Alpha in the Workplace

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You have probably heard of the Alpha Course and know that it is an introduction to Christianity and run in numerous churches around the country and worldwide. Did you also know that it is possible to run Alpha in the workplace? After all, it is at work that we are most likely to run into people with a different, or even no, faith, and it is where we spend the majority of our waking hours.

Before you begin to run a workplace Alpha course, or any other educational course on Christianity, Transform Work UK would recommend that you seek permission to do so from management and of course spend much time in prayer as a group.  If your workplace group is under the radar, we would strongly recommend that you work through our booklet on starting a Christian Workplace Group.  Write out your business case or terms of reference and then arrange to meet with management to seek permission for the groups existence.
 
When this background work has begun, then move forward to the steps below.  

 

What is Alpha?

Alpha

According to the Alpha Course's own website: "Alpha is a practical introduction to the Christian faith. It is sociable and informative; everyone is guaranteed to have an opportunity to share their opinions and questions about Christianity in a relaxed and non-threatening atmosphere."

Adjustments for the Workplace

With a few adjustments, it is perfectly possible to run an Alpha Course in the workplace; however, it is necessary to tailor the course to the workplace environment. Some of the issues that need to be considered are:
  • Time constraints: the weekly meeting is shorter than the usual Alpha course, usually occupying a one-hour session
  • Condensed talks: talks should run for a maximum of twenty to twenty-five minutes, either using live speakers, downloadable talks or the DVDs
  • Resources: if sufficient funding exists, some courses provide the book 'Questions of Life' for each guest
  • Worship: worship is not usually introduced until the Alpha weekend or day away
  • Social interaction: there is less time to get to know the guests, so the team may need to make a special effort to build relationships, eg by arranging drinks after work or catching up over coffee
  • Follow-up: the team need to be proactive about integrating guests into their local churches and providing additional follow-up courses in the workplace environment, such as:
  • The God at Work course (a suggested follow up to Alpha in the Workplace)
  • The Jesus Lifestyle course
  • A Life Worth Living course

Resources Available

The 'home' of the Alpha Course, Holy Trinity Brompton, provides a range of general resources to support Alpha here. Some resources are available specifically for workplace Alpha courses. These include:
  • A DVD set of Alpha talks, including shortened versions of the standard talks lasting no more than 20-25 minutes (Alpha Express), can be obtained here
  • Alpha in the Workplace leaders guides can be obtained here
The following talks by Jamie Haigh of HTB are all around 30 minutes long and could be used for a workplace Alpha course. Links to the talks on YouTube are given.
Week 1 - Who is Jesus?
Week 2 - Why did Jesus die?
Week 3 - How can I have faith?
Week 4 - Why and how should I pray?
Week 5 - When and how should I read the bible?
Week 6 - What about evil and does God heal today?
Week 7 - What about the church and telling others?
Alpha Day Talk 1 - Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do?
Alpha Day Talk 2 - How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Alpha Day Talk 3 - How does God guide us to make the most of the rest of our lives
 
 
Latest Articles on the Alpha Course
My friend, Ros Turner, has recently put up a discussion point on the Alpha in the Workplace group page on Linked In, requesting responses as how people run events within their workplaces. The result was several interesting replies.
A CWG network were denied permission to run a lunchtime Alpha. Do you have experiences with gaining permission for events which could help others?
News of a really successful Alpha course put on by the Havering Borough Council Christian Workplace Group, and the follow-up
Workplace Alpha testimony
The journey of one Christian Workplace Group leader's online alpha course...