Jeff Johnston

A3 and SIM partner to send more church-planting missionaries to Japan

Strategic partnership just part of larger, collaborative vision

Missional partnership just part of larger, collaborative vision

A3 SIM logo1

A missional partnership uniting A3 and SIM is aimed at sending more church-planting missionaries to Japan. By leveraging the strengths of the two mission-sending agencies, we hope to maximize effectiveness toward the goal of recruiting and mobilizing more harvest workers to partner with the Japanese church.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, A3 launched in 1967 as a mission organization pioneering short-term English-teaching missions to Japan. The organization now develops leaders across Asia to multiply churches. Founded in 1893, SIM works on six continents with more than 4,000 missionaries from 65+ countries. The U.S. headquarters is in Charlotte, N.C.

Following a three-year process of examining their organizations’ respective DNA, vision, mission and core values, the leadership teams determined to seize the opportunity to collaborate in forming a new model of mission work, one that will allow each entity to better utilize kingdom resources.

Joe Handley, President of A3"SIM brings the stability of operational support that we needed and the mobilization horsepower to help us fulfill our vision and mission for Japan," said Joe Handley, president of A3. "This strategic partnership is not a merger or simply a sharing of back office functions; it is truly a new way of doing mission together, each bringing their strengths and committing to a common Kingdom vision."

According to the agreement, SIM will partner with A3 to recruit and send missionaries to Japan to plant churches. SIM assumes responsibility for recruiting missionaries, as well as the financial accounting and related human resources functions of missionary training and U.S.-based care.

A3 retains responsibility for championing the overall vision in Japan, managing the strategy of missionary deployment through its vast network of Japanese churches, and caring for Japan-based missionary personnel.

A3 and SIM remain independent, each maintaining its distinct and separate ministry and board of directors.

Bruce Johnson, President of SIM USA"This alliance immediately opens up a whole new country to send SIM missionaries, rather than having to set up a beachhead with a few pioneer missionaries," said Bruce Johnson, former president of SIM USA. "On top of that, to partner with an organization like A3, which already has history, success and reputation in Japan, is a privilege and honor."

Johnson, a former vice president at A3, said SIM’s global focus and A3’ vision for Japan are a seamless fit.

"Within SIM, we are helping to create multicultural mission movements that respond to need, proclaim the gospel, and equip the church," Johnson said. "And A3' vision of helping Japanese pastors plant reproducible churches, as well as seeing a mission heart infused in those churches, resonates with SIM."

Japan has long been considered a resistant mission field, one in which less than 1% is Christian, and the overwhelming effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011 knocked Japan to its knees. These events, however, continue to transform the church and bring many to Christ.

"This bolstering was all the more important given the triple-disaster that hit Japan," he said. "This is a ‘kairos’ or God-moment for Japan that requires our best efforts to influence the country for the beauty of Christ and His Kingdom. We are thrilled to be working with such a strong mission like SIM and are eager to see the Lord work through our strategic partnership to fulfill his mandate for the people of Japan."

More information on this partnership and each organization can be found at online at www.a3leaders.org and www.sim.org. A3 and SIM are sponsoring the website, www.go2japan.org to engage people interested in serving in Japan.

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