In How to Run the Alpha Course, Nicky Gumbel instructs “It is of utmost importance, in order to maintain the momentum, to run at least three Alphas a year. When people complete Alpha, they very often want to invite their families and friends to the next one, and it is important that one is available.”
Here are a few more reasons why running Alpha more than once a year is beneficial:
1. It gets people talking about spirituality
This includes people from all backgrounds – those with no religion, other religions, Christians, etc. – who can explore and experience solid Biblical teaching and authentic community in a safe, inviting environment.
2. It tells the community that the church has an open door
Even if people don’t attend Alpha, they know there’s another one starting soon. When they’re ready to attend, they know Alpha will welcome them (at the church, or the pub, or on campus, or the boardroom, etc).
3. It keeps the church focused on outreach
Many programs are designed for church members, but Alpha is for everyone. When the pastor talks about Alpha in his/her sermons, and asks for volunteers and shares testimonies, the congregation’s passion for sharing hope and healing is rekindled.
4. It fosters unity in and among the church
As volunteers with diverse gifts rally together for one purpose, they learn about teamwork. Cooks, decorators, small group leaders, and task force members join and serve together. Different denominations network together to serve the people in the community.
5. It encourages leadership development
Alpha is a place where guests can become helpers, and for helpers to become leaders. It’s a place where people can develop their leadership skills, spiritual gifts and social skills. As they are mentored, they in turn will lead and mentor others. Running Alpha three times a year or more provides this momentum.
6. It builds relationship with the community
There are no dividing walls at Alpha. Friendships are formed regardless of beliefs or stage of life. Alpha allows trust to be built over time.
7. It strengthens the faith of all
Although Alpha is an opportunity to help people discuss and discover a relationship with Jesus Christ, many who are already Christians find that they re-discover their love for Jesus. Many questioning doubters experience God in a fresh way that re-calibrates their faith and purpose in life.