demonstration of how to heal the sick in an everyday way.

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