Plan & Prepare
Alpha is simply an idea, a story and a tool. How you customize it makes all the difference – remember to think outside of the church walls. Take a few minutes to answer the questions below to discover how you’d like to run it. When you’re ready, our experienced and trained Relationship Development Coordinators are happy to meet with you, listen to your vision and help you get started on your Alpha, whatever the context and whoever you’re called to reach.
What are the Key Elements?
A proven format to running successful Alpha sessions includes: food, a short talk (on video or live) about the Christian faith, and a space to share your thoughts in an open discussion (in small groups) while trained hosts facilitate the conversation.
Who are you called to reach?
There are so many people in our world searching for knowledge about God. We have many tools that can help you reach specific different groups. Click below, on the options, to see what is available.
Get in touch with your local Alpha people. Tell them you are starting a course, and ask how they can make it even easier to get started.
Get the talks
There's more than one way to do it. From talk transcripts for a live speaker to pressing play on a DVD, read our Five Ways to Give an Alpha Talk.
The Alpha Shop also has a huge number of resources you can purchase.
What topics are covered?
- Life: Is There More to Life Than This?
- Jesus: Who Is Jesus?
- Cross: Why Did Jesus Die?
- Faith: How Can We Have Faith?
- Prayer: Why and How Do I Pray?
- Word: Why and How Do I Read the Bible?
- Follow: How Does God Guide Us?
- Spirit: Who Is the Holy Spirit and What Does He Do?
- Fill: How Can I Be Filled With the Holy Spirit?
- Evil: How Can I Resist Evil?
- Healing: Does God Heal Today?
- Church: What About the Church and Telling Others?
Find a venue
Whether it’s your home, a coffee shop or the church hall; ask yourself if it's a welcoming environment for the people you want to invite. For example, think about using lighting to create a fun and relaxed setting.
Save the dates
Book in the weekend/day away, training sessions, taster event, etc. Weekend or day? You can cover the material in a day, though people find that having more time to spend together is a bonus. Get more details of all the logistics in The Alpha Administrator's Handbook.
Set your budget
Many courses are run in homes and so don't cost much to run. However, for every eventuality, here are some costs to consider:
- Logistics (the celebration or launch party, weekend/day away, each Alpha session, training sessions)
- Food (the celebration, weekend/day away, each Alpha session)
- Course resources (DVDs, manuals for guests and team)
- Publicity (posters, invites, banners)
Promote your course
Promoting your course is a lot of fun! It's often a good idea to ask the most media-savvy person on your team to put together an action plan for inviting people onto the course. There is a fantastic resource in the Share Alpha App that enables you to print your own posters and share on social media. Read all the information about promoting your course.
Find and train your team
A well-trained team makes a huge difference to a course. People are more confident and feel properly equipped to help on Alpha. The result? A great course for the guests and a happy team eager to help again next time! Our staff offer live training any time you need it. Contact them to get started on training your team.
Food on Alpha
- Choose simple options (keeping cost and prep time to a minimum)
- Download the Alpha Cookbook for recipes (for small and large courses)
- Use (recyclable) disposable plates and napkins for easy clean-up
- Suggest a small donation (leave a bowl out) to guests for the cost of food
Worship and Prayer on Alpha
Whether to have a time of worship depends on the size of your Alpha Course. With small size courses you may play a CD. When you get larger getting a guitarist to come in and play one song can be hugely beneficial.
For info about prayer on Alpha – both praying for your Alpha Course and prayer on your Alpha Course – have a look at our prayer and worship section.