Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to run Youth Alpha?
Can teens do Adult Alpha?
Should teens do adult Alpha as training for Youth Alpha?
How many teens do I need to get started?
Can adults be leaders in the small groups?
How do I train my teens?
Why and How do I Register the course?
How do I get teens to Youth Alpha?
What is the best time of year to run Youth Alpha?
What do I do with teens wanting to join the course halfway through?

How much does it cost to run Youth Alpha?

  • Each participant needs a manual ($4.95, available from Christian Book Shops).
  • Each small group needs a Youth Alpha Leaders Manual ($5.95).
  • Each speaker needs the book Questions of Life by Nicky Gumbel.
  • Every week you will need food and drinks of teenager quantity! And probably a hired video for the   short talk ($3-5).

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Can teens do Adult Alpha?

Adult Alpha is aimed at adults both in atmosphere and theology. All the illustrations used in the tapes are aimed at adult humour and the tapes go for at least 40 minutes each. It is best for a teen to do youth Alpha, as the talks, atmosphere and illustrations are aimed at their age group. They are more likely to learn and change in an environment they feel comfortable in and enjoy. 

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Should teens do Adult Alpha as training for Youth Alpha?

For the reasons detailed in the previous answer, No it is not recommended for them to do adult Alpha first.

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How many teens do I need to get started?

Enough for a small group (i.e., 6-8 teens). However, it is essential that at least one in a non Christian/non churched. The course is evangelistic and if churched kids don't see someone come to Christ on the course they will not be encouraged to invite their friends. For this generation, credibility comes from results. If it works, its real. They must see it work with Non Christians.

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Can adults be leaders in the small groups?

If you are short on teen leaders, then yes, bring in an adult or two. However, they must be someone who can talk to teens without talking down to them. They must NOT answer questions in the discussion time but rather generate discussion around the group so that EVERYONE'S opinion is heard without judgement. An adults opinion usually is seen as an authority on the subject so it is best if the adult keeps his/her opinion to themselves so the young people can express theirs without the fear of felling wrong or ridiculed. The teens opinions must feel valued. We have ten weeks to earn credibility through relationship then we will have the rest of their life to correct doctrine.

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How do I train my teens?

Use the Youth Alpha leaders manual and this web-site to go through the basics of how the course runs, one week before you start. Have a second training session the week before the camp to teach AND PRACTISE ministry.
If you use the adult Alpha training tapes, then split them into 20 minute sections taking a break for discussion or food.
We regularly run training weekends in various cities for a more thorough training. See What’s on.
With young people training is on going as you mentor them every week. Each week, meet with your leaders 45 minutes before and 15 minutes after the session to discuss, motivate and train your leaders. This builds unity, vision and motivation.

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Why and How do I Register the course?

IT IS IMPORTANT YOU REGISTER your course so:

  1. We can mail you and let you know if we are in your area running a training day

  2. When we receive calls from parents or young people wanting to know where they can do the course, we can recommend your church

  3. We can list you on this web-site so other churches know and can call you if they want to know how it is going.

HOW? Go to the Register Your Course page to give us the details.

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How do I get teens to Youth Alpha?

Run a Youth Alpha party the week before the course starts, same day, same time. make it fun, lots of food, lots of atmosphere and a short testimony or two from a teenager. At the end, let them know you will be back there doing the same thing with a short talk from "Johnny" (a teenager) about "Who is Jesus?".

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What is the best time of year to run Youth Alpha?

The best way to run Youth Alpha is back to back. As soon as one is finished, stat the next in 2 to 3 weeks time. Fired up teenagers from one course will invite their friends to the next so getting teens along becomes easy. Therefore, it is best to run Youth Alpha 1st and 2nd term or 2nd and 3rd term. 4th term is difficult with exams and Christmas activities.

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What do I do with teens wanting to join the course halfway through?

Ideally you would say no and ask them to come to the next one. However, if they are unchurched and you know they won't come back, allow them to join, and explain that you need to go over what they have missed. Make a time to go over the Gospel with them. Use the "Why Jesus" booklet and encourage a response.
If teens have missed the first 3 weeks, they have missed the Gospel which is "the power into salvation". Without it we are teaching them an empty religion.
The other difficulty is fitting them into a group. After 3 weeks, the group dynamics are vital for trust and learning. A new person can slow this process for everyone in the group.

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