Where do I Start?
Advertising can be helpful to create interest among young people. A good idea is to create eye catching posters or ask for opportunities to show the trailer
School: It is advised in the school context to offer the course as optional if possible, giving the students the freedom to choose to be a part of it or not. On the other hand the course has worked just as well with a class group that had no choice. It is primarily run for transition years but can be and has been run with all other years groups as well. Alpha - Youth is ideal as it can fit into a 8-10 week school term.
Bear Grylls who, is known around the world for his T.V programmes on wilderness survival, is a great promoter Alpha. He gave of his time to make a short clip to advertise Alpha, it's perfect to use if you get the chance to show it (like in a church service, or school assembly etc).
School: A double class is perfect to run the course each week. If the school has a comfy library, prayer room or anything similar then it would be best to use it! It's important to try and set this class apart from all the rest and create a relaxed atmosphere. If you have little options then simple rearrange the classroom by getting rid of all the tables and have some contemporary music in the background!
Youth Group: The most obvious place might seem to be the church ... but walking into a church may be a big step for someone who is not a churchgoer or mass goer. It might be a good idea to find a local youth centre or sports club to run your Alpha - Youth. If your options are limited then choose the comfiest place in the church! Tip: if you know that the number is going to be small then choose to meet in someones home, always a winner!
Assemble a team:
School: The best practice for Alpha in a School setting is for the school to partner with the local church or parish. The best team is a mix of chaplains/RE teachers and lay people, youth workers and clergy. Having some people come in from the outside helps to make the class different and also the volunteers that come from the local church or parish might be able to provide follow on for anyone who wants to explore more.
Youth Group: Alpha - Youth is not a solo effort, find any willing person to help you as you start out on this journey. You need help to make Alpha what it is, help with the food, help with the games, help with the talk, hosting small groups and help with clean up! Alpha gives many the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to serve God.
The success of every Alpha depends on two vital ingredients: one seen and one unseen. The seen one involves everything on this website, the unseen work is prayer. Ask him to do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.
A Typical Session:
School: A double class is ideal to fit in all the elements. It could be as simple as sweets/snacks and soft drinks. The idea behind it is to create a relaxed atmosphere which separates the class from all others.
Youth group: With more time you can go all out to the extremes with a full meal or quirky themes like ‘smoothie night’ or ‘dessert night’. Eating together is perfect for building community.
It is possible to have fun whilst learning about faith! Don’t be afraid to bring some humour into it as well! Game ideas can be found in the Alpha - Youth Leader’s Guide. Games are ideal to break the ice and make the experience all the more enjoyable. Please also visit the Talkbuilder. Simply register here and you will gain access to game and activity ideas for every episode
The Alpha Youth Film Series is 12 video sessions designed to engage students in conversations about faith, life and Jesus. And it's all available for FREE.
It’s ideal for each small group to have a host(s) to facilitate discussion. The atmosphere for small groups is to be relaxed and non-threatening, and everyone is free to express their opinions!