Alpha Katalyst 2016

Alpha Katalyst 2016

Emerging Leaders Conference

Great inspiration came from the stories of how each of them had been introduced to Alpha and the difference it had made to them personally

The event name “Katalyst” is play on the word “Catalyst”,but spelt with a “K” for subtle differentiation from other Christian conferences with similar names. The “K” also has roots in the English transliteration of the Greek word “καταλύτης” (katalýtis).

Alpha Katalyst, the Emerging Leaders Conference for Alpha Asia Pacific, was held from 21 - 24 January 2016 in Changi Cove, Singapore. 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 this be in the marketplace, community, family unit, full-time ministry or for Alpha.

This year’s event saw 33 delegates, handpicked from 12 countries in the region assemble with several keynote speakers for four days and three nights. The speakers included the Executive Director of Alpha Asia Pacific and Vicar of HTBB (Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang) Church - Rev Miles Toulmin, Founder and Senior Pastor of City Harvest Church KL - Kevin Loo, Rev James Singh - an itinerant Evangelist under the Assemblies of God in Singapore, Idris Jala who until recently was the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) – now, with his team, he consults for governments around the world on how to be effective in managing their countries, Pastor Jacob Isaac - the new National Director of Alpha India, Chapman Fu – from Alpha Hong Kong and the co-host of the Alpha Next Gen Series in Cantonese, and Carole Pang - an entrepreneur who has been serving Alpha Singapore for almost 12 years now.

Great inspiration came from the stories of how each of them had been introduced to Alpha and the difference it had made to them personally. Miles Toulmin, in one of the morning devotion sessions, encouraged the delegates that ‘with God, hidden doesn’t mean forgotten’. People from all backgrounds and experience came together for worship, time in our specially designed Encounter Room, united prayer and ministry and we are sure that God spoke to each of them about their big future in Him.

Joel Pang from Singapore, one of the delegates, said “Just like how God parted the Red Sea, He too can part mountains for you through your struggles so that you can walk right through it.”

Prayers for each other and for the countries they represented, were heartfelt, sincere and faith-filled.  We were blessed with worship led by Stew McIlraith from Worship Central Malaysia and the presence of God was so tangible.

The delegates also had fun getting to know one another better in a treasure hunt game outside of Changi Cove. Thankfully none got lost and they all found some treasure.

At the end of the event, no one wanted to leave but all the delegates went home with a renewed passion and expectation for God to breakthrough and give them the strategy to make a difference for God in their countries, and be a part of the expansion of His Kingdom 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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