The Nuts and Bolts of Youth Alpha

By Matt M on April 23, 2015

What is the Youth Alpha Film Series?
The Youth Alpha Film series contains 12 short films targeted to engage students in topics of life, faith, and God. The series was created two years ago by Alpha Canada. Hosts Jason Ballard and Ben Woodman weave their quirky Canadian accents into each session, and literally travel all over the world. In their travels, Ben and Jason address important faith matters, and interview people from all walks of life asking their opinions and viewpoints.

What’s awesome is that the series costs absolutely nothing to run. Anyone who wants to run an Alpha course can register for free and download all the materials here.

What topics are covered in Youth Alpha?
Youth Alpha covers the basics of Christianity. Attendees of Alpha can expect to walk away with a basic understanding of Christianity. The topics include:

  • Life: Is this it?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Why Did Jesus Die?
  • How Can I Have Faith?
  • How and Why Do I Pray?
  • Why and How Do I Read the Bible?
  • How Does God Guide Us Into Full Life?
  • Who is the Holy Spirit and What Does He Do?
  • How Can I Be Filled With the Holy Spirit?
  • How Can I Resist Evil?
  • Does God Heal Today?
  • What About Church and Telling Others?

Who is Youth Alpha for?
Short answer: Everyone.

As a Youth Ministry, we have identified three target audiences of people who come to Youth Alpha. 1) Students who only attend Coffeehouse. 2) Friends of students who are not connected to the Youth Group. 3) Students who are active attenders of Bloomingdale Church.

The bottom line: All students, regardless of background, are welcome to participate. We hope that students will come, bring their friends, be connected to the youth group, and engage with the topics of Youth Alpha.

What’s it like to be a table leader?
Table groups is one of the secret ingredients to a successful Youth Alpha experience. In each 15 minute film, there are three questions built-in which encourage students to share their questions, beliefs, and opinions. Table leaders and helpers are responsible for facilitating the conversation. Table leaders make sure everyone’s voice is heard, and that those who share their thoughts are affirmed for contributing to the conversation. Table discussions are less about teaching as it is about allowing students to wrestle with topics and form their own opinion throughout the course.

How would you describe Youth Alpha to another teen?
It’s is a party. It’s free food. It’s new people to meet that don’t judge. It’s a chill space to discuss life, faith, & God. It’s Fridays nights, 630-930pm. It’s 7-12th grade. It’s #YouthAlpha @264coffeehouse.

How would you describe Youth Alpha when inviting someone?
“Hey what are you up to Friday night? I have a suggestion of something we could do. There is this Friday night party…but maybe a little different than what you might ‘normally’ think of a party. It’s at this Coffeehouse I go to (that’s behind a church.) But seriously it is like a party…free food and the people are cool and don’t judge there. It’s a good mix of fun and chill, and if you want, you can discuss things like life, faith, and God. Will you come with me?

How is YA different than Coffeehouse?
Youth Alpha is Friday Night Coffeehouse…well kind of. It’s food…only more of it, and “themed food nights.” It’s still includes a group game…only it’s more over-the-top. There is still a “talk”, but it’s now a short film, and we everyone is encouraged to share their opinion. And it’s still absolutely about a judgement free space to hang out with people.