Alpha Online

Alpha is a free, easy-to-use tool to help engage people in your community with the gospel. It creates a space for people to connect with others online to watch a series of episodes and explore the Christian faith together.
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Engage with people who wouldn’t usually come to church – online.

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that freely explore the basics of the Christian faith. Last year, approximately 30,000 churches and organisations ran Alpha with over 1.3 million participants.

The Online Experience

Alpha is now available to host as an online experience. Churches who have run Alpha online this spring have seen significant impact on the guests and leaders who took part.

• Alpha online opens the door of your church to new people who would never have come on Alpha otherwise
• Guests are more likely to keep coming back consistently session after each session
• Alpha online engages and mobilizes young people in an even greater capacity
• Alpha online develops long-term disciples and leaders in your church
• Alpha online can be mobilized quickly with minimal resources

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The three ingredients of Alpha

Connect

Alpha is an opportunity to explore life’s big questions together in an open, informal environment.

Watch

The episodes unpack the basics of the Christian faith, addressing questions such as Who is Jesus?, How can we have faith? and How does God guide us?

Discuss

Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to spark conversation which will be guided by hosts and helpers from your church.


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

top-tips

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

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

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