The Alpha Regional Gathering (ARG) consist of 2 days of Leadership Conference, 1 day of Experiencing Alpha, and a day of regional staff meeting. Today we meet with Abel, one of the key person for this big week!
What’s your role at ARG?
I’m the owner of Experiencing Alpha’18 which means I take care of the programme and overseeing the timelines across different teams who are working towards making this event happen. I also have a budget overview for the event execution, liaising with conference speakers and oversee the teams involved in events, registration and design collaterals.
How’s the experience of being involved in EA so far?
It’s been really good. I’ve been so encouraged with all the response that we’ve received. At the moment, we have 489 delegates and they’re coming from all over the region.
What’s exciting about this is that historically, those who attend EA leave with really ambitious ideas on what they can do with Alpha back home. We’ve seen churches started after EA and an explosion of Alpha courses, and we’re expecting the same this time around, so the team and I are really motivated by what the outcome of this event will be.
The process leading up to it has been really good and it’s great for us to interact with other teams across the Hub to take on this established event. Our event plan revolves around the idea of contextualizing and updating the programme to 2018, while still keeping in line with the Alpha brand.
This is a really big event for the Hub, with two events back to back in one week. Can you describe the logistics process of organising a monumental event like this?
It definitely takes a lot of coordination, as there’s a lot of teams involved. But what’s been really encouraging is the unity across the teams working towards it. Like I said, the timelines are on schedule so that’s really good, despite unexpected public holidays. The number of delegates coming is also very encouraging, so it’s looking very promising for both the Leadership Conference and EA.
We decided months ago, that EA18 would be hosted right after LC because it would be a very nice flow for the EA Delegates to experience LC first and then zoom into something Alpha specific – like running Alpha that would be beneficial in their local contexts. Even though it’s very busy and packed week, the flow would work very well for our ARG delegates.
What are some challenges that you face while putting together?
Obviously, the scale of it is huge as we’ve never done an event this big before! Ordinarily, an event like LC and EA would be done in isolation (like months apart) but we decided to pair them together so that it would be a more fulfilling experience for the delegates. Twice the amount of effort is needed for logistics and execution; But while the scale is biggest challenge of all, the scale is also going to be the biggest reward of all.
This is the fourth year that Alpha is doing EA. What should delegates look forward to this year’s EA?
I think the key difference is that it’s being paired with LC. Ordinarily, EA would just be a 2 or 3 day event on its own but this year we’ve condensed it to one intense day and follows right after two days of leadership conference. It’s very full week from a delegate’s perspective and that’s what’s going to make it different from the previous times that EA has been done.
They start off with two days of LC to get a macro idea of leadership and then zooms into more specific tool on Alpha for EA on the third day. Delegates would get to see how our resource church, HTBB runs Alpha and hopefully be inspired to on how to run in the context of their respective countries.
What are some sessions that you recommend delegates not to miss?
Definitely don’t miss the day itself, because it’s been condensed to one full day. The flow of the day begins of full picture of why Alpha works and why it’s a very effective church planting tool. Towards the afternoon, we focus on the more practical elements of running Alpha, like what’s the culture of Alpha, the components of Alpha group and how do you run it.
The afternoon ends with prayer and commissioning session. The event climaxes with Experiencing Alpha in the evening and I think that’s quite invaluable for delegates to have a glimpse of how Alpha works. Delegates will also have a chance to look under the hood of how a church runs Alpha effectively. Coincidentally HTBB will also be hosting its first week of Alpha that evening so they will get to see a real-life context of how Alpha is run.
What are you personally looking forward to?
I’m personally looking forward to the arrival of delegates from across Asia Pacific and it’s really inspiring to see them coming together. Everyone has their own story and experiences; The networks that are formed from this gathering can be very powerful as people get to meet and exchange notes. They often get to stay in contact afterwards and support each other across the seas so that would be very good to see that.
I’m really looking to the aspect of equipping pastors and leaders with the practical tools as well. Monday and Tuesday would be inspirational and Wednesday would be hugely practical and that would be our call-to-action to our delegates.
Messages to the Delegates: We are looking forward to having you here at the Alpha Hub, we’ve been praying for you during these last few months and preparing to make sure that this experience would be a memorable one! And we’re definitely looking forward to the great stories that will come out from Experience Alpha. See you all!