USA (MNN) — Doug
Birdsall has been with Asian Access for 28 years. In 1991, he was named President of the
organization. His tenure will be coming to an end as he's stepping down.
"Three years ago I accepted the leadership of the
Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, with the thought that I would be
able to continue my work with Asian Access while doing the Lausanne job. But
as both ministries have grown, I've realized that both require the undivided
attention of the leader, and I can't do that for both organizations."
Asian Access has both shrunk and grown in the last 16
years. In 1991 they were exclusively working in Japan. Initially they discontinued three types of ministry to focus on their strengths. "Our greatest strength was in the area of leadership
development and church multiplication. And it was really by developing an even
greater competency in leadership development that we were able to take that
model and begin developing it in 20 countries across Asia."
Birdsall, this couldn't be a better time to make the transition.
"Things are going well. The leadership team is strong. The board is
strong. There is momentum. This is actually an ideal time to be stepping away
from the ministry. And I trust it's an ideal time for a younger leader to take
the organization to greater productivity and usefulness."
Bruce Johnson, vice president for leadership development, will become interim president. The Asian Access board of directors established a search committee to find a permanent replacement a year from now.
Ron McMahon, chairman of Asian Access' board of directors says, "The
board deeply loves Doug and his wife Jeanie, and we wish them the very best as
they follow God’s call. We appreciate how they have led this mission with progressive
vision and untarnished character. Doug’s 16 years at the helm sharpened our
ministry by focusing all our work on developing leaders and multiplying
He added, 'While
we are sorry to lose Doug as our leader, our mission is to ‘identify, develop
and release kingdom leaders,'" McMahon continued. "In keeping with this objective,
we feel we are releasing him to pursue his expanded passion for the world,
since Lausanne is global, extending well beyond Asia."
56, joined Asian Access in 2004 as vice president for leadership development. He currently oversees the design and implementation
of the ministry’s pastor training model in 20 targeted countries across Asia. Prior to joining Asian Access, Johnson served as
chief operating officer for Arrow Leadership
Ministries, served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, and helped create
and guide leadership development ministries as a consultant.
Doug leaves us with a legacy of vision, expansion and focus," Johnson
said. While he will greatly be
missed, God has stamped the same vision and focus on the hearts of the staff,
country leaders and board of directors. So we go forward with a shared passion
in partnership with Asian church leaders."
Bruce Johnson will be named interim President until a
replacement can be found.
Birdsall's resignation is effective September 30, 2007. However, he'll remain on as an Asian Access board
member, missionary, and in essence will be on loan to Lausanne.