Our nationwide Alpha Easter Invitation is about to begin! We hope you will be listening out for Alpha on the Christian radio stations in your capital city. Be sure to show your support by tuning in, even online if you live in a regional area.
We are very excited about giving many Australians the opportunity to explore faith and just as important, we are praying for you and your team as you are in the final stages of getting reading to launch Alpha.
Prayer is an essential part of Alpha. While it takes place out of the public eye, it’s absolutely crucial to the success of any Alpha. You can’t run Alpha without God leading you as a team and working in the lives of your guests. Our experience over the years has shown there is a correlation between how much prayer goes into Alpha and how fruitful it is. For this very reason, we encourage you to strongly engage with your prayer team as they pray daily for you, your team and your guests. Also ask them to pray at the same time that Alpha is running.
Inviting Guests To Alpha
Here are a few practical ideas about inviting guests to your Alpha. You can share these with your Alpha team, Church leaders and congregation, as everyone needs to be inviting people to Alpha.
The first big question is whom should I invite? There are a couple of ways to think about this:
a. Who do I already know?
You have a network of relationships that generally fall into four categories: friends, family, neighbours and co-workers. Ask yourself these questions: Who do I know on a first name basis? Who are the people with whom I share a similar interest or participate in similar activities such as personal hobbies, community events, gym, sporting activities, etc.? Who seems open or likely to respond to an invitation? Who doesn't appear to have a relationship with Christ or attend a church? From these people, make a list of who you would consider inviting.
b. Making the most of opportunities
God is always at work in people's lives and He often directs us to people He is drawing His way. If we are willing and prepared, we can utilise and take hold of the opportunities to invite.
Ask yourself these questions: Who do I know on a first name basis? Who are the people with whom I share a similar interest or participate in similar activities such as personal hobbies, community events, gym, sporting activities, etc.? Who seems open or likely to respond to an invitation? Who doesn't appear to have a relationship with Christ or attend a church?
Who are the people we haven’t connected to the life of the church? It’s handy to keep some information on Alpha with you so you can give people an actual invitation right at that moment.
How Should I Invite Guests?
Make it PERSONAL - always invite people to go with you to Alpha. People are more likely to attend Alpha if they arrive with the person who invited them. For example; “John and I are going to an Alpha dinner and we would love for you to come with us.”
Make it INTERESTING - be enthusiastic and positive about the opportunity. Think about how you would invite someone to a movie or a sporting event. For example; “We have this really interesting event happening next week that I really think you would enjoy.”
Make it RELEVANT - see if you can connect Alpha to a need or interest they have expressed. For example; “You mentioned that you struggle to talk to your children about God. We have this open discussion at our church called Alpha that can help you talk more clearly about spiritual issues...”
Make it EASY - try to make it as easy and as casual as possible for your friends to attend. Don't ask people to sign up for the whole 11 weeks, just invite them to the introductory session. Ensure the invitation has a “no strings attached” feel and put yourself on an equal level with them. For example; “I am going to check this thing out and would you like to come with me?”
Make it CLEAR - make sure you always have printed information that you can leave with the person. Give them some time and space to think about it and get back to them later.
Anticipate the BARRIERS - make sure you think through barriers that might cause them not to attend:
- Getting there - invite them to ride with you if at all possible and say that you will pick them up or at the very least provide a good map.
- What to do with children - describe the childcare program if one is available. If not, think through other possible options for them.
- If they don't know anyone else - offer to go with them and introduce them to other people that you know once you arrive.
- Different faith background - Alpha is for everyone no matter what your faith background may be.
Take a moment to make a list of people to begin to pray for and invite them to Alpha this week.
At this stage you should have all that you need to run Alpha including all the resources, trained your team and the promotional materials. If you think you are missing anything, please contact our office and we will help you.
Join our Facebook page for Alpha leaders where you can ask other leaders around Australia your questions (https://www.facebook.com/groups/runalpha/).
Explore the ‘Run’ section of our website which can be accessed by using your login here (http://australia.alpha.org/runresource) for more free resources.