What is Q Place?

Q Place is a ministry that helps Christians start small groups where spiritual seekers can find God as revealed in the Bible. It began with the name Neighborhood Bible Studies in 1960 and changed to Q Place in 2008.

A Q Place is basically a small group for seekers. It’s a group of two to twelve people who get together on a regular basis to discuss spiritual questions about life, God, and the Bible. One to three initiators start a Q Place and facilitate discussions so everyone in the group can come to conclusions at their own pace.

What does the "Q" stand for?

The Q is for questions. A Q Place is a place where people can explore questions about God and the Bible and make discoveries together.

When you start a Q Place, what are you inviting people to come and do?

Basically, you’re inviting people to come one time and see what it would be like to have discussions about life, God, and the Bible in a group where you can explore what you believe.

What happens in the first meeting?

The first meeting includes elements that help everyone get to know each other, open up about the spiritual questions that matter to them, and experience what it would be like to be in a discussion group about God and the Bible. Near the end, you ask who would be interested in coming back to try having a discussion that relates to their questions. You can find more details in the book How to Start a Q Place and in our coaching groups.

Where and when do Q Place groups meet?

They can meet wherever and whenever it is convenient for participants and conducive for discussions—homes, coffee shops, work places, anywhere people can comfortably gather. Allow at least one hour and ideally one and a half hours for each session. 

Who can facilitate a Q Place?

It's important to be a follower of Jesus with a growing relationship with God, consistent time in his Word, and a heart for people to discover what you have found. It's also important to have one or two others with you to pray and prepare to start a group together. We highly recommend starting with a group of three (an "initiator triad") to provide the most effective leadership in your group.

What training do I need to start a Q Place?

The book How to Start a Q Place provides the roadmap for starting a Q Place, and it is ideal to join a Q Place Coaching Group where experienced Q Place initiators will help you prepare to start a Q Place. Coaching groups meet around 75 minutes each week for seven weeks. After that, coaching groups continue to meet regularly to touch base until Q Place groups are launched. Many coaching groups meet through video conference call, so it's likely that you can join one no matter where you live.

Why would someone want to participate in a Q Place?

There are very few places where someone who is spiritually curious can safely explore spiritual topics and learn more without being told what to believe. A Q Place provides a non-threatening environment to discuss spiritual matters, based on three main components: inductive resources, trained facilitators, and time-tested group discussion guidelines.

How many people are typically in a Q Place?

A Q Place is typically a group of two to twelve people, including two or three initiators. When it gets larger than that, we encourage the group to form two separate groups so that each participant can have adequate time to share his or her own thoughts and ideas.

How is Q Place different from Alpha?

There are strong similarities, as both Q Place and Alpha involve facilitated group discussions with spiritual seekers. Typically, people who come to an Alpha course already have some connection with a church, and they want to understand the basics of the Christian faith. An Alpha course is ten weeks long, with specific video presentations or lecture content to absorb and discuss.

Q Place groups are launched by Christians who have gotten to know people outside of church connections. Rather than following a set curriculum, groups use a variety of resources that are all inductive. A Q Place group may start by using a 7-session video series from Explore God as discussion-starters for questions that participants have about God. Then the group may decide to continue meeting to discuss the Bible directly, using simple Bible Conversation Cards or inductive Bible studies that help them make discoveries for themselves.

Q Place can actually work well to prepare people for an Alpha course, and groups that start as an Alpha course could continue to meet, using Q Place Bible study guides to discover more about God and the Bible.