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icon: Greenwich Church Cross 15 ways to attract more people to your Alpha course

Many church leaders have expressed interest in how to increase the number of people attending their Alpha courses. Here are 15 ideas:

1. Friends, family and work colleagues of those who did the last course or a previous course.
The main way your course will grow is by people who have attended Alpha telling their friends, family and work colleagues about Alpha and inviting them to a subsequent course. Alpha courses grow through friends bringing friends.

2. Guest Services
Guest services are aimed specifically at non-churchgoers and can be held on Sunday before your Alpha course starts. The service, which should be well advertised, should be broadly similar to a normal Sunday service. It is good to use interviews as a key element of guest services. Try to find people who would be attractive to those outside the church - people with 'street cred'.

3. Alpha Sundays
An 'Alpha Sunday' is a normal Sunday service which includes a ten minute slot about Alpha. This usually takes the form of a brief explanation of what the course entails and a couple of testimonies from the last course. Hand out details at the end.

4. Alpha celebration suppers
The supper provides an easy way for guests to invite friends, family and work colleagues to come and hear the talk 'Christianity: Boring, untrue & Irrelevant?' in a friendly environment and to hear about the next course.

5. Mission and evangelistic events
Alpha is an ideal follow-up course for a mission and has been in this way by Luis Palau, J John and other evangelists.

6. Baptisms
If your church receives requests from couples wishing to have their child baptised, Alpha is the ideal course to prepare the parents and godparents for the baptism service.

7. Marriages
Many people start coming to church services because they want to get married. Why not encourage those that are planning to marry in your church to attend Alpha?

8. Congregation contacts
Encourage your congregation to go on inviting their friends, family and colleagues.

9. Occasional churchgoers
Many people go to church at Christmas, Easter and Harvest Festival or for family services. These are ideal opportunities to speak about Alpha.

10 The Parish magazine
If you have a church magazine, why not use it to publicise your course? Printing interviews with those who have come to Christ on Alpha proves very effective.

11. Community groups [scouts and guides, mothers and toddlers group, etc]
An increasing number of churches are now involved in community activities. Drop-ins for the homeless, coffee mornings for mothers and toddlers etc. provide an ideal setting to mention or run Alpha.

12. The Alpha register
We would highly recommend that you register your course to enable others to contact you if they are looking for a local course.

13. Advertising
Advertising makes the personal invitation easier.

14. Using promotional resources
Church notice boards, posters in windows of church members' homes and in shop windows, libraries, pubs, coffee shops, offices and factories can be very effective.

15. Participate in the Alpha Initiative
The Alpha Initiative have had an enormous impact on te number of people attending Alpha courses in the UK. The more churches involved, the greater the impact.

Source : Alpha news newspaper
Author : Tricia Neill

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