Number of people doing the Alpha Course has soared during Covid-19

The Alpha Course has seen even larger numbers of people participate during Covid-19 than prior to the lockdown.

Nicky Gumbel, who transformed Alpha from a short-course for new Christians at Holy Trinity Brompton to a global evangelistic tool, admitted he was surprised by how well it was doing after being moved completely online during the pandemic. 

In an interview with Pastor Agu Irukwu, of Jesus House in London, Gumbel revealed that the number of people taking part during Covid-19 had tripled.

"Alpha's just gone online.  I didn't think Alpha would work online. Alpha works even better online than in person.  We've had more [people]," Gumbel said. 

"We normally get 500 people turning up this term.  We've had 1,600 guests on our course this term and most of them would not be there but for Covid-19."

He added: "We've never had such a low dropout rate." 

He said his own particular small group had seen only one person dropout, and that all but two of the group became Christians over Pentecost. 

"The Holy Spirit fell on them in the most powerful way - more powerful than in person on Zoom. Jesus healed at a distance and the Holy Spirit is not confused by Zoom!"

Elsewhere in the wideranging interview, Gumbel talked about his journey to faith as the son of a Jew who escaped the Holocaust and how he stays positive during the pandemic.

"Give the first part of your day to that relatioship [with God]," he said.

"That's the place to start your day.  Right now in Covid-19, we can either start with hearing the news or social media, in which case [it's like starting] the day with fear and anxiety and distraction. Or we start [with the Bible].

Holding up his Bible in One Year book, he said: "I read through the whole Bible each year and I've found that's an amazing way to start the day." 

Watch the full interview below: