Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

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

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