Alpha Youth Film Series FAQ
What is the Alpha Youth Film Series?
Alpha is a series of interactive sessions exploring the basics of the Christian faith. The Youth Film Series consists of twelve short episodes designed to engage young people in conversations about faith, life and God.
Who is the intended audience of the Youth Film Series?
It’s primarily for young people who don’t attend church and don’t have a personal relationship with God.
What age group is it for?
We made the Youth Film Series with young people aged 11–18 in mind, but have found that it appeals to many who are both younger and older.
How many weeks is it?
It’s either eight, nine or ten weeks long depending on how many sessions are included on the weekend or day away.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
Can I buy it on DVD?
Not yet. It’s available for free through alpha.org/run and you can download it.
TRAINING AND PROMOTING
Are there any training materials?
Yes, there are three free training episodes:
1. How to Run a Great Alpha
2. How to Lead Great Small Groups on Alpha
3. Prayer Ministry on Alpha
We highly recommend hosting a training time with all of your leaders and volunteers.
Are there any promotional materials available?
Yes. Everyone who has registered will have full access to a variety of customisable promotional material to help spread the word:
1. Customisable promo cards and posters
2. Promo videos
3. Images designed for Facebook and Twitter
Are there tools to help us plan our Alpha?
Yes, everyone who registers will have access to the Youth Film Series Toolbox that is full of top tips and great ideas to help you plan and run your Alpha.
Are there small group questions available?
Yes. Everyone who registers will have access to additional small group questions through alpha.org/run
What does a typical session look like?
It’s easy, just remember: eat, watch, chat. Eat some food together, watch an episode of the Alpha Youth Film Series and then chat about it in small groups together.
Do I have to provide a meal?
No, you don’t have to do a meal in order to run Alpha. You can always do snacks, refreshments or desserts instead. If you have the resources to do a full meal, we recommend it because it’s a great icebreaker and helps people feel more comfortable.
Who can run the Alpha Youth Film Series?
Anyone. Whether you are paid staff or a volunteer, young or old, we designed it to be simple to use for everyone.
Where can I run it?
Anywhere. Alpha can be run in any setting: church buildings, homes, schools (with permission), coffee shops, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. The key is to remember that it is a relaxed, fun and inviting atmosphere.
Is there small group discussion?
Yes, this is vital. There are three breaks built into each episode that create opportunities for guests to share in a more personal setting. We have also provided additional discussion questions to help lead an optional time of discussion at the end of each episode.
What topics are covered?
Life: Is This It?
Jesus: Who is He?
Cross: Why did Jesus Die?
Faith: How Can We have Faith?
Prayer: Why and How Do I Pray?
Bible: Why and How Do I Read the Bible?
Follow: How Does God Guide Us into Full Life?
Spirit: Who is the Holy Spirit and What Does He do?
Fill: How Can I Be Filled with the Holy Spirit?
Evil: How Can I Resist Evil?
Healing: Does God Heal Today?
Church: What about the Church and Telling Others?
What is the weekend away all about?
The weekend or day away is often the time when guests are most impacted on Alpha. It is different from the rest of the weeks because:
1. It gives guests the space, time and environment needed to thoroughly process and reflect on what they are learning
2. It helps guests, hosts and helpers get to know each other better and form lasting friendships
3. It provides an opportunity for guests to make a prayer of commitment, be filled with the Holy Spirit and ask for spiritual gifts
The Alpha weekend is an integral part of every Alpha. In most cases, people will gather once a week for Alpha. The Alpha weekend is a break from the weekly session. Around week six or seven all of the guests and leaders go away together. For some, this will be a full three-day retreat at a camp or conference centre, but others may choose to run it on a single day. It can be done at a retreat centre, camp, home, church building or any other creative venue you might find.
What episodes are for the Alpha weekend?
The two episodes about the Holy Spirit are specifically designed for the Alpha weekend. Spirit and Fill are, in many ways, part one and part two of the same talk. Spirit is structured just like the other episodes, but Fill is shorter and does not include breaks for discussion. Instead, it allows for a time of prayer and ministry. Getting away from your regular routine for these sessions leads to a much more effective and memorable experience. If you only do these two talks on your Alpha weekend, you will be on track for a ten week Alpha.
Option: Depending how you structure your weekend away, you might have time on Friday night or Sunday morning to include one or two other talks. In that case, we recommend including the episodes Follow and Evil. This will allow you to do all of the sessions in eight or nine weeks.
What if I am running Alpha in a school?
If you are leading this in your school, getting away for a weekend, or even a day, might be a challenge. You could partner with a local church to share leaders and resources. In many cases, you can host a day at a local house or church that can support you by providing a room and some leaders with experience in prayer ministry to help guide the ministry time that follows Episode 9 – Fill.
HISTORY AND MORE INFO
What’s the history of Alpha?
Alpha has been running for more than thirty years. It began at Holy Trinity Brompton in central London, England. During the 1990s, Alpha spread – first throughout the UK and then internationally – as more churches and groups found it to be a helpful way to answer people’s questions about the Christian faith. Now, it is a global movement.
Who are the hosts of the Youth Film Series?
Jason Ballard and Ben Woodman.
Jason oversees Alpha – Youth in Canada and is Director of Campusfire Conference. He and his wife Rachael live in Langley, BC with their son Hudson.
Ben has been a youth pastor in Vancouver, Canada since 2000. He and his wife Melissa live in Vancouver, BC.
What inspired the production of the Youth Film Series?
1. Alpha works. Over 24 million people in over 160 countries have tried Alpha and it’s been run across various Christian denominations.
2. The Quest video series. Quest pioneered what an effective video series for youth about faith, life and God could look like and personally inspired Jason and Ben.
Who produced it?
Alpha Canada, with the help of a great team.
Is the film series available in other languages?
Yes. We have just released a Spanish dubbed version of the series. Other languages will have subtitled versions available soon. Please check with your national Alpha office for details.
Do we need to buy guides?
No. We designed the series in such a way that guides are not necessary.