TABLE OF CONTENTS
LETTER FROM GERARD
WHAT IS ALPHA?
WHAT THEY SAY
LOCAL & NATIONAL IMPACT
ALPHA USA LEADERSHIP TEAM
INCOME & EXPENSE REVIEW
AROUND THE GLOBE
23. ALPHA PARTNERS
DEDICATION We dedicate this Ministry Report to Rebecca Long and Ali Hanna. Both of these people were passionate about helping others come to know and love God. Their acts of kindness and generosity live on and are bearing fruit even though they have left this earth. We will see you both again in glory.
LETTER FROM GERARD
I am excited to present to you our Ministry Report that looks back to 2013 and forward to 2015. This is a special piece that allows us to celebrate the journey of Alpha. Our hope is that in this report, you will see the faithfulness of God and His work through Alpha both here in the United States and around the world.
I have a great love for the church. Our vision is to help churches reach people with the Good News of the gospel through Alpha. Under the leadership of Pastor Marc Bolling at Gateway Church in Texas, Alpha has taken off there. Gateway has five campuses, with 24,000 worshipers each week, and is now running Alpha on three of its campuses. In Plymouth, Mich., Fr. John Riccardo from Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, closed down all other ministries last fall and invited his parish to Alpha, and 1,000 people showed up. I believe we are called to join together as the body of Christ and further the kingdom of God among all ages. Recently, we developed a number of initiatives intended to help churches reach young people. One exciting new resource, called the Alpha Youth Film Series, is designed for ages 13 to 18 and focuses on getting the conversation started. This is part of a bigger vision to help churches be intentional with their outreach through a 1 for 1 challenge â€“ to invite one friend to one night of Alpha. Our prayer and vision is for 12 million people to hear the gospel by the end of 2016. My prayer is that the church will be empowered to share the name of Jesus, and you will have even more courage to invite people to Alpha this season. Thank you for your continual prayerful support. You are a vital part of this mission. Love and peace, Gerard Long P.S. On a personal front, Iâ€™d like to thank you for your love, support and prayers as we grieve the tragic death of Rebecca, our precious daughter and sister, in May 2014. She lived her life as a faithful servant of God and impacted many during her seven years as national director of Alpha Youth.
At the end of 2014, in obedience to a clear call from the Lord, Gerard will be stepping down as the Executive Director of Alpha USA to serve God in another part of His harvest field. We are thankful for his leadership, commitment and passion throughout the past eight years. 01
WHAT IS ALPHA? Alpha is an opportunity to explore life and the Christian faith in a friendly, open and informal environment.
ALPHA IS AN IDEA
ALPHA IS A STORY
ALPHA IS A TOOL
It creates a place in the center of your church where people can freely ask their questions and explore the basics of the faith.
24 million people have done Alpha, yet each person has a unique story of how God has met each where he or she is.
Anyone can run Alpha! We are creating really useful tools that are free, online and easy for anyone to access and use.
Who is Alpha USA? Alpha USA is the organization that facilitates the spread of Alpha throughout the United States. In addition to our Alpha USA staff, and Regional and Specialty Directors, we rely on thousands of volunteers to help run more and better courses. Alpha USA has established a network of more than 50 regional and specialty teams, hundreds of Alpha coaches and thousands of course volunteers across the country to build ministry support and develop new and stronger courses in any context. Find your region at alphausa.org/regions. We are here to serve you. By connecting with us, you have access to many resources: • Prayer
• Promo materials
• Tools for running Alpha
• Leadership development • Tools for deeper spiritual growth
• Family life resources from Relationship Central
Mission To serve and support churches to make new disciples of Jesus Christ. Vision Our vision is to play our part in the re-evangelization of the nations and the transformation of society. Goal We are praying and working for 12 million people to hear the gospel across America by the end of 2016. Strategy We are in the midst of innovating Alpha to better serve and support the church to reach the next generation. The Alpha Youth Film Series is just one tool we are implementing to further Alpha’s relevance. Prayer Prayer is our first priority. We host six national weekly calls with hundreds of local and regional prayer events, including one day of prayer and fasting, every month.
One Alpha, Many Contexts Alpha has been customized to fit different locations and people groups. In all instances, the essential Alpha content is the same. Here is a sample of the many variations of Alpha.
ALPHA NUMBERS There is an average of 27 guests per Alpha.
28% of guests are under 35 years old.
50% of guests establish a relationship with Jesus.
40% of Alpha guests are from outside the church.
All data based on results from our 2012 Alpha church survey.
Alpha has run in 169 countries with 24,000,000 guests in 112 languages.
Alpha has run in 50 states with 3,000,000-plus guests in 127 denominations.
A Survey of Alpha Leaders
believe Alpha helps to attract new people to their church.
believe Alpha is central to what they do at their church.
believe Alpha helps their church transform lives.
believe Alpha increases Bible study participation.
believe Alpha helps people articulate their faith.
believe Alpha brings more openness to the Holy Spirit.
The congregation and staff have re-engaged with Alpha and are excited about evangelism again. Karen Rummel and Pastor Tim Mayfield Regarding Alpha activity, Truro Anglican Church has had highs and lows throughout the years. It’s been big; it’s been tiny; it’s been wonderful; it’s been discouraging. I’ve watched Alpha begin to blossom again. The congregation and staff have re-engaged with Alpha and are excited about evangelism again; especially as more energy, prayer and resources are poured into it. Our fall and winter Alpha attendance was bigger than the previous year. We try to remind members, “You don’t have to go out and convert people. All you have to do is invite them to come to dinner with you. Then, let God use Alpha to do the rest.”
If Alpha can help me, someone who didn’t have any faith, I don’t know who it can’t help. Ryan invited Sonny to Alpha Through a simple game of rugby, Ryan and Sonny became fast friends. This opened the door for Ryan to invite Sonny to Alpha. Ryan could see that Sonny was searching for answers to some serious questions. After being a marine and losing his best friend while deployed, Sonny started with the biggest question: “Why?” He asked other great questions while on the course and found it was all starting to make sense. “I had this moment, that aha moment where I decided to accept Jesus Christ. Ryan is the reason I got involved with Alpha. He’s a great friend,” said Sonny. “If you have people that you feel you should invite [to Alpha], invite them. If Alpha can help me, someone who didn’t have any faith, I don’t know who it can’t help.”
#RunAlpha Nancy Lemke @NancyLemke1 @alphacourse it is brilliant! I love serving in Alpha. Just finished fall session on Tuesday! What a joy! Niles Holsinger @nilesholsinger What an AMAZING team of leaders that have served @gatewaypeople’s first Alpha Course!
Kate Dawson @KlynSpeaks Only a few weeks left of the Alpha course. It has been an amazing experience being a leader. I don’t want it to end.
Joseph @bktheologian Had a wonderful time leading #Alpha last night at New Life Fellowship. Nothing like unpacking the gospel.
Shawn McCain @ShawnMcCain Kicked off #Alpha at @RedeemerSC last night. Great people & interesting
#TryAlpha Francesca McCarthy @cescam The @alphacourse changed my life. Dinner, chats, cake, coffee, discussions and making best friends. You wonâ€™t regret it. #TryAlpha #Alpha Jamie Haith @jamiehaith What an amazing morning!! So moving to see dozens and dozens eating, talking and laughing... #TryAlpha
Willow Creek CC @WillowCreekCC Hundreds did Alpha last week, itâ€™s not too late to start! #TryAlpha tomorrow, 6:45pm @WillowCreekCC
Second Place Church @2ndPlace What an awesome turnout last night at Alpha. Thanks to everyone who made it happen! #TryAlpha
Dan Samms @roaringshepherd A friend gave his life to Christ yesterday and let me know tonight at Alpha!
I had it all – a great job, great friends, great community. I couldn’t place why I was feeling lost. Roshni, Alpha guest Before Alpha, Roshni’s New York City life looked satisfying. “I had it all – a great job, great friends, great community. I couldn’t place why I was feeling lost.” Roshni’s mother, who runs Alpha from their home in Tanzania, encouraged her to try Alpha in New York City. To appease her mother, she went on Alpha and found herself slowly becoming very engaged in the talks and the sense of community. “I appreciated the open discussion, the freedom to ‘ask anything’ on Alpha or not talk if you did not want to. I found Alpha to be a really comfortable setting.“ She began a journey that led her to being baptized back home in Tanzania. “It’s life-changing.”
Our [church] is laying a groundwork for what it means to be an intentional disciple of Jesus. Fr. John Riccardo Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church is laying a groundwork for what it means to be an intentional disciple of Jesus. After reviewing the Alpha talks, Fr. John Riccardo was convinced that Alpha could play an effective part in this. He decided to clear the entire church calendar of events in order to maximize the church’s resources and train up its team to do Alpha. “We didn’t know if anyone would sign up. It could’ve bombed,” said Fr. Riccardo. But at its first Come and See Dinner, the church ran out of room. The course ran seven days a week, and more than 1,000 people participated. “A tremendous community is building. I have countless people coming up to me saying, ‘I can’t thank you enough for bringing Alpha here.’”
WHAT THEY SAY
Weâ€™ve seen hundreds in the Alpha setting find a place to answer some key questions ... that begin the growth process of personal faith. JUDAH SMITH
Lead Pastor, The City Church
“Alpha is a new way of announcing the gospel.” RINO FISICHELLA
President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization
“Alpha is a tool for mobilizing men and women to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost.”
“Alpha is the Christian organization that is quietly spreading throughout Britain’s prisons. Its techniques are so powerful that it’s transforming the most brutal inmates.”
Joyce Meyer Ministries
“The people who come to faith on Alpha are more connected because they have not come to God in a vacuum.“ HELLMAN ÁVILA
“Alpha ... uses modern methods to promote and explain Christian teachings around the world.”
“A novel approach to Christian education that has been catching on nationwide.”
“People consider the claims of Christ in fresh and stimulating ways through Alpha.” BILL HYBELS
Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
“Many claim Alpha has changed their lives and appear genuinely happier for the experience.”
LOCAL & NATIONAL IMPACT Alpha is a hands-on effort across the country – a model including church leaders, regional support and volunteers who help share the gospel and reach out to their communities.
Young Life groups use the Alpha Youth Film Series at summer camp and follow up with 200 students.
Alpha is offered to those on skid row in downtown Los Angeles.
Undergirded by prayer, Alpha USA is structured to support local churches in spreading the gospel using Alpha. Churches are supported locally by regional teams made up of pastors, businesspeople and a regional director, who organizes Tastes of Alpha, training events, volunteers, prayer and more. Specialty teams work with the regional teams in such contexts as youth, universities, prisons and the workplace. The regional and specialty teams are supported by a central team for their IT, marketing, training material and resource needs.
Dots represent states where there is support from a regional director. 14
Alpha is reaching people “on the edge of the world” in Alaska.
In Detroit, 1,000 people show up for Alpha running seven days a week. There have been eight Alpha courses a year for the past 10 years at Sacaton correctional facility in Arizona.
InterVarsity, Pulse and Alpha team up at NYU in New York City.
Pastors from all over the city gather to pray in Charleston. 15
ALPHA AROUND THE GLOBE We are in step with Alpha International’s global mission to equip churches all over the globe to reach 100 million people by 2020. One of every four dollars raised in the United States is given to Alpha International to help fund the growth of Alpha around the world. By God’s grace, we raised $2.2 million in 2013 toward the spread of the gospel overseas.
In Córdoba, Nelson Lastiri is using social media to take the gospel past the mountains to Argentina and beyond.
After leaving university in Nairobi, Chris Muriithi went on to run Alpha.
“You can see the church working together when running Alpha. It’s a very unifying thing. For this reason, we’ve started to hold training days here in Córdoba, and leaders come from far distances to learn how to run Alpha in their communities.”
“I run out of words to describe the impact [Alpha] has had. I have been transformed. After delivering my first live talk at a rehabilitation center for boys, I saw a dozen young men come to faith. In Nairobi, most people don’t like to talk about religion, but when we get into small groups, you can see that there is a real eagerness to know more. I think that’s why Alpha works here in Nairobi — it gives young people a chance to really talk openly and ask questions.”
Gaetano Cammarata has run Alpha in Milan, Italy for the last nine years. “Alpha is a social experience, and that’s perfect for Italy; it’s a safe and familiar environment. Another reason Alpha fits well is because it is run in local parishes. I think it’s really important for people ... to feel that Alpha is local and run by people they know and trust. I’ve especially noticed that Alpha can act as a turning point for those who have drifted away from Christianity. Our main objective is to serve the local church so that more people across the country have the chance to learn about Jesus.”
The HTB team led another amazing Leadership Week. Nicky welcomed everyone with these opening comments: “The theme of this conference is friendship. This is a conference with a purpose; we are united around Jesus. Jesus says, ‘I no longer call you servants. ... I have called you friends’” (John 15:15, NIV). Watch the highlights at lc15.alpha.org.
Look Back Video
God is working around the world. Twenty-four million people have tried Alpha. What if what we see now is only the trailer of the epic movie God is creating? Watch the video here: bit.ly/alphausa-lookback-video 17
ALPHA USA LEADERSHIP TEAM
GERARD LONG Executive Director
Gerard’s passion is to know Jesus Christ, to see Him glorified and to introduce as many people to Him as possible. Born in the United Kingdom and now living in the United States, Gerard started running Alpha in his home in 1995. He was a pastor for 17 years while also an executive at one of the world’s largest banks, HSBC. Gerard left a successful 30-year career with HSBC, as senior VP, to lead Alpha USA.
MIKE SINGH Director of Development
Mike and his wife came to faith on Alpha. Mike spent 15 years in entrepreneurial ventures and the banking industry, most recently with HSBC. He earned a BA/BS from DePaul University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
National Coordinator for Alpha Campus
Director of Human Resources & Regional Director for Lake Co., IL Wayne worked for 16 years in the field of human resources in corporate environments and consulting firms. He earned a Ph.D. in organizational theory at Northwestern University.
After 15-plus years of pastoring, Dave served as a national resource specialist for Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, a mission arm of the Assemblies of God, for two years before accepting his current role with Alpha USA in 2008. He has traveled extensively within and outside of the United States working with numerous churches and university ministries.
JIM CHARLTON Director of Ministry Development
Jim led Alpha for a church staff, then helped start and lead Alpha in Chicago. Jim had a 20-year law career with a Chicago-area law firm. His BA is from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his JD, from DePaul University.
Director of Strategic Initiatives & Information Technology Reuben has degrees in computer engineering, from the University of Bombay, and pastoral studies, from Moody Bible Institute. After working as a software developer for eight years, he spent the last 12 years in technology sales selling Microsoft solutions and services.
Senior Regional Director for California Sam discovered Alpha as a pastor in England in 1998, and he has been running Alpha in a variety of settings ever since. Through working for Alpha, he developed a passion for working with pastors from all church backgrounds on how to integrate Alpha into the heart of the local church and maximize churches’ reach into the community.
KIRK PETERSEN Senior Regional Director for the Northwest
Prior to joining Alpha, Kirk served for 17 years as a youth pastor. He also has authored several devotionals for students, leads worship and has run two marathons for Team Alpha.
Angela lived in the UK and worked for Alpha International in its video department for three years. Upon moving back to the United States, she served as a regional director in both New York City and Los Angeles, and now heads up the Marketing Department for Alpha USA. Angela has a BFA from Texas Tech University.
Andrey holds a master’s degree in evangelism and leadership from Wheaton College. He is a seasoned leader for Alpha at his church and loves to be involved in evangelism and outreach. He leads the Alpha Publishing Department with creativity and passion.
Ana earned a MAFM from DeVry University and has more than 10 years of experience in accounting and finance. She oversees the Alpha USA Finance team.
Head of Marketing
Head of Publishing
Head of Finance
Alpha USA Board of Directors The Alpha USA Board is led by business leaders and pastors who have a heart for the Great Commission and who help guide and approve the strategy of Alpha USA. MARK EMERY
Chairman, Alpha USA President, U.S. Operations, The Jordan Group
Board Member Rector, Truro Anglican, Fairfax, Va.
BISHOP MICHAEL BYRNES Board Member Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Detroit
Board Member Cofounder, St. James Partners
Governance Chair Grand Rapids, Mich.
Board Member Senior Vice President, Capital Group
Executive Director, Alpha USA
Board Member Principal, Strand Corp.
President, Alpha International
Board Member Alpha’s Global Executive Group CEO, Opportunity International Australia
Development Committee Chair Founder and CEO, The Mako Group
Board Member Portfolio Manager, BlueBay Asset Management
Vice Chairman, Alpha USA Pastor, United Methodist Church
Chair of the Personnel Committee Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
Board Secretary and Audit Chair Pastor, Trinity Church, Greenwich, Conn.
Board Member Bishop, St. Andrew’s, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
INCOME & EXPENSE REVIEW Alpha is EFFECTIVE
Churches currently running Alpha
Guests on Alpha
Commit or recommit their lives to Christ
Alpha is EFFICIENT
Regional leadership teams
Value of volunteer labor
Alpha is EXPANDING
Have experienced the Youth Film Series
New Alpha partners
Program & Dev.
LOOKING AHEAD There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of Alpha. Read any report on cultural trends, and you will see church attendance is declining, especially among young people. Our dream is that together we see this generation invited to explore life on Alpha. We have a unique opportunity to serve and support churches to help reverse the trend. Over the past few years, Alpha has grown by more than 100 percent in the United States and by 19 percent around the world. We are keenly aware of our total dependence on God for everything we do. Prayer is our first priority, and it undergirds all of the fruit and initiatives mentioned in this report. Currently, we are focused on developing innovative solutions for Alpha to better connect with people outside the church.
The Alpha Youth Film Series This new video series is 12 video sessions designed to engage students in conversations about faith, life and Jesus. Fresh, and filmed all over the world, it is Alpha for a new generation. “Awakening to God” This book, by Gerard Long, was written to equip people to reach out to family and friends with God’s love. Read more or order your own copy at awakeningtogod.net.
1 for 1 We are encouraging churches to get the conversation started and be intentional with their outreach with a 1 for 1 challenge – to invite one friend to one night of Alpha. Our prayer and vision is for 12 million people to hear the gospel by the end of 2016. See stories at bit.ly/alphausa-1for1. Who are you going to ask?
Thank You! We thank God for you and for your partnership in praying, giving and serving. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13 (NIV)
WE LOVE OUR ALPHA PARTNERS Together we can make Alpha accessible to anyone, anywhere and provide an opportunity for people to explore faith and lifeâ€™s biggest questions in a relevant, nonthreatening and friendly environment. Alpha Partners pray weekly, give monthly and serve faithfully.
PRAY Pray for God to raise up people who can help train additional churches to run Alpha.
GIVE Give monthly to support the development of Alpha in more churches across the country.
SERVE Serve locally or regionally to strengthen and extend the reach of Alpha.
2275 Half Day Rd, Suite 185 Bannockburn, IL 60015 1-800-DO-ALPHA alphausa.org
In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Alpha USA as of Dec. 31, 2013, and the changes in its net assets and its cash flow of the year then in accordance with the accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, which focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising and proper use of charity resources.