First things first, Alpha is all about the big questions. What am I made for? What is the meaning of life? What is a Christian? What is my place in the universe? What is the meaning of everything? Is there a God? Where am I heading? Why am I here? These questions are nuanced and difficult. The thing is, we all wrestle with these questions at some point. These questions surround the matters of hope, purpose, meaning and love.
Alpha is a multi-week Christian course exploring life, faith and meaning. It is an interactive series which explores the basics of the Christian faith. In each session there is opportunity to connect with friends, there is the Alpha content which is provided for free, and opportunity to have open and safe conversation.
At Alpha, you’re allowed, actually encouraged, to ask the tough questions.
Alpha creates the space for any community - friends, neighbours, family or co-workers - to join together to have conversations that are authentic and unforced. In this space, leaders don’t need to have all the answers. At Alpha, you're allowed - actually, encouraged - to ask the tough questions and share your beliefs, no matter what they might be and what background of life or faith you might have. Alpha makes sharing faith with anyone accessible and
approachable, even for those who are not familiar with the Christian faith.
This is what Alpha is all about.
Alpha started in a church in London, many years ago, with the simple and achievable idea to engage friends who don’t typically go to Church. People's lives were transformed, and this idea, Alpha, began to grow all over the globe including Australia.
Alpha makes sharing faith with anyone accessible and approachable
What does an Alpha look like?
At Alpha, no question is too complex or too simple. Your point of view and lived experience is as important as anyone else's. The Alpha Film Series typically is done within 8-12 weeks with a weekend or day away with opportunities to experience worship through music and moments for prayer.
There are three ways Alpha can be facilitated:
Hybrid - a bit of both!
In person is the most common way the Alpha Film Series is facilitated. This can be in a Church setting, a cafe, a home, a prison, university - anywhere! Alpha creates an opportunity like never before to share the Gospel anywhere, any time, with anyone. There is the Alpha Youth Series for young people aged 13-18 years old, the series can be done at Church Youth group, schools, university - again, anywhere!
Alpha Online has become equally successful as the in person Alpha’s, especially during times of uncertainty in the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs, such as Zoom, were used by Alpha leaders across Australia to facilitate a time to share the Alpha Film Series and journey with people through the chaos of COVID-19. With Alpha being available online you could connect with friends in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, or international destinations. Alpha is versatile, you can do it anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Here is a quote from an Alpha Online facilitator:
“When we had 24 people online we were pleasantly surprised. We saw leaders step up to lead, volunteers prophesy for the first time and people get filled with The Holy Spirit. There is no limit to what God can do and I believe this is the greatest opportunity to reach people in the comfort of their own homes.” - Nathaniel Truong, Hillsong Australia
Hybrid is the last way the Alpha series can be run. This is a flexible option as it can look completely different for every Alpha! For instance, some might do most part of the series online and then facilitate the Holy Spirit Weekend or Day Away in person; this is one way out of numerous the Alpha series can be done in a Hybrid fashion/mode.
Whether it’s a group of friends gathered around a kitchen table, or a quick online catch-up, times of connecting are important. It’s no different at Alpha. Each session at Alpha starts with a time to relax, connect and build real friendships whether that is in person sharing a meal together or virtually all together, as each participant sips on a cup of tea.
Alpha is for everyone - that new Christian who is exploring, the Christian that knows the ins and outs of church and someone who is far from Christianity.
The Alpha talks are designed to engage people from all walks of life, to inspire conversation and to tackle life's big questions through a Christian perspective. Each session explores the big issues of life and faith and unpack the basics of Christian belief, addressing questions like “Who is Jesus?”, “Why and how do I pray?” and “How does God guide us?”
One of the most important parts of any Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and discuss in a small group. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing you can’t say (seriously). This is an opportunity for those doing Alpha to unpack the ideas introduced through the Alpha content. This time is great to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.
How to find an Alpha
Click here to find an Alpha near you!