Japan (MNN) — Asian Access (A2) observes
an important anniversary this month. Their leadership development program in Japan just marked 30 years, and
189 pastors helped to celebrate.
Asian Access President Joe
Handley says ministry has come a long way since 1979. "The word on the
street for Japan for decades has been 'it's a missionary's
Not anymore. A2 picks a dozen church leaders to be a part
of an accelerated two-year training program. The goal: to deploy 100 church
When the twelve meet together, they are working through an
established curriculum that accelerates their growth as spiritual leaders, as
well as organizational leaders. Over the course of their training sessions, leaders
in and outside of Japan resource them so they have what they need to grow.
By the time
they are ready to graduate, they have developed skills to equip their
congregation for effective service. At
the end of the program, these church leaders lay out their long-term vision and
then begin to develop strategies for growth and multiplication.
Handley explains that "over
the next two to three years, we hope to double the amount of networks that we
have in Japan. These networks are becoming a model for other countries as
As word about this work in Japan spread across
Asia, interest grew. Mongolia was the first country to indicate interest. They adapted the Asian Access/Japan model and
began training sessions in 1996.
countries were added. Asian Access has established leader development programs
in eight countries thus far, with an ambitious vision for establishing
work in 20 countries by 2010.
An added benefit is that the
strategy unifies the church body. As the leaders implement their plans for
evangelism, discipleship and church growth, they share a common vision.
From that, Handley notes, "You
see remarkable fruit from church planting movements that have birthed
essentially from this leadership development institute that launched in
pastors begin church planting, A2 networks three or more of them so they can
make the best use of their strengths. They meet together for a period of 3-4 years, during
which each pastor aims to reproduce a congregation.
The only thing holding back their
growth is a lack of funding. Can you help? Click here.