What is Alpha?
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the basics of the Christian faith. Typically run over eleven weeks, each session looks at a different question that people can have about faith and is designed to create conversation. It’s just an open, informal and honest space to explore and discuss life’s big questions together.
does Alpha look like?
There isn’t really an average Alpha. Alpha
is run in local communities all around the world, and everyone’s welcome. It
runs in cafés, churches, bars, prisons, parks, universities, schools, homes—you
name it. No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things
in common: food, a talk and good conversation.
The talks are designed to engage guests and
inspire conversation. Usually around thirty minutes long, they can be given as a
live talk, all for free. They explore the big issues around faith and unpack
the basics of Christianity, addressing questions such as Who is Jesus? and How can I have
Probably the most important part of any
Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and simply discuss
it in a small group. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing
you can’t say (seriously). It’s an opportunity to hear from others and
contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.
does it cost?
There is no charge. Please join us for free. If you would prefer to make a contribution,
though, there will be a basket to put money in if you wish
What does it cost?
There is no charge. Please join us for free. If you would prefer to make a contribution, though, there will be a basket to put money in if you wish
Dear Alpha friends,
What a year and what a term it’s been!
In the midst of crisis, people are encountering Jesus. In the last few months over 1,300 churches across the UK have run an Alpha Online. It is so exciting to think of the thousands and thousands of people who have had an opportunity to discover and develop a relationship with Jesus. I've been blown away by the stories I have heard of what you are all doing, and your remarkable commitment and energy in running Alpha Online when so much is going on. We are hearing story after story of people's friends, family members and colleagues coming to faith in Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit in their own homes.
What we've learnt
What we've found is that Alpha Online seems to draw a whole group of people who wouldn't necessarily have attended an Alpha course in person. Whether it be due to the lower bar of just logging on from home rather than actually having to visit a church, the ease of attending after a busy day at work, childcare reasons, worry about stepping foot in a church building, student commitments...people show up who wouldn't have come on Alpha before. Plus, we've found that not only in the UK but also globally, Alpha Online sees a higher retention rate. Once people turn up, they tend to stay.
One of the biggest apparent hurdles was the Alpha Day Online. Could it work? Would it work? Is prayer ministry effective over Zoom?! The answer is an overwhelming yes! The Holy Spirit isn't limited by Zoom or any other technology. At HTB, we saw many people experience the Holy Spirit and come to faith in Jesus as they were prayed for through a screen. It is one of the most awe-inspiring things to see!
What's fascinating is a number of those people had no awareness of Jesus prior to coming on Alpha. They hadn't been to church before, some didn't even have any Christian friends. This is why the resources we've been creating have been made to connect with a generation who have questions, are seeking truth, and are hungry for honest conversations around what that might be. We've created further assets which are now available on MyAlpha. Just click on the 'Promote' tab and then 'Alpha Online' and be sure to take a look and enjoy the new memes and gifs we've specially created.
Give it a go!
We have wonderful regional teams who are on hand to support you throughout the journey of running it. Aside from hosting regular prayer events, they'll be hosting training throughout September including 'Come and See' events where you can physically attend and Alpha Online and see how it works first-hand as well as '101 trainings' which connect you with other churches in the area and cover the basics to get you up and running. Check out our events page for more details.
We're still discovering a lot about Alpha Online but believe the best is yet to come. We are hoping to make it as easy and effective as possible for you to run it. With that in mind, we'd love to hear from you. How you're doing, how we can better equip you and if you've been running Alpha Online - how it's gone, what you've learnt, how you've been running it.
Thank you so much again for your continued support for Alpha, and all you are doing to help people encounter Jesus.
With love and thanks,
Stephen and the Alpha UK team