‘Spiritual fathers’ needed for church in Asia

By February 15, 2010

Asia (MNN) — The church in Asia is booming. Faced
with the population of the region, identifying and targeting key
"influencers" is as important as evangelizing them.

First Generation believers are coming to the forefront as
leaders. However, this generation
essentially has no "spiritual fathers." 

Joe Handley with Asian Access says many times  the new Christian leaders find themselves
woefully underprepared to minister. "They're thrown into the thick of being
pastors, oftentimes shortly coming to Christ. Other times, there are
Bible schools and seminaries, but they aren't really equipping them with the
kind of mentoring and discipleship that it takes to lead the church."

The model they're following comes out of the New Testament
church. The situation they face is not
unlike Paul investing in Timothy and then having a Barnabus alongside of
him. Yet the dearth of mentors means many
of these pastors are left wanting. Handley says, "They're the ‘Timothys' of the world today ,
but there's no ‘Paul' that is investing in their lives, and there's no ‘Barnabus'  to come alongside. S, the need is tremendous."

A2s pastoral team says these leaders have the desire to build
on God's investment in their nation. Looking back over a 200-year survey of missions
in their nation reveals God's blessing on evangelistic work despite oppressive

That legacy galvanized this team's commitment to training up
new leaders to fulfill the Great Commission as one of the greatest missionary
sending countries in the world.

Asian Access is
helping to flesh out this vision with the help of experienced pastors and
disciplers.  Handley explains: "We'll have 12 pastors in a session and
then a seasoned veteran pastor that comes in and helps coach and mentor and
disciple these fellows. The time they
get is so rich and rewarding, plus they're learning from one another, which
creates a dynamic community of learning."

So, what you're doing is taking leadership development to
the next level? "It's really
strengthening the capacity of pastors throughout Asia, and it's really
facilitating the church planting movement."

Asian Access has established leader development programs in nine countries with the vision for establishing work in 20 countries by the
end of this decade. There is more
information on how you can help here.


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