Celebrating the Alpha Regional Gathering 2023 (ARG 2023) and the Future of the Church in Asia Pacific
The Alpha Regional Gathering 2023 (ARG2023) is an annual event hosted by the Alpha Hub in Kuala Lumpur. Every year, the event brings together church leaders and pastors, together with Alpha regional staff from the Asia Pacific region for an impactful week-long event. With a focus on collaboration, envisioning, and celebration, ARG2023 marked a significant milestone in shaping the future of the church in Asia Pacific and its evangelism efforts in the region.
A Visionary Start: EMBRACE and Transforming Parishes
The event commenced with a full-day session called EMBRACE, dedicated to building family ministries using The Marriage and Parenting Courses. Nicky and Sila Lee, founders of the Marriage and Parenting Courses shared their vision of families as agents of societal transformation. Engaging topics such as “Embracing Modern-Day Dating and Family Dynamics” and “Faith-Filled Families” were discussed, and workshops diving into topics such “Marriage and Ministry”, Pastoring People to Date Well”, “Sex and Identity”, and “Passing on Your Faith”, gave church leaders and pastors an opportunity to connect with some of the most pressing needs of the church today.
On the first evening, Transforming Parishes also provided space for Catholic parishes to participate and network further, featuring key speaker Daniel Ang and a thought-provoking panel discussion on the topic, “Making Disciples and Transforming Parishes”.
Envisioning the NEXT DECADE for Churches
The second day focused on envisioning the future of churches. Our very own Executive Director, Miles Toulmin discussed the “Vital Signs of a Healthy Church,” while Dan Blythe explored the “Future of the Church,” emphasizing youth ministry, reaching Gen Z, and the development of the new Alpha Youth Series (AYS). An inspiring message on the “4 Phases of Revival” by Ps. Benny Ho left many church leaders refreshed and renewed in their evangelistic and ministry callings.
Partnerships for Gospel Expansion
The third day centred around partnerships, inviting churches in the region to join forces with Alpha in spreading the Gospel across Asia. Patricia Lau, Executive Director of Alpha Hong Kong, led a session called “Under the Hood of Alpha,” providing valuable insights into the value, strengths and opportunities of Alpha. Various workshops were offered, including “Growing the Church through Alpha,” “Alpha in the Catholic Context,” “Reaching the Community Through Alpha,” and “Reaching the Youth Through Alpha.” An additional session called “Innovating Church” encouraged churches to remain relevant while unwavering in the Gospel message.
Meaningful Topics and Future Perspectives
This year’s topics for ARG2023 were carefully selected. What Alpha Asia Pacific found from the post-event survey is that the topics resonated with the attendees. Through their feedback, we see an opportunity to continue these conversations and further equip and collaborate with churches to address topics that are pertinent in today’s world, making the Church effective in bringing change and transformation to the community around it.
Feedback received highlighted areas of interest such as the Next Generation/Youth, Social Media, Marriage & Its Challenges, Parenting, Leadership Development, Contextualisation, Sustaining Alpha, and Cross-Ministry Relevance of Alpha. Real-life testimonies, stories of Alpha’s success and failures, and creativity in adapting to cultural changes were also sought after by participants.
A Testament to Church Engagement and Continued Investment
ARG2023 served as a platform for building relationships, investing in the expansion of the Gospel, and making it accessible to those who have yet to encounter Jesus. Our prayer is that the impact of ARG2023 will continue to bear fruit in the years to come, thanks to the relentless efforts and heart of the participating churches and leaders in bringing the Gospel to their communities and nations.
Alpha is a resource churches use to create a space and a culture where people are excited to invite their friends into a conversation about Jesus. Alpha can be run almost anywhere, by Christians of all traditions all over the world – from a church hall to a restaurant or online, and has lasting impact on guests and church communities.
We estimate that over 25 million people have experienced Alpha in over 140 countries and in over 100 languages around the globe.
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