Running your first Alpha
Running Alpha for the first time is like learning to ride a bike. I remember doing this so vividly; by the time I started, all my friends already knew how to ride. I guess I was late to the party but all the times my friends had called me ‘ginger-no-wheels’ were swiftly forgotten once I was flying at unstoppable speeds on my purple racer. I needed four things to ride my bike and feel that rush:
You need to want it
If I had had the video games that I have today, I would never have learnt to ride a bike – I wouldn’t have been playing outside at all, but back then there was nothing I wanted more. Desire is essential for running Alpha for the first time, be passionate and don’t just run it out of duty. If you don’t feel like you want it enough, pray for more desire. We’re going to spend some time searching for that passion at Run Alpha 14, our brand new interactive training experience designed to equip emerging leaders.
You need a smooth surface
Check your surroundings before you start. If you’re learning how to ride a bike you shouldn’t do it on a gravel path. There are a couple of things that can help make a nice smooth surface for your first Alpha. First, make sure you’ve helped on an Alpha before you run one. This can give you more experience and a better perspective. Second, come along to Run Alpha 14, where we’ll be sharing tips and ideas on how to get off to a smooth start.
You need someone to hold you up
Kicking-off is hard; I used to sit in the park for so long with my dad holding on to the back of the saddle. Now I can cycle by myself without even phoning him for moral support. It’s a good idea to run Alpha with someone who’s been in ministry for a while. They might not help directly; it could be that they offer advice or give practical help before each session. Either way, it’s smart to have wise hands holding you up when you first learn to ride a bike.
You need to know that any progress is worth celebrating
When I was first learning to ride I went ten metres by myself before I hit the brakes and slowly toppled over. My dad’s response wasn’t to yell at me because I didn't do it properly or laugh because I looked silly – he picked me up and told me how well I’d done. This made it so much easier to get back on the bike. It’s essential to get a team of people you love running Alpha with you: some can pick you up when you fall, some can tell you how great the ten metres were and some can give you a few tips to improve once you’re back on the bike. Oh, and once you've got that team together, you should probably book them on to Run Alpha 14.