New to Alpha?
What are the key ingredients?
One proven essential in running a successful course is to follow this recipe:
- Food – It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; it's about creating space and time for the guests to settle in
- Talk – Each week there is a talk on one of the above topics. There are various ways to give a talk, and the length of the talk depends on your audience
- Discussion – After the talk, guests break into small groups and discuss the content, with hosts facilitating the conversation
What does a typical session look like?
Courses can run in the morning, afternoon or evening. This is an example of an evening session:
- 7.00 pm – Food (supper or a light meal)
- 7.35 pm – Welcome and notices
- 7.45 pm – Worship (if appropriate)
- 7.55 pm – Talk
- 8.45 pm – Coffee and small groups
- 9.30 pm – Finish
A day or weekend away occurs halfway through the course. (Usually between Session 6 and Session 7.)
No pressure, no follow up, no charge
- It's important to create a relaxed enviroment where everyone feels welcomed, so make sure guests never feel pressured into saying or doing anything.
- Following that, if a guest doesn't return we do not call or email to check why. It is very normal for some guests to drop out.
- We don't charge for the course, though you might want to suggest a small donation (leave a bowl out) to guests for the cost of food.
What is the course structure?
Courses often launch with a taster event and/or end the course with a celebration party – providing guests with the opportunity to invite friends to come and see what Alpha is.
The weekly course structure:
- Who Is Jesus?
- Why Did Jesus Die?
- How Can We Have Faith?
- Why and How Do I Pray?
- Why and How Should I Read the Bible?
- How Does God Guide Us?
- How Can I Resist Evil?
- Why Should I Tell Others?
- Does God Heal Today?
- What about the Church?
- Who Is the Holy Spirit?
- What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
- How Can I Be Filled with the Spirit?
- How Can I Make the Most of the Rest of My Life?
Launch (taster) event and/or celebration party
- (E.g: the 'Is There More to Life Than This?' talk)
The launch/taster event
Make it easy for people to invite friends and learn more about Alpha by throwing a relaxed event. Host a party, with some snacks, entertainment and a short introduction to Alpha. Include a few Alpha stories from past guests, and as people are leaving, hand out invitations to the course with the start date, venue and times.
Aim for more than one course
The course works best when it is run two or three times a year. If each course ends with a party, guests can invite friends who are invited to the next course.