Alpha Tips are some of the most popular pages on the Alpha USA website. The tips provide just in time learning for busy Alpha teams. Look to the right (under Articles) to view the most recent Alpha Tip. We have also created Alpha Tips Podcasts that you can forward to your team or share during team training.
Check Out Past Tips
You will find Alpha Tips in the Library. To view them, click on the links below where you will see a list of articles that include best practices and past Alpha Tips.
Innovations to Alpha
The Alpha Course has been going strong at Holy Trinity Brompton for over thirty years and has adapted as the leaders have seen fit. Here are a few innovations from Nicky Gumbel and the team at HTB you may want to consider as you plan your course.
If you have been running Alpha for awhile, you were probably instructed to not have small groups after the Introductory Dinner. Recently Nicky Gumbel and team at Holy Trininty Brompton noticed that people were expecting to be in a small group and were ready to get to know others. So, they have begun to have small groups meet and suggest doing the following:
Thank everyone for coming. Make sure you have "Why Jesus?" booklets on the tables for the guests to take home.
Have the Host/Facilitator quickly introduce themselves, job, hobbies, why they’re helping with Alpha and let group know he/she is excited they’re there.
Play the name game. Introduce yourself using a positive adjective, ie "Calm Connie" and then the next person repeats previous guests and adds their own.
“If you were on a stranded island what 2 things would you bring?” question.
Go over Small Group Ground Rules
Start with the person who seems most like a seeker and ask “What brought you to Alpha?”
“If you could ask God one question what would it be?” Depending on time, you may want to save this one until the following week.
Wrap-Up / Registration Cards, let them know you’d love to see them back, get those who are returning to fill out cards. This allows you to spend the next week on “Who is Jesus?” to discuss the talk.
On Week 1, during the welcome time to, do the “ball demonstration”. If you have been to an Alpha Training Event you may have seen this acted out on stage with 6-8 people and a small ball. The aim is to model how the small discussion is to go. You use the ball to demonstrate that the discussion does not go from the guest to the leader repeatedly, nor does every question always come back to the facilitator, like a teacher/student relationship but the idea is for the host/facilitator to “toss” out a question, and have multiple guests comment, to visualize this, throw the ball to one person and have them toss it around among themselves for a short time, so anyone interested can participate.
Serving the Community Day/Event
Take a day after the weekend and do something to give back to the community. Maybe go to a Feed My Starving Children center or help clean up a part of the city or serve the poor in some way. Serving is modeling for the guests another aspect of what Christianity is about.