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Alpha Tips: 10 ways to Create a memorable Alpha Intro Night

Below are a few key ways get off to a great start with your Alpha. But before that first night, you want to do everything to ensure that the most guests know about your course.  Click here update or add course information to the Alpha USA website.

1. Hospitality

Welcome people at the door and have name tags available. Look for guests who come alone and introduce them to others. Be genuinely interested in the guests without overwhelming them.
Look at this very popular Alpha Tip that highlights kindness and hospitality >>

2. Good food

It doesn’t have to be the most expensive meal, but must have a nice presentation and taste good. Remember for some people the meal is what gets their attention at first.

3. Prayer and training

Before meeting the guests that first night, make sure you have had time with your helpers and leaders to train and pray together. Don’t go off of past success with the course. Every course is new and every course needs a time for training and prayer.
For more, watch this past Alpha Tip podcast >>

4. Worship?

Probably not. Why? It is a big step for many seekers just to come to church, and we have found it is better to introduce worship the following week. Some courses will have live music or back ground CD playing while guests eat. Going with something lighter and not overtly Christian is also suggested.

For regular course nights, here are thoughts on leading worship and a suggested song list >>


5. Testimony

Yes. It is always good to have a two or three people share their Alpha story. It is important to prep the interviewee to be brief (less than 2 minutes) and cover these three basic questions:
1) What was your life like before coming on Alpha? Where you a regular church goer?
2) What happened on the course?
3) What difference has Jesus made in your life?

Find out more about doing live testimonies here >>
View video testimonies here >>

6. Break the ice with some humor

Showing the short “Mr. Bean Goes to Church” video by British comedian Rowan Atkinson to help people laugh about all the amusing things we associate with church. If you use this video, be sure to explain to guests that Mr. Bean is not Nicky Gumbel (a common misconception!). Click here to find ‘The Best Bits of Mr. Bean’ DVD.  Whether you play Mr. Bean or use a different movie clip, it can help people feel more comfortable talking about faith or the Bible.

7. Do the talk

“Is there more to life?” is the DVD talk to use. If giving the talk live make sure you cover all the important points and don't forget to use your own illustrations and humor.

For more see Giving Live Talks >>

8. Small Groups

Over the past few years Nicky Gumbel and team at Holy Trininty Brompton noticed that people were expecting to be in a small group and were ready to get to know others.  So, they have begun to have small groups meet the first night of Alpha.  They also suggest to do the following:
  1. Have the Host/Facilitator quickly introduce themselves, job, hobbies, why they’re helping with Alpha and let group know he/she is excited they’re there.
  2. Play the name game. Introduce yourself using a positive adjective, ie "Calm Connie" and then the next person repeats previous guests and adds their own.
  3. “If you were on a stranded island what 2 things would you bring?” question.
  4. Go over Small Group Ground Rules
  5. Start with the person who seems most like a seeker and ask “What brought you to Alpha?”
  6. “If you could ask God one question what would it be?” Depending on time, you may want to save this one until the following week.
  7. Wrap-Up / Registration Cards, let them know you’d love to see them back, get those who are returning to fill out cards. This allows you to spend the next week on “Who is Jesus?” to discuss the talk.
Make sure you have "Why Jesus?" booklets on the tables for the guests to take home.

9. Invite guests to return

With no pressure or hype, appeal to the guests to come back next week. Share that Alpha is a ten week course, but they only have to commit to come back and see what next week is about.

For further thoughts on how to approach and plan for every session of an Alpha course, sign up for 'Course Builder'


10. Trust God

There are so many details to be on top of for the first night.  Certainly do your best, but in the end trust and surrender the first session (and every subsequent session) of Alpha to the Father. Expect some resistance from the enemy.  Remember this is a threat to the kingdom of darkness so stand firm in God's strength.  Make sure you have intercessors in place to pray for you and your team. God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1) and you can rejoice that you are participating in the work Jesus gave us to do in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20), and you are not alone (Romans 15:13).

Can we pray for you, too? Submit your request here >>