Alpha Katalyst 2015

Alpha Katalyst 2015

Singapore

Live radically; in community; with Jesus at the centre of it all.

Last weekend, a group of young people, all leaders in their own right, gathered in Singapore to be equipped to be salt and light — catalysts — in their communities, and more importantly, in their countries.

 

Catalyst /ˈkat(ə)lɪst/

  • a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change
  • a person or thing that precipitates an event

 

Alpha Katalyst 2015, the Alpha Asia Pacific Emerging Leaders Conference, was held from 22-25 January 2015. Katalyst is an event to identify, inspire, activate and send out Christian emerging leaders to be influential change agents in fulfilling God's purpose for their lives, whether it is in the marketplace, community, family unit or full-time ministry.

This year's event saw 32 delegates, handpicked from around the region, and nine speakers, including His Excellency Archbishop Joseph Marino, Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Amy Orr-Ewing from RZIM, Jaeson Ma, who works with Will Smith and MC Hammer, and Richard Magnus, the former Chief Judge of Singapore.

Sheela, one of the delegates, summed up the key takeaway points from the talks superbly and succinctly: "Live radically; in community; with Jesus at the centre of it all."

Prayers, for each other and for the countries they represented, were organic, expectant and fervent. We had a glimpse of what worship in heaven would be like as the room was filled with a symphony of voices, the dulcet tones raw and heartfelt. The delegates also had fun getting to know one another better through a variety of activities outside of the talks.

At the end of the event, all the delegates were aflame with excitement over the same vision, each eager to see the church grow exponentially in their countries, each hungry for change in the Asia Pacific region. 

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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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