Gathering again in 2022


As ministries all over the world look to resume in-person meetings and conventions, after the last two years, it feels important to ask whether events like these are truly necessary. Is there benefit in the gathering? Is it worth the cost, time, and effort?

We believe the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Why Do We Gather?

This is a time of deep cultural need and upheaval. The world is shifting. Things are not the same as they were a decade ago—our world today looks significantly different than it did even two years ago.

During this time of change, we have come to more fully understand that it is imperative that we learn to listen: to a shifting culture, to those in the margins, to the next generation and to the experiences of others.

While technological advancements have opened a variety of ways for us to communicate widely and effectively, in order to listen well, deeply enough to be changed by what we hear, we need to be in the same space together. Shared spaces allow us to look one another in the eye and engage with our whole selves.

Additionally, we have the opportunity to hear from leaders around the world who are humbly living out their influence for the benefit of others, and to build new Kingdom friendships. We gather to learn from those who are different from us, to encourage and build each other up. When we gather, we experience the fullness of community.

Does it Matter?

Experiencing the fullness of community sounds nice, doesn’t it? But will it really matter in the long run? What is the lasting impact of gathering for conferences such as The Alpha Conference? We pray that the lasting impact of these events would be God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.

Glenn Packiam, a popular speaker at many conferences, says, “Right now, the world isn’t interested in what the Church has to say. We’ve lost credibility. We’ve lost our way.”

When the Israelites lost their way, the prophets called them to gather together. To lament. To repent. To experience the presence of God in their midst so that the Spirit of God could lead them forward into a new and vibrant future.

When we gather before God’s Spirit we are not only changed individually—we are changed corporately. When we center everything we are in God’s presence, we become a new people. A people connected to the vine, filled with the Spirit, and abiding in the abundant life of Jesus.

Isn’t that exactly what our world needs? Not more outrage, but more presence. Not more isolation, but more connection. It matters.

We need to take time away from the noise, away from the echo chambers of the bubbles we’ve built around ourselves.

We need to come together, as one Church with many parts, many representations, united in Christ—to connect and pray, to listen and lament.

We need to be together to remind each other that the good news of the Gospel is love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, freedom—and this good news is for all.

When we gather as the people of God in the presence of God, we are filled and refreshed, and return to our communities with restored energy and a renewed purpose to bring the hope of the Gospel to the world.

We need this. And, we’re willing to guess every believer does, too.

Danielle Kemp serves on the Alpha USA Lead Team as National Director of Strategic Church Partnerships. She lives in Mission Viejo, Calif., with her husband Randy and their 2 sons. Learn more about The Alpha Conference, set for Thursday, January 27 – Friday, January 28, with opportunities to join in person or online for the opening-night streaming session.


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