You’ve got the venue. Check. You’ve got the dates in the diary. Check. You’ve got the team trained. Check. You’re ready to go… but the church aren’t as invested as you are. Sound familiar? Here are eleven quick tips for getting your church members behind your Alpha course!
1. Lead from the front!
There’s a direct correlation between how committed leadership is and how much the congregation get involved. “My learning’s been that if you run Alpha as an add on, you miss out on so much fruit—but people get on board with something when they realize the church is taking it seriously,” says Jon Lindsay-Scott from Springfield Church, Wallington. While it may not guarantee buy in, if you don’t demonstrate your commitment you won’t get it back.
2. Find a leader who just can’t stop talking about the course
Enthusiasm, much like laughter or the tune of Hey Mickey, is infectious. Finding someone to run Alpha at your church who is irrepressibly enthusiastic will play a big role in recruiting your wider team. This was the experience of Martijn in Oasis Church, Amsterdam with his Alpha leader: “He can’t stop talking about it and that makes others want to join the adventure.”
3. Get your congregation to try Alpha
“If you’re inviting people to something you’ve never done yourself, it’s harder to be enthusiastic about it—and harder to sell it.” This was Jon’s realization. His solution was to invite the whole church to try Alpha themselves and to invite their friends too. It worked a treat, with huge buy in from church members and from guests too.
4. Train, train, train!
Take training your team as seriously as you take the course itself! This will help your congregation see from early on how important Alpha is to you. If you run just one training evening, it’s likely that some helpers will be unable to attend—take a leaf out of Jon’s book and try running three, that way your team will be totally equipped and you can be sure that everyone’s participated before kick-off!
5. A church that prays together stays together
It can be difficult for everyone to feel involved with your course. After all there are only so many helpers, cooks and speakers needed to run Alpha, right? Wrong. Prayer is a crucial part to any successful church outreach and it’s a great way to get everyone involved and invested. Try praying together about Alpha at your services, or send out a weekly email with prayer points for your guests.