Alpha Workplace Conference 2015

Alpha Workplace Conference 2015

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

It was like a symphony of voices; the mellifluous tones were breathtaking

Alpha Workplace Conference is back for its 5th year. 

Alpha Malaysia ran the Alpha Workplace Conference (AWC) 2015 from 3-5 September in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

This year’s conference saw 708 delegates participating from all over Malaysia and Singapore, representing 245 companies and 113 churches. There were 22 speakers, who included dignitaries such as Hannah Yeoh, Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Edward Ong, President of OCK Group, Singapore and Founder of Sutera Harbour Resort, Datin Kathleen Chew, Chairman of Alpha Malaysia, Dr. Philip Lyn,  Senior Pastor of Skyline SIB Church and Colin Kirton, Founder Director of Footstool Players.

This year, the Alpha Workplace Conference was just as exciting if not more, as it dwelled deeper into workplace issues and aimed to be more effective in equipping and providing a sustainable process for evangelisation and transformation in the workplace. This annual conference is designed for every Christian who wants to reach out to their colleagues with the good news of Jesus Christ. The biggest harvest field is right next to their workstations where their colleagues are seeking the meaning of life. 

The “Engaging the 7 Mountains” theme continued this year, zooming in on the mountains of businesses, churches & public services. The aim is to use the 7 mountains of influence as a means to navigate the vastness of a workplace and to provide a practical, sustainable and transferable process for working believers to bring God to work and to reach out.

Justin Asher Chen, one of the delegates, summed up the importance of the conference nicely, “We’re called to be the salt and light of the world, not to be hidden in the church and most of the world is in the workplace!”

AWC 2015 has sparked a revival in major cities in Malaysia. According to Melissa Theng, National Coordinator of Alpha Malaysia, there are already over 100 organisations running Alpha in the country, with at least 50 more new organisations slated to start soon as a result of the Alpha Workplace Conference. About 200 people from Kota Kinabalu are now ready to be trained to run Alpha in both English and Chinese languages.

Meanwhile the fire has also spread to Kuching, Sarawak. There were reports of workplace prayer meetings that started immediately after the conference and Alpha trainings confirmed for mid-October 2015. As for Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, trainings will commence in November 2015. 

AWC_closing.jpg

At the end of the conference, the hall was filled with intense and passionate prayers for one another and for the nations. It was like a symphony of voices; the mellifluous tones were breathtaking. The delegates also had fun getting to know each other and meeting new friends.

During the closing speech by Dr. Philip Lyn, all the delegates were aflame with excitement over the same vision, each one of them eager to see their workplace and churches grow exponentially in their own countries and cities, hungry for change in their nations.

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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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