Alpha is a ten-week course that provides a safe place to explore life’s biggest questions. Globally proven and highly effective, Alpha creates a culture of invitation within your church and is a great front door for people exploring faith.
We know that encouraging guests to come back to Alpha week in week out can be a challenge. We also know that maintaining a motivated team can be just as hard. Adrian runs Alpha in Kuala Lumpur and shares some key tips on how to limit the drop off and fight Alpha fatigue.
“Don’t just pair because you need to—think about how their personalities match because that will affect the whole group.”
The church of HTBB in Kuala Lumpur has run Alpha for eleven terms in a row since they started in 2015. Adrian has overseen it since their fourth course and we ask him to share some of his top tips for creating great group dynamics that will keep guests coming back every week…
Prepare the team
Training the entire team that will run the sessions every week is essential to the success of any Alpha. It’s no different at HTBB. ‘First, we start off with a very good foundation of training—we ensure all our leaders come to training the week prior to Alpha starting,’ explains Adrian. As well as preparing the team, training is a good time to make sure everyone is motivated and feels useful. ‘It’s important that we let them know how valued and appreciated they are, and how integral they are to their small group.’
Create a support system
At HTBB, around 80% of those involved in running Alpha do so after finishing their day job in the city. Adrian admits it can be challenging to make sure that the team are able to cope with the dual demands of a busy work day followed by Alpha in the evening.
Their solution? They created WhatsApp groups as a support unit for leaders where they send out any information and encouragement in the days before Alpha. The WhatsApp groups help leaders support each other as they can all connect and communicate directly on the platform. ‘What we’ve found,’ says Adrian, ‘is that when a leader feels that they’re well supported, it builds their confidence for leading a small group as well.’
Keep everyone in the loop
As well as using a WhatsApp group for leaders, on the day of each session HTBB also sends out an email to the team where they outline the session’s topic, which highlights the themes and discussion topics for the week. ‘That way, even if they’re running late to a session, they will still know what the subject matter is and have something to contribute to the group discussion!’