Joe Handley





Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access


A few weeks ago, Ajith Fernando A2 reference council member and leader with Youth For Christ – Sri Lanka, spoke at the graduation ceremony for A2/Sri Lanka. What a fantastic dinner filled with stories of how the A2 community transformed a new group of emerging young leaders. Both women and men graduates shared how the process deeply impacted and touched them.

Along the way, Ajith shared some excellent words of wisdom from the bible highlighting A2's focus on life on life mentoring starting first with a love relationship with God and flowing to reproducing disciple-making leaders. He noted how many forms of church leadership either focus on a royal form of governance or a committee run congregation. Then he pointed to the over 100 times in the New Testament that the bible uses parenting as a better metaphor for leadership.

He talked about how important it was to spend time with one another, investing in each others lives, and not getting caught up with the tasks and trials of every day. While the lives of leaders are constantly being pulled in multiple directions for very significant issues, the real impact we have is in the area of our personal touch.

He shared the story of a pastor who was busy, exhausted, running from one event to another; BUT in the midst of it all, he stopped everything to ensure he saw his son participate in a critical life event. He had to race away from his schedule and meetings to make sure he delivered on a promise to his son and family that he would be there. He was exhausted, but he made it. His son was stunned that he could make it; but he told him, "I am committed to you!"

The key to making it in ministry: a deep abiding walk with Jesus that empowered him in the midst of the challenges and a commitment to the same type of deep abiding walk with his family and ministry.

As he concluded his charge to the graduates he said, "Stubbornly stick to personal work!" This means, it's the relational part of ministry that must take priority. Give up those things that aren't personal and focus on the parental roles of leadership. "The life of a leader is increasingly filled with having to give things up for what we are called to do." 

We are called to live in a love relationship with God that overflows into the life of disciple-makers leaders. "If you want to impact people, you must find time for them!" "The sources of renewal are built into ministry" as we stay rooted and grounded in Christ!

Parenting as a Metaphor for Leadership
The Graduates of A2/Sri Lanka


Joe Handley


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