Alpha in the workplace
You have probably heard of the Alpha Course and know that it is an introduction to Christianity and run in
numerous churches around the country and indeed worldwide. Did you also know that it is possible to run Alpha in the workplace. After all, the workplace is the place we are most likely to run into people with a different, or even no, faith, and it is where we spend the majority of our waking hours.
What is Alpha
In case Alpha has passed you by, according to the Alpha Course's own website: "Alpha is a practical introduction to the Christian faith. It is sociable and informative; everyone is guaranteed to have an opportunity to share their opinions and questions about Christianity in a relaxed and non-threatening atmosphere."
Adjustments for the Workplace
With a few adjustments, it is perfectly possible to run an Alpha Course in the workplace however it is
necessary to tailor the course to the workplace environment. Some of the issues that need to be considered are:
Time constraints: the weekly meeting is shorter than the Alpha course, usually occupying a one-hour session
Condensed talks: talks run for a maximum of twenty to twenty-five minutes, either using live speakers, downloadable talks or the DVDs
Resources: if sufficient funding exists, some courses provide the book Questions of Life for each guest
Worship: worship is usually not introduced until the Alpha weekend or day away
Social interaction: there is less time to get to know the guests, so the team may need to make a special effort to build relationships, eg, arranging drinks after work or catching up over coffee
Follow-up: the team need to be proactive about integrating guests into the local church and providing additional follow-up courses in the workplace environment, such as:
The God at Work course (a suggested follow up to Alpha in the Workplace)
The Jesus Lifestyle course
A Life Worth Living course
The headquaters of the Alpha Course at Holy Trinity Brompton provide a number of resources specifically for workplace Alpha courses these include:
They also have advisors located around the country who can assist with setting up a workplace Alpha Course.
Shortend Alpha talk scripts to last no more than 20-30 minutes.
Alpha in the Workplace talks. These are available for free on line and comprise seven 30 minute talks as well as talks suitable for the day away.
Alpha Express, consists of shortend versions of the regular talks given by Nicky Gumbel available on DVD.
If you are thinking of running an Alpha Course in your workplace, more information can be found on the Alpha Course website at: http://run.alpha.org/workplace/home.
A list of advisors can be found at: http://uk-england.alpha.org/workplace/advisers
Guidelines on running an Alpha Course at work can be found at: http://uk-england.alpha.org/workplace/run-a-course
and help in setting up a launch event at: http://run.alpha.org/workplace/blog/article/2011-10-17/hosting-alpha-workplace-launch-event
Robin Barry, 31/01/2013