If you are inspired to run Alpha for Seniors in your church, seniors group or nursing home, please take some time to commit your hopes to God in prayer. Ask Him to bless your course, and to gather like-minded people who will be able to prepare the course alongside you.
2. Gather your team
The most basic Alpha for Seniors course is conducted in your home, where you and a few friends can work together to make the course a success for your elderly guests. Whether your course is at church, at a seniors group or at a nursing home, we recommend the following positions be filled.
3. Contact your Alpha Adviser
We have established a support network of Alpha Advisers and Resource Churches to help you both set up and sustain your Alpha for Seniors course. Each adviser has experience running Alpha courses, and you can find their contact details here.
4. Get trained
Alpha for Seniors Team Training events are designed to train and equip you and your team to run an Alpha for Seniors course. Alpha Team Training covers the principles and practicalities of the Alpha for Seniors course, including leading small groups, pastoral care, kingdom values, planning, and how to pray for others.
5. Set your dates
We have found it best to run three Alpha for Seniors courses a year. Therefore, when setting dates you will need to work to fit your courses between key calendar dates like Christmas, Easter, and Chinese New Year. Ideally you will choose a day of the week for the course that is not impacted by public holidays.
6. Choose a venue
You will need to select a site for the weekly sessions, based on the anticipated size of the course. As a general rule, the more relaxed the setting, the better. The home is the best place to start and is generally more palatable for the non-churchgoer. Cafes and coffee shops are also becoming popular venues.
7. Register your course
Please remember to register your course. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from running Alpha for Seniors without registering. But if you register then we can advertise your course on our website, and to our network so that there is more opportunity for seekers to find out about your course.
8. Promote your course to your church members
You will find most people attend the Alpha for Seniors course because they have been invited by a friend. Therefore your church is the best advertisement for the Alpha for Seniors course.
9. Promote your course outside
It is important to promote your Alpha for Seniors course, so that guests come from outside the church! There are many ways that you can promote your course.
10. Assign registered guests to small groups
Carefully assigning guests to groups has the potential to help your guests get more out of the course, and to help your course run more smoothly. Here are some important points to think through.
11. Prepare for your weekend away
The Alpha Weekend or Day Away is one of the most important parts of the Alpha course. Even if you aren't able to run a whole weekend, covering the Holy Spirit material is vital to the success of the course.
12. Buy your resources
We recommend that you buy a number of key resources to run your Alpha for Seniors course.
13. Course begins!!
Woohoo! You are now on the ride of a lifetime!
14. Ongoing Reading
Throughout the course your course hosts and helpers may desire to read up further on each topic of the course, so that they can be better prepared to interact with group members.
15. Start another Alpha for Seniors course or a follow-up course
We recommend that you run three Alpha courses a year if possible. You may also want to schedule your year so that you alternate between Alpha and another course like Life Worth Living, Challenging Lifestyle or something else that you have found that works well.