Joe Handley




Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

Authors: Joe Handley

From Stu Lynch, Asian Access Resource Developer/South East Asia:

Asian Access is strategically positioned to respond to the following critical needs and opportunities among leading pastors in Asia:

The One-Degree Drift:
Busy, successful pastors can drift—to varying degrees—apart from their first love, Jesus. Asian Access (A2) weaves the centrality of a lifelong love relationship with Jesus into the entire training program, stirring motivation and providing tracks leading to intimacy with Jesus and faithfulness to His word.

Lonely at the Top:
Leadership in Asian culture is typically top-down and authoritarian, often leaving influential pastors with few close friends, if any. Asian Access provides a safe place for pastors to go deep with one another, and encourages leaders to develop lasting Christ-centered friendships for encouragement and accountability.

My Silo’s Better than Your Silo:
Leaders tend to be focused on their particular church, group, or denomination. Asian Access intentionally brings together leaders from all different denominational and theological stripes, helping promote trust and unity among the broader body of Christ within a particular region or country.

What’s the Fruit of an Apple Tree?:
Healthy apple trees reproduce more apple trees. In the same vein, healthy Jesus-followers reproduce more Jesus-followers. We have found that many leading pastors teach about discipleship, but don’t actually invest in one-on-one relationships that lead to reproduction of disciples. Asian Access challenges leaders to reproduce by investing in a few other leaders—just as Jesus did—and gives them ongoing support to keep reproducing.

Rock My Paradigm:
One pastor came into Asian Access with a vision of growing his church to 1,000 members. One of the A2 trainers gave an illustration of "elephant versus rabbit" reproduction—basically there would be millions of rabbits before there were a dozen or so elephants. This pastor dropped his idea of a 1,000 member congregation and decided to start planting rabbit churches—with a vision for every single town and village in his country. Asian Access doesn't endorse a particular model of church, but challenges pastors to think biblically and strategically about church within their cultural context.

The Asian Access Model:

The primary ministry of Asian Access in each national or regional training center is an in-service leadership development program for pastors. Each training batch brings together 10 to 20 prominent Asian pastors, 3 to 5 times a year, for 4 to 6 days at a time, over a 2 to 3 year period. Asian Access aims to see both the lives and ministries of participating pastors transformed; fostering a deeper love relationship with God and love for His word is essential to that transformation.

What people are saying:

“My husband has changed a lot since the Asian Access training. He has more to teach in the church. The flock likes his leadership style more. He has a big vision for church planting in all the provinces that he didn’t have before A2. He has a bigger heart for Jesus.” —Wife of A2 training participant in Cambodia

“Last month we held some training in our mission field among Buddhists and Muslims. We also visited many of our churches there. We taught what we have learned from Asian Access and from your family while we were with you in Singapore last year. Our churches are growing slowly but we need to learn much more to have multiplying churches.” — Asian Access leadership team member in limited access country

“I really want to attend the leadership-coach training you invited me to in Singapore. Please confirm that I only have to pay $100 out of $1,200 total cost. I’m asking because it’s like a dream for me!” (Your generous gifts helped this pastor’s dream come true!) —A2 national program coordinator in limited access country

“How are you? We want you to know that pastor A and B are now are reconciled with each other and forgiven each other. I invited them to come and meet to talk about their issue face to face. We had a long talk and praise God now they chose to forgive each other. We had a big party for both of them, and pastor B came for last Asian Access session as a trainer.” —Meng Aun, A2 national program coordinator in Cambodia

“I am fine and my family is fine too. My church is good. I did half day off with my wife two times already for reflection and evaluation. It is really helpful and very necessary in times like this. Up to now, time together with my wife for reflection had been very few and not intentional. This time, we both are blessed because of doing that. Thanks for your advice and encouragement.” —A2 leadership team member in limited access country

Strategically Positioned to RespondStrategically Positioned to RespondStrategically Positioned to RespondStrategically Positioned to Respond

Read original post...

Japan in the News

Japan quake triggers trauma The map shows areas affected by Wednesday’s earthquake.
Japan (MNN) — Authorities warn residents of northeast Japan to prepare for potentially strong aftershocks in the days to come. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the region on Wednesday night, kill

All Stories

Japan quake triggers trauma

Japan (MNN) — Authorities warn residents of northeast Japan to prepare for potentially strong aftershocks in the days to come. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the region on Wednesday night, killing a handful of people and wounding hundreds.


Fuchida and DeShazer: Stories of Transformation


Christianity is about the power of the Gospel to transform our lives.

I want to share with you a real-life story of two sworn enemies – Fuchida, a Japanese commander and DeShazer, an American pilot. The setting is in World War II.


The Leaders Must Come from Outside!

The Christian subculture challenge

A few years ago when I met with a Japanese Christian leader to catch up on each other’s lives, we discussed the challenges of the spread of the gospel in this nation and dreamed a bit about how to build upon the many partnerships that have been developing between Christian groups here in Japan. During our conversation, he surprised me with an unexpected comment:


Fukushima prayer drive challenged my skepticism

In Japan, Fukushima Prefecture is arguably the region most impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In addition to the earthquake damage up and down its seacoast, three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced meltdown when tsunami waters disabled their cooling systems.


Asian Access Japan Report • Dec 2021 (Japanese)


The December 2021 Report has been published in Japanese and is now available here...


Christ-like Leadership

"walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
– Ephesians 4:1


Sunday ‘Zoom Church’—with no morning message!

How one Japanese congregation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic 

WHEN I TALKED TO PASTOR YOSHIYA (JOSHUA) HARI, THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR FOR ASIAN ACCESS JAPAN, his church had already been dealing with its own crisis before the coronavirus came. After over 20 years in the same location, in 2019 the congregation of Saikyo Hope Chapel was told they had to vacate the building they were leasing because it would be demolished. Finding a similar facility for the same price proved to be extremely difficult, so from February 2, 2020, they found themselves alternately renting one of two local community centers for services each Sunday.


Home church: the new norm in Japan?

Japan (MNN) — In January 2020, a group of believers in Japan lost their church building. Little did they know, God would use their “temporary solution” as a growth point when the pandemic turned the world upside-down.


Raising Up Leaders who are Abiding in Christ

Recently I was interviewed by Evangeline Hsiao for her podcast, Care Package for Japan...

The purpose of this podcast is to showcase how much God loves Japan through different stories of people. It is like God sending a care package to the ones He loves in Japan!


Yearnings and Callings for 2022

Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

This post is a little later than I had hoped because our family was hit with the coronavirus variant over the holidays. We are deeply grateful for your prayers and appreciate you for the way we journey together in life and mission.


Follow this Site

Get new posts by email: