It’s been one exhilarating week at The Hub as it hosted its first ever Alpha Regional Gathering Conference. The air was filled with excitement and anticipation as more than 800 delegates from 27 countries made their way to the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur to experience a life-changing week filled with wisdom, ministry and worship.
This year’s gathering proved to be the biggest one yet as it hosted the first Leadership Conference in Asia, 4th Experiencing Alpha event and an annual staff meeting of Alpha national offices in the region.
The week kicked off with Leadership Conference (LC) led by Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang Church (HTBB). It also marked a significant moment for the region as HTBB was one of several international hubs to join the Leadership Conference’s programme this year. The two-day event was graced with great teachings of leadership and fantastic live talks of inspirational leaders from across Asia Pacific and UK with the purpose to connect and create exceptional Christian leaders in every sphere of society.
The conference began an electrifying multilingual worship production by Worship Central Team which featured Chinese String Quartet. Miles Toulmin, Vicar of HTBB and Executive Director of Alpha Asia Pacific, along with his wife, Sarah, gave a warm welcome to all visiting guests from every corner of the globe who took part in the event. Miles proceeded to speak about the importance of God’s plan of urgency and the starting point of leadership is knowing the love that God has for you. “It’s not just a vertical relationship with God, but a horizontal one as well; As this is what make us become good Christian leaders in our society.”
An impressive line-up of live speakers proved to be one of the highlights of the Leadership Conference as delegates listened to enriching words of wisdom from different leaders of respective fields and the remarkable ways that God has impacted their lives.
Lyndon Neri, a renowned architect and Founding Partner of Neri&Hu Design Research Office, gave tribute to God for the success of his architectural practice and the guidance that God has given throughout his career.
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-Founder of Grab, gave a candid interview about the highs and lows of being a successful Entrepreneur and how being Christ-led has given him a solid foundation in his line of work. “When adapting to change or vision, I always seek Him first”. He also credits that reading the bible has been one of the key changers in his life and even noting it as “the best business book in the world”.
Steven Chao, host & producer for Al Jazeera's 101 East, also dropped by to speak about his calling as a journalist and how God has saved him during times of adversaries. When asked what keeps him going in his high-risk line of work, Steven affirms that it’s his firm belief that God is in control.
Delegates also heard incredible sessions about professional and leadership topics from Dato' Sri Idris Jala (President & CEO of PEMANDU Associates), Professional Business Coach Jeevan Sahadevan and Pastor Benny Ho. Captivating video speeches and interviews of Bryan Stevenson, John C. Maxwell, Rich and Dawncheré Wilkerson and Immanuclée Ilibagiza from this year’s Leadership Conference in London were showcased as well.
The two-day event also proved to be an enriching experience for delegates to equip and maximize their potential as Christian leaders in their community. Masterclasses from a wide spectrum of topics were integrated into the programme while numerous networking opportunities with peers from similar spheres of influence took place as well.
It was a sight to see when Leadership Conference ended with a spectacular and colourful music production as balloons and confetti filled the HTBB church hall while everyone worshipped to Worship Central Team’s upbeat encore.
Following the momentum of the Leadership Conference, delegates were back at the HTBB Hall the next day for the fourth run of Experiencing Alpha (EA'18).
Experiencing Alpha has always been one of the most anticipated annual gatherings in the region as it’s a great opportunity for church leaders to experience Alpha for themselves and explore the various resources and tools it offers. It has also known to launch an explosion of Alpha courses and churches as well.
EA'18 proved to be different from previous years as the event was condensed into one productive full-day session. EA'18 began with a macro look of Alpha leadership in the morning and then zooming into the practical elements of Alpha in the afternoon. Sessions were led by the Alpha Malaysia Team that includes Wini Heron (National Director), Abel Cheah (National Coordinator), Paul Kong (Head of Global Alpha Campus) and Aaron Anand (Senior Development Coordinator for Alpha Youth/Campus) who shared their thoughts and experience on running Alpha in their respective areas. The afternoon closed with a powerful commissioning session led by Miles and the Worship Central Team.
Delegates also got to witness a real-life context of how Alpha is run effectively as HTBB hosted the first week of the 12th English Alpha term, and 3rd Mandarin Alpha term that same evening. The annual event proved to be an engaging one as it opened new conversations and perspectives of how Alpha and its tools can be used in relevant and effective ways to continue reaching more people in different contexts.
The week ended with a staff meeting for all participating Alpha National offices to hear from Mathew Neville (Chief Executive Officer of Alpha International ), Cameron Watson (Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Alpha International) and Hui Shan (Head of Global Communications) speak about Alpha’s values and future direction.
The experience of the Alpha Regional Gathering has been nothing but a blessing and inspiration to those who attended as they shared their experience from the week-long event.
Liza, an intern from Alpha Indonesia said that she enjoyed every single second of each day of the conference while Alpha Thailand board member, Khun Arunee, summed up her experience as a memorable one. “We have learned that the higher success we have, the more intimacy with God we need. Thank you for allowing us to learn from you (Alpha Hub) via your practical setting during these few days. We are saying among us that Alpha is a good tool and we can use it to expand God’s kingdom in more areas in Thailand. May God bless you and multiply, Alpha Asia Pacific.”
Other delegates even risked their lives to participate at the Alpha Regional Gathering but still found the experience very rewarding. A delegate from East Asia disclosed that what she found worthwhile from the conference was learning that leadership was about reading the word of God, praying and submitting to Him daily. She also shared that seeing participants be filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit during worship was a blessing to witness.
A delegate from Vietnam revealed that their vision for Alpha has been stretched after attending the conference. “We have never attended a conference of such quality and focus on leadership. We have felt refreshed and now dare to dream bigger dreams for God. We wish we can do something like this for our leaders in Vietnam.”
Ps Batbold from Mongolia praised his satisfaction of what he witnessed during the conference as well and said, “I came to see HTBB church to observe how it works when Alpha is at the centre of the Church. I will return to Mongolia and realign our church to focus on Alpha ministry and develop it more”.
The Alpha Regional Gathering may have just ended but this is only the beginning of a new movement in the kingdom of God. We hope that this memorable experience has blessed you with wisdom and has equipped and inspired you to become a Christian leader in your community.
Want to see more photos from Alpha Regional Gathering? Please view them on the provided links below: