Alpha in the Workplace
Be encouraged – run an Alpha course!
Transform Work UK put up a discussion point on the Alpha in the Workplace group page on Linked In, requesting responses as to how people run events within their workplaces.
The result was that there were several interesting replies, both from elsewhere in Europe and from the USA. It was the different and creative ways that Christians reached out to their work colleagues through this form of evangelism that was encouraging.
One organiser of an Alpha course arranged for the event to be held at a local restaurant so that business people from different organisations could be invited.
A similar event was held in a high street coffee shop by another organiser as people were used to going into the venue with the advantage that it was not associated with ‘church.’ This particular respondent found that the relaxed and familiar settings resulted in attendees discussing the issues raised in the DVDs and conversations after the meetings had officially ended.
In the Netherlands, a Christian in the railway industry undertook Alpha courses within his own lunchtime so that he did not need his employer’s permission. Posters were placed in prominent places (in this case, the refreshment points) with the name of the contact printed on them, and the details were publicised on a website that they created specifically for the event. The most important thing that they did was pray, every week, for people to come along to hear God’s message.
Elsewhere, Christians used a multi-faith room within the organisation. The use of this venue meant that they had to get permission from their management so that they would not be surprised by the event. The managers in turn encouraged Alpha in the Workplace as part of the company’s multi-faith approach. The respondent emphasised the point that they did not pressurise people to their beliefs (as they were in a multi-faith situation) so they were reliant on the work of the Holy Spirit. They encouraged people to discuss the issues raised in the open forum in an uninhibited way, praying that God would work in people’s hearts.
More recently, Alpha online has been run by Aviva and also by Sefton Council in partnership with the Office for Nuclear Regulation. These organisations have been amazed at how well Alpha has worked in this format, enabling guests to join both from a variety of locations and from different organisations. One guest escaped her busy job in a children’s nursery and joined in from her car! There is a different dynamic in online Alpha - guests have ‘opened up’ quickly and seem surprisingly relaxed with this platform.
The situations may have been different but the good news of God reaching out to us is the same. There might be that you can adopt or adapt any of the above examples, or come up with solutions that fit your own situation. It does not matter whether you run Alpha in the Workplace, Christianity Explored or any similar course, the most important thing is to tell the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear manner.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
Fruitfulness on the Frontline
Fruitfulness on the Frontline is an 8-part DVD series for Christians who want to make a difference ‘on their frontline’ – wherever they are and in whatever day to day situations they encounter. It offers a fresh, simple framework for discovering the rich variety of ways in which God works in and through us. You can explore the session overview and watch some taster clips on the LICC Fruitfulness page.
Fruitfulness on the Frontline is produced by our friends at the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC). The DVD contains 8 short films (8 – 13 minutes in length) which are easy to watch and follow. Session guides, which include discussion questions and a short bible study and a takeaway action, can be downloaded from their website.
The course follows 6 ‘Ms’:
Modelling Godly character
Making good work
Ministering grace and love
Being a Mouthpiece for trust and justice
Being a Messenger for the gospel
Transform Work UK recommends this excellent resource produced by the LICC Work Stream. Although it has wider applicability than just the workplace, it is a great tool for use in the work environment, covering many aspects of a Godly character which are so important in living for God in the workplace. This series doesn’t focus on big heroic acts that only ‘super Christians’ might ever hope to accomplish, but on the everyday aspects of life as a Christian that can speak volumes to others even when we don’t realise it.
The Transforming Work course
The Transforming Work course, developed by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC), has been available for some time as a course designed for use in a church setting to help Christians live out their faith in the workplace.
Now Transform Work UK have come together with LICC to develop a version of Transforming Work that is suitable for workplace groups to use. View this resource, or visit the LICC Transforming Work page.
The Parenting Course
What has a Parenting Children's Course got to do with Christian Workplace Groups?
It is always great to hear of the exciting things workplace groups are up to, and this account from Wessex Water Christian Group is no exception. Hugh, our south-west ambassador, spoke with Matt Wheeldon, who helps lead the group, about a recent initiative.
Wessex Water Christian Group ran a parenting children course on site during the lunch hour. It is a course written by Holy Trinity Brompton and was delivered by a member of their local church. The course contains the usual things you might expect in a parenting course but specifically advice on building strong foundations, love in action, setting boundaries and building character. The course is designed to be suitable for both those with and without faith, and contains some input with a Christian bias in the final week.
Matt says that the turn-out was around 15 people with a 50/50 mix of faith and non-faith attendees, and that it has been well received by those attending. The group sought permission from management to run this course for all staff after hearing that a few colleagues were having serious parenting issues with no one to turn too. This is an excellent example of a Christian Workplace Group meeting the needs of colleagues and being a tangible benefit for the organisation as a whole. It is also wonderful to see the local church supporting the work of a local business through the Christian Workplace Group.
Find out more about the HTB course.
An alternative to Alpha – another way for enquirers find out about Christianity through DVD and discussion. Find out more at ChristianityExplored.org.
Exploring the God Question
DVD series which explores whether belief in God is compatible with science, or just an act of faith? Find out more at TheGodQuestion.tv/Explore.
The Prayer Course
An eight part on-line course on prayer from Prayer 24-7, with discussion notes, to build up people in prayer and their relationship with God. Find out more at PrayerCourse.org.