By Students, For Students

By Students, For Students

Ipoh, Malaysia

The biggest highlight is how the small group talks are empowering the students to take up leadership roles

Alpha is running in a school in Ipoh, Malaysia, where students themselves are being trained to lead and run the entire course! We find out more from Fung, who introduced Alpha to the school:


How did this Alpha start? 

Since the school in Ipoh started running a chapel service last year, we discovered that many of the students who came for chapel knew very little about the gospel, so we (the church) collaborated with the Christian Fellowship leaders in the school, shared with them our vision for running Alpha, and they agreed to be trained and to run the course this year during chapel service. 


What are the logistics of your Alpha? 

We are currently using the Youth Film Series and we run it every Thursday during chapel service. Due to the time constraints, we can only play half of each session, so our total time spent on Alpha is 24 sessions instead of the usual 12 sessions.


What were some of the highlights? 

The biggest highlight is how the small group talks are empowering the students to take up leadership roles within their groups. 


What were some of the challenges and how did you overcome them? 

Time is a big challenge for us. We only have around 40 minutes to run chapel service, and when we incorporate worship, the talk, and small group discussions into that time frame, things can get hectic! We try to overcome it by having strict time keeping, and by spreading out our workloads so everyone does something, instead of a few people doing everything. 


What are your plans for the Alpha Weekend? 

There will not be an Alpha Weekend due to this being run as part of school curriculum. We will just play the Weekend videos as per normal.


What would you say now to others thinking about running Alpha, especially in schools, among students?  

Just do it! The new Youth Film Series is an amazing tool, even if you have not run Alpha before, the training videos are very informative and overall, it is easy to run. Alpha also indirectly builds up leaders (within the small groups) and empowers the young people to think of others before themselves. 


Register now to download the Alpha Youth Film Series here.

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Sheela's Story

Sheela's Story

The idea of running Alpha in the workplace honestly stemmed from a practical reason – late working hours were a barrier to my colleagues being able to attend Alpha at church. It made sense to bring Alpha to the workplace for those who were interested to give it a go.

I remember feeling quite nervous and unsure the first time we ran it back in 2014. I didn’t know what to expect or if anyone would even turn up! ‘Ye of little faith’ I remember a friend saying to me when we ended up with a solid group of about 20 in that first round. Since then, we’ve run Alpha four times - sometimes with larger groups, sometimes with smaller groups - but each experience has never failed to be just as amazing.

The most interesting aspect for me about running Alpha in our workplace was the immediate connection that people made from having something fundamental in common – where they work. There was little need for breaking the ice and discussions took off from day 1 with guests feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts and perspectives.

Alpha in the workplace complements what the church is doing by reaching out to a community that might not have been able to be reached. So many of us know that being out there in the corporate world trying to make it in the great rat race can get tiring and it’s only a matter of time before one begins to ask “Is there more to life that this?” – which is a question that was on the minds of our guests when they came. Alpha provided that safe space for conversations that might not have taken place otherwise.

The most memorable account from a guest for me comes from a guy who had attended our first ever run of Alpha. Post-Alpha, he told us that while was hesitant initially about the whole idea, eventually the weekly sessions became a place of refuge for him in the busyness of work. He said that it was a truly unexpected experience - “Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.”

It’s not smooth sailing all the time but it is stories like this and many more of that nature that remind me that even if it’s for one person each round, it’s still worth it. And I’d just love to encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to just give it a go! The training and material make the process really simple to get started. Your adventure of a lifetime in running Alpha is just around the corner… trust me, it’s worth it!

Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.
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