Alpha Course in Australia

Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life through a Christian perspective. The Alpha course consists of a series of talks, looking at topics such as ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘Why and how do I pray?’, with the option of a weekend away. Participants meet for supper and each talk is followed by discussion in small groups.

Nicky GumbelThe course began in 1977 at Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church in London. Nicky Gumbel, who joined the church staff in 1990, recorded his presentations on video and made them available for groups to use around the world. Alpha is an opportunity for enquirers to explore faith. It is also an opportunity for Christians to train in the skills of presenting Christianity (talks) and leading small group conversations.

Settings
Alpha can be used in large or small groups. Hospitality is a key element, each course beginning with a meal. Alpha would not normally be used in the context of a normal worship service. Special resources are available for people using Alpha in school, prison, university and business environments.

Styles of Learning
Each session includes a 45 minutes lecture, provided by Nicky Gumbel on video/DVD or by a local presenter. Participants discuss their questions in small groups.

Number of sessions
Alpha LogoFifteen sessions over a ten to thirteen week period. Sessions 8 to 10 are held during a retreat.
1. Christianity: Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant?
2. Who Is Jesus?
3. Why Did Jesus Die?
4. How Can I Be Sure of My Faith?
5. Why and How Should I Read the Bible?
6. Why and How Do I Pray?
7. How Does God Guide Us?
8. Who Is the Holy Spirit?
9. What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
10. How Can I Be Filled With the Spirit?
11. How Can I Resist Evil?
12. Why and How Should We Tell Others?
13. Does God Heal Today?
14. What About the Church?
15. How Can I Make the Most of the Rest of My Life?

Length of sessions
1 hour (tight) to 2 1/2 hours (comfortable).

Aims
1. Establish a relaxed environment in which people a chance to get to know each other.
2. Present the core beliefs of the Christian faith in an accessible way.
3. Provide an environment in which participants can discuss the topic of the session, ask questions and express opinions.

Theological Perspective
Conservative Charismatic Evangelical

Age Group
Young Adult to Aged. There is a special course for teenagers (Youth Alpha) that does not use Nicky Gumbel’s talks. Youth Alpha Leaders are provided with resources to present the talks themselves in creative and interactive ways.

Where to purchase
Koorong, Word

Cost
Alpha Administrator’s Handbook $25
Alpha Course Manual $6
Alpha Course on DVD or Video $250
Alpha Team Training Manual $6.50
Alpha Team Training Video $30
Prayer on Alpha Training Video $30

Specific leadership requirements

Country of origin
United Kingdom

Available in languages other than English
Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Braille (manual),

Resources provided
DVD/Video, Posters, Banners, Signs, Invitations, Participant Manuals, Leaders’ Manuals, Administrator’s Manual, Conferences for leaders, worship resources, car stickers, prayer cards, name badge inserts, booklets on common questions, introduction to Bible Reading, Cookbook, Shirts, Follow up books, audio CDs/tapes and videos/DVDs, Marriage Course, Prayer Ministry Training.

Technology needed
DVD or Video Player & Television or Data Projector if using Nicky Gumbel presentations.

Web site
www.alpha.org.au Australian site
www.alpha.org International site
www.alpha.org.nz New Zealand site

Regional Advisor for Queensland

Mr & Mrs John & Sylvia Kaiser
15 Thorne St Wynnum West 4178
07 3893 2278

Uniting Church Congregations using Alpha
Sandgate
Chapel Hill

6 thoughts on “Alpha Course in Australia

  1. Graham Beattie

    Mike Booker and Mark Ireland in their book “Evangelism – which way now?” offer a helpful critical review of Alpha. They point out that the number of Alpha courses in the UK have plateaued – one of the key reasons being that the material is now over 10 years old and has remained substantially unchanged over that time. In addition spiritual enquirers are approaching the church from a different starting point. In the 1980s, when Alpha started, many non-churchgoers were inclined to view the church as ‘dull, boring and irrelevant’. However, the evidence of the 21st century is that several people are dismissing the church because it isn’t spiritual enough – in fact the experience of many seems to be that the church is actually ‘unspiritual’.

    If that’s the case, surely the need today in evangelism is to deepen relationships that provide a safe place for spiritual seekers to share with Christians their spiritual experiences and longings. Then by means of story listening and mentoring enquirers through positive spiritual practices such as prayer, dream journalling and guided meditation exercises, encourage seekers to theologize on the nature of this spiritual reality they are encountering.

    The definitive hallmark of authentic Christian spirituality is grace. As mentors help enquirers discern and reflect on their experiences of grace they will be encouraged to discover more about Jesus Christ,the source and centre of the grace of God.

  2. Peter Armstrong

    We have found at Redcliffe that if we begin in the church as a program and then half way through transition to home based groups this helps people experience a form of church that can continue once the program has finished.

  3. Paul Yarrow

    When I was at West Epping UC we used the book Questions of Life as part of the preparation for Confirmation. Participants in the confirmation group and their mentor read a chapter of the book each week and met together for an hour to discuss it and pray together.

  4. Bob Miles

    Used Alpha effectively in both large group format and small groups at Maroochydore. A men’s group is still meeting together.

    Starting a course at Pine Mountain most likely in small format in August.

  5. Natasja Wallace

    I live in the north side of Canberra and am interested in doing an alpha course after reading a few stories in a book about peoples lives being changed. Could you inform me of any starting in my area soon. Thankyou, Natasja

  6. Libbie Bennett

    Is there /or will there be a Alpha course on the North-West of Tasmania… Burnie -Ulverstone area?
    Thank you for your reply

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