Indonesia (MNN) – A major component for a healthy church is strong leadership. However, there are so many places around the world where church leaders lack access to leadership tools and training. That’s why Asian Access exists—to equip Christian leaders and to bring leaders together within a country so they can live as the Body of Christ.
Noel Becchetti of Asian Access (A2) says it’s looking like an exciting new venture is ahead for Asian Access. Church leaders from Indonesia have invited A2 in to see if a leadership development program can be implemented there. They’ve held conversations for about a year now, and Becchetti and some colleagues recently visited some church leaders to assess the next steps.
“Geographically our discussions have been focused in the Jakarta area because Asian Access is really small. We work with one group of 12-18 leaders at a time over a two-year period. So, realistically you start somewhere and then over time things grow so we’ve focused on Jakarta as a place to begin.
Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 Islands and the population is comprised of several different ethnic groups. Christians make up just over nine percent of this nation.
Sometime this summer, A2 will be holding a meeting in Indonesia to see who should be a part of this program, or if it should continue forward at all.
“What makes Indonesia interesting is… there’s so much going on. On the one hand, there does seem to be a lot of positive Christian activity. I mean, a lot of people becoming Christians, a lot of interest in the Christian faith.”
However, the growth of the Church is alarming to people of other faiths. Others are fabricating numbers of growth in order to raise the alarm even higher.
“Things are happening, nobody’s sure about the numbers for a whole lot of reasons, including the fact that a lot of the Christian leaders are trying to kind of keep things down to not unnecessarily alarm everybody,” he says.
An interest in Christianity is certainly not a problem in A2’s eyes. But it makes strong leadership that much important. And there is another issue that A2’s leadership development program comes against time and time again:
“The key is getting the right leaders for that first group. Because we’re so small, and we move so slowly, and we’re committed to real life transformation that then we believe over time will have some significant impact, getting the right people together is critical.
“And Indonesia faces the same issues that many countries face—maybe everybody faces—and that is even in the Christian community, there can be a lot of disunity, there can be a lot of barriers. You can have denominational problems, theological problems, cultural problems. We’re committed to trying to be a ministry that bridges all of that. But that means you have to have the right people who say ‘Yeah, we’re willing to enter into a group that’s committed to being diverse, to getting after knocking those barriers down.’”
Additionally, they need leaders who understand and accept the fact that knocking down these barriers can have consequences in their home communities if people disagree. That’s why this summer they will have an orientation to see if there are leaders like this, ready to jump into this leadership development project.
“That’s where 25-30 prospective leaders are invited to get a taste of the program, with no obligation, and then it’s kind of a mutual decision-making process: Should this move forward? And if it should move forward, who are the right leaders that will come out of that group of 25-30 and become the 12-16 that’ll be part of that first group of leaders who will then be together for two years?”
Will you take time to pray for this orientation, and the project going forward in Indonesia? Ask God to raise up the right people to be a part of this program. Pray that the leadership would know how to respond to opposing pressures from their society.
If you’d like to support Asian Access’ leadership development program, consider a financial gift. Becchetti says it normally takes around $100,000 to launch a new program for a period of one-two years. You can give, here.
(Header photo by Sander Wehkamp on Unsplash)