Hanniel Fernandez, National Director of Alpha Philippines, has come up with a brilliant way of working with churches to run and successfully launch Alpha in their communities.
In the Philippines, we have engaged with and successfully launched Alpha in churches across the country. This has been the result of a method we call AETS: Acquaint, Explain, Train, Sustain.
To successfully launch an Alpha means that the church has
- Completed one Alpha run.
- s committed to the long-term running of Alpha.
- Boasts a strong buy-in from senior leaders and the youth ministry.
- Is willing to run Alpha according to global guidelines.
- Has seen results in terms of leadership development and growth in numbers.
- Has a strong desire to integrate Alpha church-wide.
- Is strongly involved in activities organised by the national Alpha office of the country.
Acquaint, Explain, Train, Sustain
Acquaint: Lunch. Get to know the senior pastor; minimal talk on Alpha; see if the church and Alpha will mix; obtain blessing of senior pastor to train youth group.
Explain: 1 hour. Give overview of Alpha to youth leader and core team; prep them for training; build relationship.
Train: 7 hours max. Instructional training; go through a 10-point worksheet resulting in a take-away action plan; help the team to strategise.
Sustain: 11 weeks. Hand-hold throughout the first run of Alpha; speak at launch; mentor leaders; help administer Alpha weekend; handle ministry; ensure successful completion. Assess at the end; plan and train for 2nd round.
Our Evaluation of AETS
It’s time-consuming and labor-intensive, but unavoidable. Alpha presents new concepts that take time to be absorbed into the culture of the church; so, we must take a slow and steady approach when desiring to successfully launch Alpha in a new church.
AETS works with two Alpha trainers handling five churches at a time. Key to more Alphas running is to increase the number of Alpha trainers performing AETS and not to cut short the process (e.g., by eliminating or limiting the Sustain stage).
AETS is nothing new — it’s derived from the best practices of national Alpha offices around the globe.
By counting the number of churches wherein we have successfully launched Alpha — vs. the number of Alphas run — we can better assess the level of buy-in of Alpha in the Philippines. We desire a stronger buy-in vs. more courses run (the latter should result from the former).
We have successfully launched Alpha in eight churches in the past two years using our AETS model. By Q4 2015, we hope to have successfully launched Alpha in an additional 20 churches (through the Alpha community).
If we increase by 100% annually from 2015, we’d have launched Alpha in a total of 890 churches by 2020 and achieved 20% of the market share of (120,000) Protestant churches by 2025.