Alpha Online

No doubt most are aware of the concerns currently surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). As some areas of the world are moving towards strict measures to control the outbreak, we want to provide churches with information in the case that any are not able to run Alpha in person.

First Things First

We are praying intensively for the end of this outbreak. We are praying for our leaders to make wise, swift decisions. We are praying for total protection to those most vulnerable. And we are praying that people come to experience that God is not a God of fear but a God of peace.

2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Alpha Online with Zoom


Precautionary Measures

In addition to adhering to locally recommended health practices, we also want all our Alpha Courses run online to be safe places where church communities can host a series of interactive sessions allowing guests to explore their questions about life, faith and God in a welcoming, judgement-free and safe environment. Please see some of our recommendations:

Alpha and Alpha for Youth are committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure our ministry is Online/E-Safety aware and competent. Please see more information here.

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Digital Solutions

If churches are not able to physically run an Alpha course, we recommend moving Alpha online! We firmly believe that as churches innovate in these unforeseen circumstances, God can reach an even greater number of people


Top Tips

We reached out to churches already running Alpha online to get their tips.

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Hospitality

Even though groups are meeting online, churches can still put a strong emphasis on hospitality.

– Heavier Email Communication: Send weekly emails re-capping last week’s talk/discussion and ask guests to share their thoughts via email. Make sure to check-in if someone missed a night.

– Session Engagement: Make sure either the course host or group host is engaging right from the beginning of the online session – saying hello to people, asking questions, telling jokes. Avoid the silent downtime to keep excitement and enthusiasm high.

– Chat functionality: Encourage hosts, helpers, and guests to utilize the chat functionality to comment and ask questions during the video as well as during discussion time when others are talking.

Host Preparation

Make sure the hosts have all video files, discussion questions, and access to the digital solution the church has chosen. Churches have found that guests tend to get more vulnerable and more quickly online than in person. Prep your hosts so they can expect this.

Ensure Quality Discussion

– Ask all guests to be on video

– Ask all guests to join in a quiet environment if possible

– Ask all guests to unmute during discussion. (Unless in a noisy setting). This allows for a more organic, free-flowing conversation.

– Ask guests to not use green screen backgrounds to create a more natural environment.

Logistics

– Internet Connection: If you are hosting Alpha Online, make sure you have a strong internet connection. If possible, plug directly into an ethernet cable.

– Short and Sweet: Churches have found that in an online format, people start to lose interest at around the one-hour mark. We recommend keeping the full session to 1 hour- 1 hour 15 minutes.


Resources