Announcements

Small Group Alpha

  1. What is Alpha?

Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each session looks at a different question and is designed to create conversations. The following are the topics covered:

  • Is there more to life than this? (Intro Session)
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Why did Jesus die?
  • How can I have faith?
  • Why and how should I pray?
  • Why and How should I read the bible?
  • How does God guide us?
  • Why and how should I tell others?
  • How can I resist evil?
  • Does God heal today?
  • What about the church?

    In addition, there will be an Alpha Weekend Away, typically a day’s programme, which is conducted at a fixed schedule in a year.


    1. What is SG Alpha?

    SG (Small Group) Alpha is basically conducting Alpha sessions in a SG setting. This can be during regular SG meetings, or additional organised sessions, either at home or in church. Each SG will organise, plan and determine the pace Alpha sessions are conducted.


    1. What are the benefits of SG Alpha?

    There are many benefits to run Alpha at the SG level, such as: flexibility in scheduling the Alpha sessions; conducive environment for pre-believers to discuss about Christianity in the comfort of a close-knitted group; good platform for SG members to serve as one family, while refreshing their faith journey; helpful to pre-believers’ integration into SGs, and the church.


    1. How different is it from Corporate Alpha? Is Corporate Alpha more complete compared to SG Alpha?

    Both Corporate Alpha and SG Alpha are using exactly the same curriculum, and facilitators (host and helper)  receive the same training to conduct the Alpha sessions. The differences are its format and scale. Corporate Alpha is organised by Alpha Team with the Alpha sessions organised as a fixed schedule, and it is conducted at a larger scale while SG Alpha is managed by the respective SGs with the support of the Alpha Team.


    1. Why SG Alpha when there is Corporate Alpha?

    As a church of SGs, it is a natural extension for Alpha to be incorporated into individual SGs as a means to serve as one family, to reach out and make Christ known. With this vision, the Witness & Evangelism (W&E) ministry is moving towards conducting Alpha through SGs.  Corporate Alpha will be revamped into a new SG-led format, i.e. a larger scale SG Alpha jointly run by a few SGs concurrently.

    1. If our SG is interested in running SG Alpha, what must we do?

    Please indicate your interest by sending an email to alpha@faithmc.sg, the Alpha Team will get in touch with you  asap.


    1. What is the manpower requirement to conduct SG Alpha? 

    Minimally, you  will need a trained facilitator and helper to run the SG Alpha.


    1. Who can help our SG to plan for SG Alpha? Where do we receive equipping/training for SG Alpha?

    The Alpha Team will provide the necessary training/resources for your SG to conduct SG Alpha, such as facilitator training, follow-up training, etc. Please lookout for the announcement on details for the upcoming training sessions.


    1. What is the commitment for SG Alpha?

    Complete the facilitator and Nurturing and Seeker Trainings; organise and attend to ALL the sessions including the Alpha Weekend Away with your pre-believer guests (organized by Alpha Team).


    1. How long does it take to prepare for SG Alpha before it commences?

    It can be  as soon as the Alpha facilitator and helper have completed their facilitator training. With committed pre-believers, you’re ready to start the SG Alpha!


    1. Can the Church appoint someone to journey with our SG while the Alpha sessions are running?

    Yes, depending on availability, the Alpha Team will provide support upon request by the SGs in need of help.

    1. How can our SG be involved in SG Alpha?

    Firstly, sign up for Alpha Facilitator Training to equip yourselves. Invite our pre-believer friends/ family members to join SG Alpha. Do indicate your interest by sending an email to alpha@faithmc.sg; Alpha Team is also available to share their experiences at your SG if required.


    1. How do we invite our pre-believing family members or friends?

    Start by praying to ask God whom you should invite. Alpha Team will provide an invitation card for SG members to invite their guests individually or as a group with information on the course, its duration and meeting place.

    1. Does our SG decide on our own dates to run SG Alpha?

    Yes, Your group can decide on dates as well as frequency of meetings/ sessions, while taking into consideration the planned Alpha Weekend Away.


    1. If our SG is running Alpha, does it mean our SG needs to cancel our regular meetings?

    We would encourage SG Alpha to be held in place of “regular” SG meetings as a platform for SGs to engage pre-believing family and friends.


    1. How many pre-believing friends do we need in order to start SG Alpha in our SG?

    There is no fixed minimum number of pre-believers require to start a SG Alpha, as long as the SG is comfortable with the mix of believers and pre-believers for conducive discussions. The recommended minimum group size would be 6, inclusive of 1 host and 1 helper.


    1. What do we do if our SG size is very small?

    You can combine with another SG to conduct Alpha together. This will help to optimise resources and logistics as well.


    1. Must our SG run SG Alpha by ourselves or can we combine with other SGs to do it together?

    SG Alpha can be conducted as individual SG or combine with others.


    1. Should our SG be open to walk-ins?

    Yes, generally we should allow walk-ins. The decision can be made at the discretion of the Alpha facilitators.

    1. What materials are required to start the SG Alpha?

    Once the SG is registered to run Alpha, the church will loan you a USB drive containing the Alpha video series. The USB should be returned after used.


    1. Are there guidelines for running SG Alpha? Where can we get more information on SG Alpha?

    Yes. There will be guidelines for running Alpha that will be provided during the facilitator training.


    1. Can our Small Group change/tweak the Alpha sessions?

    The curriculum of Alpha is thoughtfully designed and any changes to its content/ sequences of content is discouraged. However, the SG may decide to hold sessions at the convenience of its members i.e. weekly or fortnightly.

    1. Where will be the best venue to conduct SG Alpha?

    SG Alpha can be conducted at your regular SG meeting locations e.g. at home or in church. Find a place where you can show Alpha videos in a conducive environment for discussions.


    1. If our SG  encounters problems finding a venue to hold SG Alpha, what are the alternatives?

    Your SG may book a room in church, please call church office @ 64719420 during office hours.


    1. Do we need to provide meals for SG Alpha?

    Each Alpha session starts with a meal or tea refreshment, followed by a talk and then discussion in SGs.  Food is a great way of bringing people together and get to know each other.


    1. Is there a subsidy from the church for meals or tea refreshments?

    Yes. SGs who are registered to conduct SG Alpha will be subsidised on the food expenses. SG Alpha will be advised on the use of the subsidy.

    1. Does a Small Group need to host an Alpha Intro Session before the first session?

    The Intro session is actually the first session which is the topic on ‘Is there more than life to this?’. Ice breakers / simple get to know each other activities are encouraged during the first session for pre-believers to feel welcomed.


    1. How does a SG run the Alpha Weekend Away (AWA)?

    The Alpha Weekend Away will be organised by the Alpha Team in conjunction with SGs who are running Alpha in their groups. AWAs are to be held on dates preset by the Alpha Team, ideally after Session 7.  SG may look out for AWA dates to plan the Alpha sessions for your groups.


    1. Do we do Altar Call in SG Alpha? How do we do it?

    We do altar call during Alpha weekend. Alpha Team will work with SG Alpha for the altar call during Alpha Weekend Away.

    However, if there is anyone would like to accept Christ during SG Alpha sessions, you are more than welcomed to lead them to pray the sinner’s prayer only after you have discern that the seeker has a good understanding of his/her decision. After that, please contact Alpha Team (or your Parish Leader) for follow up arrangements.

    1. During the Alpha run, if our SG needs help, whom can we approach?

    At the onset of starting SG Alpha, SGs would be trained on how to conduct the sessions through the facilitator training. SGs could discuss with Alpha Team regarding the support and resources they need to run the sessions. Generally, assistance rendered by the Alpha Team would not replace the hosting and leading roles of the Small Groups.


    1. How do we handle seekers who drop out during the sessions?

    Pre-believers who are welcomed and accepted into a SG are likely to continue through the whole series of Alpha sessions or even becoming a member of the SG.

    While genuine care and encouragement helps, pre-believers are not obliged to attend all the sessions.

    Alpha Team will reach out to the Small Groups to provide guidance and assistance while SG Alpha is on-going. SGs should take note of the needs from pre-believers who joined them and raise it to the Alpha Team early for any follow up.


    1. If our SG cannot answer some tough questions from seekers, to whom shall we approach?

    Alpha facilitator training will provide relevant details on how to handle tough questions. For specific burning questions, Alpha Team can provide guidelines on how to handle them. However, you may contact Alpha Team for guidance.


    1. Is there any resource for SGs to answer difficult questions?

    Yes, there is an Alpha discussion guide booklet that can help answer some commonly encountered difficult questions.

    1. What will happen after all the Alpha sessions are completed?

    After an Alpha run, your group is to nurture the pre-believers/ new believers – this is in fact the desired outcome for SG Alpha. Pre-believers should be settled into your group by then. You may approach Alpha Team for more details on nurturing or post Alpha follow up materials.


    1. Do we invite these pre-believers or new converts to join our SG after SG Alpha?

    Pre-believers or new converts who have completed SG Alpha are encouraged to join a SG. Pre-believers should be introduced into a SG who is starting SG Alpha in the group in order to benefit them the most. When the Alpha run is completed, pre-believers are encouraged to join in as a member of  your SG.

    SGs who have established relationships with pre-believers and new converts can invite them to join the SG as well as other programmes such as Baptism classes. SGs should partner with the Alpha Team for any follow up coordination.


    1. After SG Alpha has completed the Alpha Sessions, will there be follow-up? Who does it?

    SG Alpha can be a part of SG’s strategy to multiply and grow deep in their Christian journeys.  Depending on individuals and needs, follow up programmes such as baptism class can be introduced to them. SGs should partner with the Alpha Team for any follow up coordination.


    1. What can we do for pre-believers who have attended SG Alpha but have not yet receive Christ?

    There are pre-believers who are not ready to receive Christ by the end of SG Alpha. This does not mean they will not do so in the future. As relationships are formed, SGs can encourage pre-believers to continue joining your SG meetings.


    1. What do we do when someone receives Christ?

    When someone receives Christ during Alpha, SGs should complete the remaining Alpha sessions. SGs’ affirmation would be crucial support to his/her Christian journey. Follow up programmes such as faith foundations follow up lessons, baptism class can be introduced to them. SGs should partner with the Alpha Team for any follow up coordination.


    1. What do we do if the seeker or new convert does not wish to join my SG?

    Though encouraged, pre-believers are not obliged to stay in the SGs after SG Alpha. SGs should work with the Alpha Team for further follow up and coordination.


    1. If our SG has no one to do follow-up with the new converts, who should I approach for help?

    SGs should continue to care for the new converts. They could work with the Alpha Team for further follow up and coordination for more resources such as nurturing follow-up, baptism classes etc.

    W&E will also provide nurturer training for SG, with this SG members should be able to do nurturing follow up.


    1. If our SG has combined with other SGs for SG Alpha, who will take care of the new convert if there is any?

    New believers are encouraged to join a SG after SG Alpha. Any of the SGs who have jointly taken up SG Alpha should also be prepared to accept new believers into their SGs. SGs could consult among themselves and work with the Alpha Team for further follow up and coordination.

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