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A2 Blog Centre is an aggregation of all official blogs of Asian Access
  1. BuildingBlocks Leadership Scripture 464502576 500px part4

     

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

     

    Qualities of a Great Leader, Part 4: Seventeen Essential Qualities

    This is the final post of my 4-part series about great leaders that took me 36 years to write. Here is a summary of what I've shared:

    1. Six Foundational Qualities
    2. Five Spiritual Qualities
    3. Two Relational Qualities
    4. Seventeen Essential Leadership Qualities

    Having studied leaders, it is clear to me that when God wants to get something done, He finds a person, but not just any person. He looks for a person with certain qualities.

    MY THESIS:

    Great leaders who achieve great things are characterised by certain qualities.

    In addition to the six foundational qualities shared in Part 1, five spiritual qualities in Part 2, and two relational qualities in Part 3, there are additional characteristics consistently found in great leaders. These are seventeen essential qualities:

     

    Essential Leadership Qualities

     

    14.  Influence (Motivator)

    Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. — Luke 5:10-11.

    They were on their way to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. — Mark 10:32.

    All those who were in distress or in debt or disconnected, gathered around David and he became their leader. — 1 Samuel 22:2.

    The test of leaders is to turn around and see if anyone is following them.

     

    15. Presence

    The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. — Mark 1:22.

    The leader not only has influence, but also has impact, which comes from an authority that they possess. Consequently leadership is given to a person it is never taken by a person. It is not ultimately gained by years of experience or academic qualifications or even being placed in a position of leadership.

     

    16. Vision and Faith

    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations …” — Matthew 28:18-19.

    • A vision helps to define a leader.
    • God gives God-sized visions that will require steps of faith to achieve them.
    • We are not to determine what we can achieve with our resources, but rather what God can achieve with our resources.
    • “A vision = a complaint” — Paul Scanlon
    • “Show me your vision and I’ll prophecy your future.” — Paul Yonggi Cho
    • He/she who gets vision, gets job.

     

    17. Achiever

    So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost self-confidence, because they realised that this work had been done with the help of our God. — Nehemiah 6:15-16

    “There are three stages in any great work of God:

    • Impossible
    • Difficult
    • Done”

    — Hudson Taylor

    Leaders are overcomers, resourceful, focused on solutions rather than problems and willing to pay the price to get things done.

     

    18. Self-Motivated

    Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. — Mark 1:35.

    Leaders are:

    • Low maintenance people (Paul Scanlon)
    • Intrinsically motivated rather than extrinsically motivated

    Self-motivated People are:

    • Emotionally inexpensive
    • A joy to be around
    • Team players                                                               

    Unmotivated People:

    • Exhaust us
    • Deplete us
    • Take from us and don't give to us
    • Manipulate us
    • Create conflict.                       

     

    19.  Intuition

    Immediately Jesus knew in His spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts… — Luke 2:8.

    The difference between leaders and followers is perspective. This might be called intuition, discernment, insight, the big picture or something else, and it results in the ability to see things that followers don’t see, to anticipate things that others don’t anticipate, to make decisions that followers don’t make and to grasp opportunities that followers don’t grasp.

    “This is an ability to get a handle on intangible factors, understand them and work with them to understand leadership goals…. Intuitive leaders can sense what is happening among people and almost instantly know their hopes, fears and concerns…” — John Maxwell

     

    20.  Courage

    Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:6, 7, 9.

    Courage is the ability to bear pain and requires mental toughness.

    Courageous leaders:

    • have a secure identity
    • fear God rather than people
    • live proactively rather than reactively
    • don’t compromise leadership in difficult times
    • are prepared to pay the price
    • do not get intimidated

     

    21.  Executive Skills

    Nehemiah chapters 2 and 3.

    Leaders need to be mature not only in areas of character and competence, but also in executive skills.

    These include:

    • Planning and organizing
    • Self-Management
    • Recruiting and team building
    • Evaluating
    • Communicating
    • Managing information systems
    • Strategising
    • Managing funds
    • Delegating
    • Monitoring progress
    • Timing
    • Decision making

     

    22.  Attitude

    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus… — Philippians 2:5.

    If leaders lose their attitude, they lose their ministry.

    Leaders can’t determine what things will come their way, but they can determine their attitude to what comes their way.

     

    23.  Excellence

    But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. — 2 Corinthians 8:7.                                                                                                       … if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. — Philippians 4:9.

    Acting slovenly is an insult to the Holy Spirit. — Oswald Chambers

    Coffee stains on our trays means that our engines don’t work. — American Airlines

    If God gave us His best in Jesus, shouldn’t we desire to give our best back to Him.

     

    24.  Continual Learner

    And Jesus GREW in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men. Luke 2:52. Leaders are continual learners so that they can be continually growing. People who stop growing effectively stop leading and should remove themselves from leadership. However, beware, leaders can be OVERTRAINED and UNDERDEVELOPED.

    An important element of continual learning is to keep finding good mentors who will empower you along your life’s journey.

     

    25.  Communication

    All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they came out!” And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding areas. Luke 4:36-37.

    “Your voice is your identity in sound. The key to connecting is authenticity, being yourself. The greatest gift for those listening to you is to be able to listen to you. People follow people. When you speak, people are asking the question, “Do I want to follow this person?” We drive behaviour by speaking from the heart (by finding your life message). An average speaker with passion is more effective than a great speaker without passion. People catch what you’ve got, not what you say you’ve got.” — Notes from Paul Scanlon’s Communication Master Class.

     

    26.  Integrity

    Now the overseer must be above reproach… — 1 Timothy 3:2

    And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. — Psalm 78:92

    Character opens the door for our competence.

     

    27. Gift of Leadership

    The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt, I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians … So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” — Exodus 3:7,8,10.

    There are a high percentage of people in leadership positions that have little or no gifting in leadership. They may be good managers or administrators, but they lack the essentials of a leader.  So, are leaders made or born. From experience it seems that both options occur.

    Perhaps the more important issue has to do with that of CALLING. For when God calls a person to a leadership role, it usually emerges that God anoints or gifts that person to lead people to a destiny.

     

    28.  Developer Of Leaders

    Jesus appointed 12—designating them apostles—that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. — Luke 3:13-15

    A God sized vision will always be more than you can handle. So you must recruit leaders, train leaders, delegate ministry to leaders and build a leadership team.

    Work in your strengths and delegate to your weaknesses.

     

    29.  Define Reality

    They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.” — Nehemiah 1:3.

    Leaders who can DEFINE REALITY can explain where they have come from, where they are right now and where they are going.

     

    30.  Creative

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. — Genesis 1:1.

    We have the most creative person in the world living within us. He does not give us a drawing on a paper to colour in; He gives us a blank sheet of paper on which to draw.

    The Father is at work in your life/ministry/church doing something He has never done before.

     

    Final Thoughts

    “When people grow, everything attached to them grows. But when we try to grow the things attached to people, we finish up with small people trying to handle and grow big things. Then we get burnout and exhaustion and resentment and constant changes around the people, because we wear out the people we have who are trying to do things they are not capable of doing. Consequently, our bottom line is no bigger than the talent of the people who are producing the bottom line. Growing big people reminds us that our ceiling is not finances or resources, rather it is going to be people. Our greatest asset and our most challenging asset is people. Our greatest priority is to grow and empower people, people who are capable of growing breathtaking things.”
    — Paul Scanlon, Growing Big People

     

    I have now listed 30 leadership qualities that great leaders possess. What do you think about my list? How does your list compare with mine?

     

    Application

    1. Are you listening to areas of tension in your life? We all naturally tend to avoid tension in our lives. But if we have a discerning perspective, tension in our lives informs us what areas need attention. Rather than running, we should embrace these tensions; rather than ignoring tensions, we need to listen to them. As the Holy Spirit to put His finger on some areas...
    2. Areas of strength: Which of these relational qualities that I've listed do you consistently exhibit?
    3. Areas of weakness: Which qualities are lacking in your life?
    4. Get specific: Of the various questions I've asked above, which ones highlight areas you will need to focus on to strengthen?
    5. Identify next steps:What specific steps can you take today to get on track for developing this quality?
    6. Who can help you? Who can you share your goals with so that you build in some accountability? Contact them today.
    7. Commit it to prayer: Pray that God would bring more depth to you as a leader; pray specifically for Him to help develop those weak areas He's identified.

    In Part 4, we will list seventeen essential leadership qualities that great leaders also possess.

     

    This article was originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/qualities-leadera-paper-took-36-years-write-denton-rod

    _________________

    rod dentonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rod Denton has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for Rod Denton Equipping The Next Generation. Rod also serves part time as the Mission's Resource Consultant with the Salvation Army. More information: www.roddentoneng.com.au

    See also, Asian Access Faculty

  2. BuildingBlocks Leadership Scripture 464502576 500px part3

     

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

     

    Qualities of a Great Leader, Part 3: Two Relational Qualities

    This is the third post in a 4-part series about great leaders that took me 36 years to write. Here are the categories of the 30 leadership qualities I will enumerate:

    1. Six Foundational Qualities
    2. Five Spiritual Qualities
    3. Two Relational Qualities
    4. Seventeen Essential Leadership Qualities

    When God wants to get something done, He finds a person, but not just any person. He looks for a person with certain qualities.

    MY THESIS:

    Great leaders who achieve great things are characterised by certain qualities.

    In addition to the six foundational qualities shared in Part 1 and five spiritual qualities in Part 2, there are relational characteristics consistently found in great leaders. These are two must-haves:

     

    Relational Leadership Qualities

     

    12. Self-Leadership (relation to self)

    Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

    Consider these principles of self-leadership:

    • The hardest person to lead is myself.
    • I do not qualify to lead others until I have led myself.
    • I cannot take others further than I have gone myself.
    • I cannot take my church to the next level until I have taken myself to the next level.

     

    Areas of Self-Leadership
    1. Punctuality – Am I generally on-time to events and appointments or do I keep people waiting?
    2. Fitness – Am I in shape or do I struggle to manage my body better?
    3. Reliability –- Can others rely on me?
    4. Food – Does my appetite control me or do I have the ability to wisely choose what to eat?
    5. Organisation – Am I in a state of chaos or is my world structured enough to get the right things done?
    6. Spiritual disciplines – Do I regularly train myself with spiritual disciplines or am I spiritually undisciplined?
    7. Motivation –  Do have the motivation to accomplish the right things today or do I often struggle with laziness?
    8. Actions = Words – Can I bridle my tongue and speak life words or do I often later regret what I say or do?
    9. Attitude – Am I characterized by a positive outlook (e.g., Tigger) or am I often complaining (e.g., Eeyore)?

     

    13. Emotional Intelligence

    Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgement in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3

    Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognise your emotions, understand what they are telling you and realise how your emotions affect people around you. Emotional Intelligence also involves your perception of others. When you understand how they feel, it is possible to manage relationships more effectively.

     

    Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence
    1. Self Awareness (strengths and weaknesses) – Do I have a handle on where I'm strong and where I'm weak or am I often confused when someone shares a critique of me?
    2. Self-Management (self-leadership) – Like with #12 above, can I manage myself or do I seem mastered by old habits or outside forces?
    3. Social Awareness (empathy) - Am I aware of how others feel or am I self-absorbed, oblivious to the perspective of others?
    4. Relationship Management (causing a team to work together) - Am I a team player and can manage others to get the job done or am I consistently experiencing relational tension with others in my life?

     

    Application

    1. Are you listening to areas of tension in your life? We all naturally tend to avoid tension in our lives. But if we have a discerning perspective, tension in our lives informs us what areas need attention. Rather than running, we should embrace these tensions; rather than ignoring tensions, we need to listen to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to put His finger on some areas...
    2. Areas of strength: Which of these relational qualities that I've listed do you consistently exhibit?
    3. Areas of weakness: Which qualities are lacking in your life?
    4. Get specific: Of the various questions I've asked above, which ones highlight areas you will need to focus on to strengthen?
    5. Identify next steps:What specific steps can you take today to get on track for developing this quality?
    6. Who can help you? Who can you share your goals with so that you build in some accountability? Contact them today.
    7. Commit it to prayer: Pray that God would bring more depth to you as a leader; pray specifically for Him to help develop those weak areas He's identified.

    In Part 4, we will list seventeen essential leadership qualities that great leaders also possess.

     

    This article was originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/qualities-leadera-paper-took-36-years-write-denton-rod

    _________________

    rod dentonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rod Denton has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for Rod Denton Equipping The Next Generation. Rod also serves part time as the Mission's Resource Consultant with the Salvation Army. More information: www.roddentoneng.com.au

    See also, Asian Access Faculty

  3. BuildingBlocks Leadership Scripture 464502576 500px part2

     

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

     

    Qualities of a Great Leader, Part 2: Five Spiritual Qualities

    This is the second entry in a 4-part series about great leaders that took me 36 years to write. Here is the outline of the 30 leadership qualities I will cover:

    1. Six Foundational Qualities
    2. Five Spiritual Qualities
    3. Two Relational Qualities
    4. Seventeen Essential Leadership Qualities

    As I shared in Part 1, when God wants to get something done, He finds a person, but not just any person. He looks for a person with certain qualities.

    MY THESIS:

    Great leaders who achieve great things
    are characterised by certain qualities.

    In addition to the six foundational qualities shared in Part 1, here are spiritual qualities consistently found in great leaders:

     

    Spiritual Leadership Qualities

    7. Doing what the Father is doing

    • "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does." John 5:19-20.

     

    8. Abiding in Christ

    • "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

     

    9. Filled With The Holy Spirit

    • "… be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18

     

    10. Prayerful

    • "…pray continually…" 1 Thessalonians 5:17

     

    11. In The Word

    • "Do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8

     

    Application

    Which of these spiritual qualities do you possess? Which ones do you need to focus on to strengthen? What step can you take today to get on track for developing this quality?

    In Part 3, we will look at two relational qualities that great leaders possess.

     

    This article was originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/qualities-leadera-paper-took-36-years-write-denton-rod

    _________________

    rod dentonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rod Denton has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for Rod Denton Equipping The Next Generation. Rod also serves part time as the Mission's Resource Consultant with the Salvation Army. More information: www.roddentoneng.com.au

    See also, Asian Access Faculty

  4. BuildingBlocks Leadership Scripture 464502576 500px part1

     

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

     

    Qualities of a Great Leader, Part 1: Six Foundational Qualities

    This is the first installment of a 4-part series about great leaders that took me 36 years to write. Here is the outline of the 30 leadership qualities I will cover:

    1. Six Foundational Qualities
    2. Five Spiritual Qualities
    3. Two Relational Qualities
    4. Seventeen Essential Leadership Qualities

    When God wants to get something done, He finds a person, but not just any person. He looks for a person with certain qualities.

    Consider the following examples:

    1. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Exodus 18:21.  Jethro to Moses (also Deuteronomy 1:9-13)
    2. Brothers choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. Acts 6:3.  The 12 Apostles to all the disciples
    3. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2. Paul to Timothy.
    4. Elders and Deacons Paul to Timothy – 1 Timothy 3:1-13. Paul to Titus – Titus 1:5-9.

    Even in the world of human endeavour, there are many examples of leaders who had a clear picture of those that they wanted to join with them on their great adventures.

    Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer once placed this advertisement in a London paper.

    “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

    They all returned to their homes safely, and were given honor and recognition.

    The Italian, Garibaldi, set out to liberate his country from the clutches of bad government. While enlisting men to join forces with him he was often asked, “What’s going to be in this for me?” He would answer, “No pay, no rank, no residences. I will offer you hunger, thirst, forced marches, and even death.” And then he would make this appeal. “Let him who loves his country with his heart and not only with his lips, follow me.” History reveals Garibaldi recruited an army that placed the worthiness of its cause above its temporal comforts and though many gave their lives, they also freed their land.

     

    MY THESIS:

    Great leaders who achieve great things
    are characterised by certain qualities.

    Ever since I accepted a calling into full time Christian ministry in 1980, the greatest issue upon which I have focused is “who is the person God uses?” I wanted to become that person and I wanted to develop leaders who would become such people. Now many years later, I am aware of a significant number of men and women with whom I have served, who are now scattered around the globe, being used mightily by God. As I reflected, I have noted key qualities that I have found to characterise people who are making an impact with their lives.

     

    Foundational Qualities

    1. Servanthood

    • Those who wish to be great among you must be your servant. Mark 10:42
    • The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
    • Don’t promote on potential or qualifications, promote on performance and heart.

     

    2. Obedience

    • If you love Me, you will obey Me.   John 14:15, 21, 23
    • An obedient heart reflects a teachable spirit.
      • Don’t give a person authority until they have come under authority.
      • Don’t appoint a person to lead until they have learned to follow.

     

    3. Humility

    • Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  1 Peter 5:6
    • God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
    • And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

     

    4. Love

    • Teacher, which is the greatest commandment… Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… and love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 36:39

     

    5. Availability

    • So they left everything and followed Him. Luke 5:11
    • “If there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has had all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life." General William Booth.

     

    6. Faithfulness

    • I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. John 17:4
    • Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2

     

    Application

    Do you have these qualities? Which ones are strongest? Weakest? What step can you take today to develop one of these leadership areas?

    In my next post, we will look at five spiritual qualities that great leaders have.

     

    This article was originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/qualities-leadera-paper-took-36-years-write-denton-rod

    _________________

    rod dentonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rod Denton has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for Rod Denton Equipping The Next Generation. Rod also serves part time as the Mission's Resource Consultant with the Salvation Army. More information: www.roddentoneng.com.au

    See also, Asian Access Faculty

  5. The persecuted Church reflects on strength amidst trials

    persecuted pastorsInternational (MNN) — Yesterday, we told you about some of the persecution the Church in Southeast Asia is up against, but what happens when those trials subside? Noel Becchetti of Asian Access might have an answer.

    For example, Becchetti says, “Nepal was going into… an era of relative peace and harmony after quite a bit of persecution, [and] the Church in Nepal has grown dramatically from a few hundred people 30 years ago to almost two million today.”

    When he asked local church leaders why their churches were experiencing such exponential growth, they informed him that “our church has grown because of persecution. It has made us strong and it has made us unified.”

    However, just because external conflict has subsided doesn’t mean the Church can relax and become lazy. Becchetti explains, “There [are] a lot of leaders, say, back in India, who will tell you the Church in India, while it’s large, is struggling with all sorts of issues like integrity and corruption.”

    Even though “they actually in some ways have been flourishing numerically in terms of Christians,” leaders in Nepal and India report “they are dealing with horrific integrity problems.”

    And that corruption is leaving an impression on outsiders. “The upcoming generations are going, ‘I don’t want anything to do with the Church. If this is what the Church looks like, I don’t want anything to do with it,’” informs Becchetti.

    He and the leaders he has communicated believe, “It’s when pressure is put on that God somehow uses that and it does create a kind of spiritual energy that otherwise doesn’t exist there.”

    Although he admits that times are tough, Becchetti says he “wouldn’t be surprised if in five, ten years some of the leaders might go, ‘You know, this has been a tough time, but boy, it really brought us together. It’s created a unity and a sense of purpose we didn’t have there for a while.’”

    Photo Courtesy Asian AccessIn fact, in some countries, the trials are already strengthening the Church. For example, “In Bangladesh… it’s been a tough time, but the leadership has really come together, and it has given the Christian leaders a real sense of unity and purpose.”

    The pastors and other leaders are recognizing that in hard times, they don’t have time for petty fighting and are bonding through their faith in an all-powerful God.

    Becchetti says they are also careful to acknowledge the facts. “It’s not like they’re just walking through this in some state of euphoria [or] spiritually induced ultra-confidence.” However, they also recognize, “This is what happens sometimes in history, in societies, and in culture. Things happen, and the pressures, however frightening they truly are, actually press the Church forwards, not backwards.”

    He reminds believers, “The odd side of freedom sometimes is it unfortunately lets some of the lower parts of our natures have more play even in those of us who are Christ-followers.”

    If you want to help the persecuted Church as they prepare for storms, we can connect you here. In the meantime, Becchetti asks for prayer for “their courage, comfort and peace.”

    Listen to the broadcast (story starts at 1:39)
    {mp3remote}https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/4-5min-Dec30-2016.mp3{/mp3remote}

     

    More Information

     

  6. The Church in Asia prepares for increased pressure

    International (MNN) — As last year has just come to an end, it’s easy to look ahead to the new year as a chance for resets and new beginnings. However, Noel Becchetti of Asian Access says for the Church in Asia, what might come is more intimidating than rejuvenating.

    He says there “is a rising intolerance and direct pressure against Christians and then sometimes others [who] may not be Christian but [are] people who are not part of the ruling group.”

    (Photo courtesy SAT-7 via Facebook)Bangladesh

    Take Bangladesh. “Up until a few years ago, Bangladesh, while a Muslim majority country, has really been known for its tolerance,” explains Becchetti.

    However, “About three years ago, kind of out of nowhere, some attacks began.” He says these attacks targeted “pastors, other Christian leaders, other religious leaders, and even secular NGO leaders.

    “Pastors were getting SMS messages saying, ‘Make sure you eat your favorite foods cause you’re going to die next week.’”

    This sudden spike in persecution went hand-in-hand with a rise in new believers, but that caused another problem. “There was an authentic rise in interest in Jesus among university students, but it was also sprinkled with infiltrators pretending to be seekers so they could get in,” remembers Becchetti

    During a recent conversation with a local church leader, Becchetti discovered, “Things are better, it has calmed down, but [believers have] got to be vigilant in a way [they] never were before.”

    Photo Courtesy Asian AccessThe Philippines

    And Bangladesh isn’t the only country to undergo critical leadership changes. In the Philippines, a new president was recently elected “who has vowed to go after the drug dealers and the drug addicts in the Philippines.”

    The problem is, the methods this president is using to fight the drug empire are violent and unpredictable. Becchetti says about 3,000 people have been killed in this crusade, and “the newspapers were saying that about 2,000 of those cannot be traced to anything related to drugs. They’re just vigilantes going after people they don’t like or people who they disagree with.”

    India

    One of the other primary countries struggling with persecution is India. Since a new prime minister was elected, the government has taken steps to “Hinduize India” and implement Hindu beliefs and policies into the political sphere. Christians and Muslims have been particularly targeted, and although “there was some pushback by responsible leaders in India and others elsewhere… the party has replaced people in key positions,” says Becchetti.

    Nepal

    And the effect is spreading even beyond the borders of India. For example, “In Nepal they’re still recovering from the embargo India imposed on them.”

    Photo Courtesy Asian AccessWhen Nepal passed their first constitution, India’s government was dismayed. The constitution was secular in nature and allowed some religious freedom instead of declaring the nation to be a Hindu state.

    In response, Becchetti says India “shut the border down for about a year,” and although it has been reopened, “for a while the only way you could get things like gasoline, cooking oil, [and] most of their supplies was through a black market.”

    With so many countries starting to participate in persecution, Becchetti explains some local pastors believe, “Our main church won’t even be there anymore, they won’t be allowed to, and so we need to start working now for that.”

    Becchetti says of a pastor friend, “His personal church network has already started and implemented a whole new system of house churches… They’re going from a formal church model to an intentionally informal [model], led by couples who have been trained and equipped to do this kind of work,” preparing the Church for whatever may come.

    If you want to see how you can help, we can connect you at Asian Access’s website here.

    In the meantime, be sure to remember believers around the world as they head into this new year and prepare for the coming challenges. Pray that they would anticipate what is to come and continue to spread the love of Christ to their friends and enemies alike.

    Listen to the broadcast (story starts at 1:40)
    {mp3remote}https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/4-5min-Dec29-2016.mp3{/mp3remote}

     

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  7. Greetings from Cambodia! Thank you very much!

    hour meng aun headshot 2016 400pxMy name is Pastor Meng Aun from Cambodia. I'm the country director of Asian Access in Cambodia.

    I just want to take this special time to say thank you for your prayers, for your support, and for your partnership through Asian Access.

    Asian Access is really playing a very important role in Cambodia to train our pastors and equip our pastors. Through Asian Access, we are so blessed, and that's why we just want to take this time to say thank you for your support. Thank you for your prayers.

    May God bless you all!

    Thankfully,

    Pastor Meng Aun Hour
    National Director, A2/Cambodia

    map of Cambodia

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  8. A2 50th Anniversary

    2017 holds a lot of promise for us this next year. Asian Access is really thrilled with what’s in store, and I'm excited to just share with you a few of those ventures that are upcoming:

     

    Jubilee in Jakarta50th Anniversary & Eastern Voices

    First and foremost is our 50th anniversary—our Jubilee in Jakarta. I hope you'll join us for that. As a part of that celebration, we're showcasing a new series, and their first volume will come out in Jakarta called, "Eastern Voices". We’ll share more with you about that soon.

    More info: A2|50th Anniversary...

     

    Philippines flagExpansion to New Countries

    We will be opening the country of the Philippines, and we're exploring several new countries. Many of them are unreached areas for the gospel; some of them are completely closed to the Gospel's advance.

    More info: Asian Access expands to the Philippines...

     

    A2.businessA2.business

    A2.businessIn addition to that expansion of our core program, we're opening new ventures with our business side of the ministry, which is pretty exciting. A2.business is ramping up in two new countries.

    More info: A2.business...

     

    Women in MinistryWomen in Ministry

    And we're more broadly investing in women in ministry. We're hoping to open up this program in two new regions to impact more difference-makers on the front lines.

    More info: "Women Hold Up Half the Sky"...

     

    younger leadersYounger Leaders

    Plus, we're doing one brand new venture trying to invest in younger generations across the continent.

     

    2017 holds a lot of promise for us Asian Access, and we'd appreciate your prayers happy new year. God bless you, and thank you for supporting us.

     Warm wishes for a blessed year ahead,

    joe sig blue
    Joe Handley

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

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  9. elephant and rabbit

    “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” - Matthew 13:31-32

    Pastor T from a restricted access and persecuted country recently shared in Japan a concept behind a key principle of Asian Access: Small is Big!

    He shared that he learned in bible school and seminary (bachelors degree to doctorate) to have a huge megachurch from schools in India, Korea and America. However, his world was turned upside down when he attended Asian Access leader development process.

    Even if all the top pastors in his nation were to have a megachurch, it would be a drop in the bucket of really making a difference in his country. As they did studies, they learned that the average person in their country walks 2 hours one way to attend church every week. Some people walk more than 7 hours one way!

    dale tonydale felicityWith this, they learned this principle from Tony and Felicity Dale who actually will be teaching in his country next week! This quote is taken from the back cover of their book, The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small Is the New Big for Today's Church

    If you put two elephants in a room together and close the door, in three years you may have one baby elephant. But when you put two rabbits together for the same amount of time. . . .

    Pastor T, along with all the other participants, realized that their country would be better off having a church every three kilometers in their country so that they would be walking distance from everybody. The size of the church really didn’t matter. Today, Pastor T leads one of the larger churches in his country but he’s more concerned about trying to make disciples and seeing small, simple churches spring up so that the Gospel is accessible to more people.

    coleman robertIn a similar fashion, Asian Access ministry operates on this basic premise: Small is Big! One of our council of reference members, Robert Coleman, wrote a classic book on evangelism The Master Plan of Evangelism where he points out that Jesus spent most of his time with the twelve disciples. So, on a similar scale, Asian Access carefully chooses 12-18 pastors, and now business leaders, to go through a 2-3 year dynamic learning process, where they learn in community together.

    You see, Jesus’ words in the New Testament, highlighted in the verse above, point out that his kingdom is different: Small is the New Big! All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed and a movement can occur. You can even move mountains! (Luke 17:6)

    Likewise, we at Asian Access are small. We focus on choosing the right 12-18 key pastors or leaders and by walking with them together “at the feet of Jesus” for a few years, we see remarkable fruit!

    Do you want to move mountains? You might want to think and pray about Jesus counter-cultural, upside-down wisdom: Small is Big!

    I’d love to hear your stories about how Jesus wisdom plays out in your life. Do share!

    joe sig blue
    Joe & Silk Handley

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

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    t-f-dale-275"Felicity and I have had many trips with Asian Access to help develop pastoral leadership in countries that may be underdeveloped economically, but are hungry for the development of the church. What a privilege these trips have been. Meeting across denominational lines, with leaders from multiple denominations embodies the unity that Jesus prayed for and commanded in John 17. Watching those leaders not only embrace each other, but also embrace ideas that may have been outside of their experience so far, has been humbling and rewarding. The impact of these church movements will be far reaching in the development of these countries and of the body of Christ within these countries."

    Dr. Tony and Felicity Dale
    Founders (with others) of House2Houseauthors, and founders of The Health Co-Op
  10. Militants set fire to a new church; believers undeterred

    Sri Lanka (MNN) — Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The moniker describes a beautiful picture, but the struggles reveal something darker.

    (Capture of Sri Lanka courtesy Prayercast)It’s considered the third most religious country in the world. Although the constitution guarantees religious freedom while favoring Buddhism, minority Protestants have experienced violent persecution as well as discrimination.

    Although it is legal to convert to Christianity in Sri Lanka, Christians often face opposition from politically active Buddhist monks. The Voice of the Martyrs notes the persecution of Christians has escalated in recent years with the rise of militant Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka. In fact, more than 250 churches have been destroyed or damaged in sectarian violence.

    Asian Access has a presence in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, they are not immune to the trouble. Adrian DeVisser is the national director for Asian Access/Sri Lanka and A2 vice president for Partnership Development. He describes what happened to a church plant on January 5th.

    “This church was attacked. They threatened the pastor, the leader of the church and said if they go to the police, they’ll kill the entire family, and then they burned the church down.”

    Police were slow to respond to calls for help, and as of Friday morning, no arrests had been made.

    The church, he goes on to explain, was fairly new and growing quickly. It was one that was drawing the ire of the militants in the area because, “Almost 100 percent of the believers in the church — it is not a very large church — they are all people from other faiths. Pray for their faith, that persecution will not discourage them, but rather, strengthen their walk with God. Pray for our leader that he will be able to give leadership to his own people. He, himself, is a new believer.”

    How this man and his family came to Christ was also well known. “This family, the leader, they came to know the Lord because the wife, she was demon-possessed and she was delivered.The people in the area knew she was demon-possessed and they also knew even though they had been to the religious leaders, they couldn’t get any help.”

    The attackers, also known. “We know the leaders who were responsible for it; these were some of the religious leaders in the vicinity. I was able to contact some of the police officials and I requested they take action and we also sent our lawyer to represent our leaders.”

    Meanwhile, death threats have come in against the church leader and his family. His church has been destroyed. Yet, DeVisser says, “The church leader wants to remain there. He’s not willing to move out. There is a threat on his life. We have now provided some of the food stuffs they need. Some of our workers reached out to him, but he’s determined to ride the wave of persecution.”

    (Capture Sri Lankan man praying courtesy Prayercast) Will you pray for the safety of the family and also that God will use this situation for His glory? Persecution never destroyed a church and never will, adds DeVisser. Suffering isn’t new, and won’t be going away anytime soon.

    “We have been through a civil war between two ethnic groups. Now that the war is over, it seems to me that the extremists would want to incite a religious war, and they want to use the Christians as the scapegoat for the problems in the country.”

    Ask the Lord to work in the hearts of those targeting Sri Lankan believers so they will repent and come to faith in Him. Pray that Christians in Sri Lanka will continue to share the news of God’s grace.

    Listen to the broadcast (top story)
    {mp3remote}https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/4-5min-Jan09-2017.mp3{/mp3remote}

     

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  11. life 1983

    50th Anniversary of Asian Access

    This New Year 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Asian Access mission founded in 1967 by K&J. Attracted by the creative, entrepreneurial, pioneering vision and commitment to close partnership with Japanese Christians, I joined the mission in 1975 and will be celebrating my forty-second year on the field in Japan. Reflecting the expansion of the mission, there were meaningful name changes from Language Institute for Evangelism to LIFE Ministries to Asian Access to Asian Access/SIM. I’ve followed the development of the mission in what has been a most rewarding and fruitful career filled with lots of challenges and lots of blessings. The photo above taken of our mission family in 1983 is full of people with wonderful stories of God’s work in their lives as they were part of our history.

    The Abe Family

    The first Sunday following my arrival in Japan I met single, young Christian Nobuo Abe at one of our mission’s partnering churches I attended that day. I also met his future bride Keiko, who became a very helpful friend in practical ways as I was on a steep cross-cultural learning curve to function and flourish in Japan. Shortly thereafter Nobuo and Keiko married and went on to partner closely in our church planting ministry outreach programs, especially Scrum Dendo (teamwork evangelism) that was my primary ministry during the 1980’s. Pictured in the first row, right hand corner of the photo above is Nobuo and his first-born son, who grew up and is now partnering in a church plant with one of our A2 missionary families. Last September at the 6th Japan Congress on Evangelism I met the Abe family again and was encouraged to hear about their ongoing ministry.

    Moving Ahead

    Not only do we celebrate our history, but it provides a springboard to move ahead and expand in the 2017 year world stage and beyond. This spring our mission family, now enlarged to a growing number of countries in Asia, will gather in Jakarta, Indonesia for an official celebration of our past, an assessment of our present and projections for our future. Meanwhile, I continue to focus on evangelizing and making disciples of Jesus through small group Bible studies in my home, in the community and in the church setting. May there be many more stories such as the Abe family. Thank you for your prayers and partnership over the years that has facilitated this outreach.

    Blessings,

    dee wirz sig

    Dee WirzDolores "Dee" Wirz
    Asian Access/SIM Missionary, Bible Study Ministries
    Tokorozawa, Japan

     

     

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    A2 50th Anniversary

  12. handleys new year 2017 

    To all our friends out there—supporters, family, those of you who walk beside us, we're grateful for you. And we want to wish you a very Happy New Year in 2017!

    God bless you. We love you guys!

     On behalf of everyone at Asian Access,

    joe sig blue
    Joe & Silk Handley

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

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    Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KCtKeR5YqV0

  13. 2016 has been a fruitful year of ministry at Asian Access, as we gear up for our 50th anniversary in 2017. Before we look ahead, let's look back at some highlights from the past twelve months...

    2016 in review 533346900 800x533

    Leadership: an underlying need in today's chaos

    Leadership: an underlying need in today’s chaosInternational (MNN) — Wars and rumors of wars constantly circulate in the headlines. Whether it's the ISIS attacks in Jakarta or Syria using starvation as a weapon of war, Joe Handley of Asian Access says there's a common thread. "In the midst of that situation, everyone is looking for leadership." Asian Access helps leaders throughout Asia learn... Read more [+audio]

    Five Years After the Triple Disaster: Journeying with the Japanese

    journeying video screengrabAsian Access missionaries recount the early days following the Great Japan Disaster and share how it's been an amazing privilege to journey with the Japanese as they rebuild their lives over the past five years.

    TOHOKU, JAPAN (A2) — In the months following the disaster, missionary Sue Takamoto asked a community leader, “So how many funerals have you been to?”... Read more [+video]

    ISIS makes 'example' of convert to Christianity in Bangladesh

    bangladesh flagBangladesh (MNN) — ISIS last week claimed responsibility for the murder of a pastor in northern Bangladesh. Joe Handley with Asian Access confirmed reports that armed extremists killed 65-year-old Hossain Ali, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1999. He was a member of Valacopa PBT Church (Paraclete Bangladesh Trust Church). Among the reasons he was targeted, “Pastor Ali came to Christ and was leading a small fellowship in his district. When he started connecting with Muslims and then they, in fact, converted and started attending church, then the pressure started coming down.” Read more

    Helping Leaders Thrive: an introduction to Asian Access

    thrive video screengrabStudies have shown that the biggest challenge we face in the world today is a crisis of leadership. Leaders are struggling to survive. All sorts of problems being thrown their way, and they don't know how to handle it. Leaders are faced with war, natural disasters, poverty, famine, political unrest, social injustice, and persecution to name a few. By building a learning community through a 2-year transformational process, Asian Access is seeing significant impact... Read more [+video]

    A theology of dishwashing

    takeshi washing dishes 2016 04 28Several times while teaching for Asian Access, I am reminded of this quote by Brother Lawrence who reminds us of how we can always be in God’s presence, even in the most mundane tasks. As I head to India tomorrow, this rings true once again as the community there washes the dishes together after every meal. It’s their corporate way of reminding themselves that they are servant leaders as pastors, husbands, and fathers. This same practice happens across many of our countries... Read more...

    LIVE community

    tea time summit 2016Last week, the Asian Access family gathered for a rich community experience. We were in Jakarta, Indonesia for our Global Leaders’ Summit. What a fantastic week we had together. It was one of my all-time favorite summits! What made it so special? - COMMUNITY! This is one of our three core values at Asian Access: We LIVE Community! You can learn more about our values here: Asian Access' Core Values. As we gathered together, we prayed and took a collection to help our persecuted friends in Bangladesh... Read more

    God-sized vision

    god sized vision post webThis group of graduating pastors inspired me! I spent a week with them in South Asia listening to their stories, hearing their heart and facilitating discussions along with my colleagues Mary Jo Wilson and Pastor Laji. The focus of our week was World Mission and each of the pastors presented their strategy paper for their church. Most compelling as usual with Asian Access is our core teaching about being “ALL IN with GOD”. To hear these pastors share about the importance of their “love relationship with God” was deeply moving.  As each of them spent significant time with the Lord and with one another over the past two and a half years, the Lord laid on their hearts a vision like you... Read more

    From facilitation to faculty: Asian Access national leaders take charge

    bang A2 34 04 webAt Asian Access, our vision is to see a vibrant community of servant leaders with vision, character, and competence leading the church across Asia. Nowhere is that vision being realized more than in Bangladesh. This Muslim-majority country has recently struggled with a sharp spike in terrorist violence, targeting Christian leaders as well as other innocent people. Pastors and Christian leaders in Bangladesh have faced down violent mobs, faux “seekers” who turn out to be assailants, and infiltrators trying to penetrate Christian student groups. These courageous brothers and sisters continue to minister, despite the risks,... Read more

    The value of partnership

    partnership video screengrab“When we do mission, we need one heart. So we can do it together.”

    These two sentences best sum up our commitment to live and work in community. Pastor Yukimasa Otomo shared this with me to describe his partnership with A2 missionaries Robert and Roberta Adair. The partnership between Japanese pastors and A2 missionaries is deep. As Yukimasa Sensei added, “Having Robert [here] is good for me, because I can share my heart.” Robert was excited to partner with this pastor, too... Read more

    "Women hold up half the sky!"

    A2 WIM2016I just came away from an inspiring working session. Asian Access is looking to both deepen and expand our efforts in empowering women who are in ministry. One of my colleagues quoted Mao Zedong who said, “Women hold up half the sky!” This is so true. In all my years in ministry, it’s astounding to see how many women are the key movers and shakers in the Church globally and in mission. They lead from behind, below, beside and now increasingly from the front. The sad part is that they receive such little investment and empowerment. One of the key sessions during the Cape Town Congress in 2010 walked through these issues: Men and Women in Partnership. You can learn more by reviewing that link and the various videos posted there. Asian Access has... Read more

    The road to sustainability

    Establish an Interdependent MinistryOne of the keys to Asian Access’ long-term health is the ability of each country to sustain the movement under its own power. One of the most important contributors to sustainability is the development and empowerment of leaders from within each country who can serve as A2 faculty. David Dayalan, national director for Asian Access/India and A2 vice president for program development, is a strong advocate for in-country faculty. “Relying solely on foreigners to teach the A2 program is unhealthy,” he says. “It perpetuates the myth that only outsiders can effectively teach leader development. And it discounts the contributions that can be made by gifted leaders whom God has already raised up in our respective countries. These leaders are ready and able to teach their fellow leaders, right now.” Read more

     Hope is rising

    hope is risingI’m so happy to be living in Asia, and most specifically here in Tokyo. Japan is known as the “Land of the Rising Sun” and it is this light that I find myself most hopeful these days. You see, I’ve been bombarded with messages of inspiration ever since moving here in August! It’s such a contrast to the land of my birth where conspiracy and doomsday theories dominated the election cycle. It seemed that fear and anger drove most of the conversation but my time here in Asia has been markably different. Shortly after arriving, I received a report on the results after 5 years of outreach following the triple disaster in 2011. Tears of joy flowed from many of my colleagues who have spent most of their lives serving here. Following the worst disaster to hit Japan in modern times, there are... Read more

    2016 17 cubes 500px

    For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — http://asianaccess.org/blogcentre A2 Blog Centre

  14. handleys christmas 2016 a 

    Happy New Year's Greetings, Dear Friends!

    What an exciting year it's been for us at Asian Access! We have so much to celebrate. We have many milestones that we've hit this past year in 2016, and I just want to share a few of them, even though there are many, many more.

    First and foremost for my family and me is that we got to move to Japan. We've been based in L.A. for the past eight years, but this year we moved to Japan to lead the ministry, and what a thrill it is. It couldn't be a more exciting season to be in the country of Japan. Reports are coming out five years after the triple disaster. National leaders are saying that they are having response rates to Christ more than three times normal in the disaster area. One network alone has seen responses to Christ five to seven times the rate of normal!

    Beyond that, we've opened a new A2.business session in India, and we just graduated our first ever business cohort in Korea. It's remarkable. Moreover, we have started a brand new region in India and our work in another undisclosed country is blossoming.

    It is amazing to see what God has done in 2016, and I want to thank you for your support to see all these things come together.

    God bless you.

     

    In His Love,

    joe sig blue
    Joe & Silk Handley, on behalf of everyone at Asian Access

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

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    Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bzdN63lebLE

  15. felix juni 2 200x150px"Partnering with the team of Asian Access was an answer to prayer for me and my family. When I learned of the work they are doing to bring the Gospel to Japan, I was deeply moved. With Christ centered leadership training programs, aid to disaster victims and discipleship training, Asian Access is being used of God to offer the Japanese the chance to hear the Gospel and find true hope after generations of spiritual darkness.

    When my mother passed away in the summer of 2015, she had one dying wish, “Take me home. Take me back to Tokyo.” I’ve often wondered if her mother who gave her up all those years ago had the chance to hear about Jesus how different things might have been for her. Less than 1% of my people in Japan have heard the Gospel and seen Christ’s love in action.

    When you support the work that God is doing through Asian Access, you are a part of His light to the nations. The impact is eternal and much appreciated."

    Mrs. Juni (June) Felix
    Co-Host, Karl & June Mornings on Moody Radio
    Website: www.junifelix.com
     

    Karl & June Mornings on Moody Radio

     

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  16. “I’m bullish on Asian Access for 2017!”

    nyse bull web

    This is precisely what I told our Japan board just a few weeks ago.

    Hope is Rising

    Traveling around Japan the last few months have been nothing short of inspiring. God is doing something new and it’s exciting to live in Japan during this unique moment of opportunity. For a tiny glimpse, not even a tip of the iceberg, check out this post I recently made: Hope is Rising.

    A2/Philippines is Launching

    Beyond this, Asian Access is opening our 12th country on January 17-20: the Philippines. The National Church is looking to unify and invited us in to help foster that unification and they have a God-sized church planting goal for 2020 which they believe we can help with. Praise God!

    Existing A2 Countries are Expanding

    Over and above, we just opened a new region in India and are starting two new cohorts for business leaders in South Korea and India. The vision of these mission hearted business leaders is encouraging. They want to allow God to use their business for missional advance.

    New Countries on the Horizon

    It doesn’t even stop there: we’re exploring several other countries to open in the near future: one of them is considered one of the toughest access countries in the world and others are two of the largest Muslim dominant nations in the world.

    A250 pos tag 375x140As you can see, I’m excited about Asian Access for 2017. AND, to cap it all off, we celebrate 50 years of ministry in 2017. In April, we are hosting a Jubilee in Jakarta to celebrate all that God has done these past 50 years. To learn more, check out a few of our highlights: Asian Access Year of Jubilee!

    Silk and I are so encouraged by what is on the horizon that on Christmas Eve as we were prayerfully considering our year end giving, we decided to double our giving to Asian Access. That’s how bullish we feel about 2017

    Humbled by a Churchplanter's Mite

    And that pales in comparison to my colleague, who donated the equivalent of $50 not long ago. He came from such a poverty stricken country that they recently had paper rations, and their currency at the time, pictured here, was tattered and torn. This was the single best paper bill they had in the country that year! That’s just a picture of how poor they were.

    bullish bills blurred

    And, in the midst of his deep poverty—he had just left his church to start a brand new church without any pay; yet he still chose to help Asian Access through his generous giving. That gave new meaning to the “widow’s mite” for me!

    And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” — Mark 12:41-44

    Thank you for partnering with us as we enter our Year of Jubilee! I’m grateful for your generous giving.

     

    joe sig blue
    Joe Handley

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

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  17. Highlights from a dynamic Asian Access faculty presentation

    Dave Shive Dec2016 mosaic

    Asian Access is blessed with a pool of gifted faculty. These dedicated leaders volunteer their time to build into the lives of A2 participants in the twelve countries where the core A2 program and the new training for marketplace leaders takes place.

    Dave Shive is one of those gifted faculty. A 44-year ministry veteran, Dave currently serves as a regional missions mobilizer for Frontier Ventures, formerly known as the U.S. Center for World Missions. He recently taught an Asian Access session in a country that, for security reasons, we won’t identify by name. Our A2 Liaison (who also prefers to remain anonymous) worked with Dave at this session. He was very impressed with Dave’s teaching, as you can read in these excerpts from the Liaison’s report:

    "Dave does an excellent series on missions. He starts by telling the participants that the Bible is fundamentally God’s story—a story that begins before the earth and the heavens were created. Dave then asks the question: “What was God doing before he created the world?” He cites several Scripture texts that include phrases like before the world was created and before the foundations of the earth were laid. From there, he asks, ‘What do we learn here that God was doing when these texts appear in Scripture?’ What we see, Dave points out, is that in the eternal Godhead, love existed eternally between the triune members (Father, Son and Spirit) before anything was made. They shared a resplendent glory, a glory as of the only Divine God.

    “The persons of the Trinity expressed a desire to create, to display this love and glory on a wider platform, not just for creatures to enjoy, but as a demonstration of the unfathomable wisdom of God. This reveals that dramatic purpose and intentionality existed in the Godhead before anything was created. God, the hero of this biblical story was a person with a journey, a mission, a purpose, a wisdom, a glory to be shared and enjoyed and validated even though it was clear to the godhead that the highest creation on earth, humankind, would fall into ruin.

    “Having established the purposeful, journeying mindset of God, and having demonstrated that God's creative acts in Genesis 1-2 were a direct result of his pre-creation activities, Dave then goes into Genesis chapters 1-3 to show how the failure of Adam and Eve set humanity on a collision course with God which is entirely imprisoning. He then moves on unpack the three cycles found in Genesis chapters 3–11: The Fall, The Flood, and the Tower of Babel. These three cycles each involved a sin, a judgment, and a genealogy. Dave concentrates much of his teaching on these pre-creation and creation texts and the defilement cycles of Genesis 3-11 before he gets into Abraham's call in Genesis 12:1-3. It is a fearfully good revelation that our God is a God on mission long before Genesis 12.

    “Dave uses PowerPoint slides in his presentation; our participants were taking photos of every slide with their mobile phones for future study. They loved Dave’s teaching—and I did too. Dave is a gifted Bible teacher.”

    Asian Access is so grateful that gifted Bible teachers like Dave Shive are willing to pour themselves into the lives of leaders who are themselves pouring their lives into the service of God. Thank you, Dave. And a heartfelt thanks to all of our Asian Access faculty.

     

    Noel Becchetti
    VP for Leader Development

     

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  18. DaveGibbons 200x200px"Asian Access is about coming alongside leaders who love to make a difference in their communities! Grateful for what Joe Handley and they are doing to jumpstart and sustain leaders in their competencies!"

    Dave Gibbons
    Author, Speaker and Advisor
    Founder of Newsong and Xealots

     

     

     

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  19. handley xmas 2016 card web 

    Christmas Greetings, Dear Friends!

    We want to read a few words from Isaiah: "For to us a child is born, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

    And from the Gospel of Matthew: "Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name 'Emmanuel,' which means God with us."

    And again a few words from John: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

    This is who we celebrate this Christmas season, and we're delighted to be with you today. We celebrate the God who has come to earth to be a part of us—you and me. And he says to his disciples, you are the light of the world. We get to shine the light of Jesus this Christmas season. And we just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you experience God's Spirit in a special way.

    God bless you.

     

    In His Love,

    joe sig blue
    Joe & Silk Handley, on behalf of everyone at Asian Access

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

    More Information

    Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8fwgKWkqOUQ

  20. JapanLandOfTheRisingSun 607623240

    Reasons to be Hopeful in Japan

    I’m so happy to be living in Asia, and most specifically here in Tokyo. Japan is known as the “Land of the Rising Sun” and it is this light that I find myself most hopeful these days.

    You see, I’ve been bombarded with messages of inspiration ever since moving here in August! It’s such a contrast to the land of my birth where conspiracy and doomsday theories dominated the election cycle. It seemed that fear and anger drove most of the conversation but my time here in Asia has been markably different.

     

    Increasing Responsiveness

    Shortly after arriving, I received a report on the results after 5 years of outreach following the triple disaster in 2011. Tears of joy flowed from many of my colleagues who have spent most of their lives serving here. Following the worst disaster to hit Japan in modern times, there are glimmers of hope. God’s Son has filled “The Land of the Rising Sun”! Most are saying that people are responding to Christ 3 times the normal response rates in the disaster area. And, one network of churches alone has seen response rates of 5-7 times the norm. That is astounding!

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    Deepening Unity

    Just a month later, the Japan National Evangelism Conference was being held. I can’t even begin to tell you how hopeful my friends and colleagues were following this gathering. They came away with a renewed sense of optimism about the Church of Japan. They are seeing the Church unite across the country and are coming together with bounce in their steps and a hope for the future. This was no normal church conference. God is clearly up to something!

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    Growing Church Planting Efforts

    Then, just a few weeks ago, I was personally inspired by all the reports at our Asian Access National Conference. Story after story highlighted the good that is happening post-disasters and how churches are being planted and planned to be planted in increasing fashion. Knowing that church planting is the most effective means of evangelism, you can imagine how hopeful I left the conference. I’ll be posting a handful of stories about this conference soon as well. It was so encouraging!

    jnc 2016b collage

    Poised for Growth

    Now, I’m here in Asia (in Japan), on the cusp of Asian Access 50 year celebration. in 2017 we turn 50 years old as a ministry and there couldn’t be a better season to be living in Asia and serving as the president. Soon, we’ll be opening our 12th country, new regions have been launched in two of the largest countries in the world, and our new business venture is taking root in South Korea and India.

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    These are great years. Everywhere I look I see signs of promise. I reflected on this during the Japan Conference and God gave me the same promise he gave Joshua. The future is before you and I’m going to open new territory and places for you. His charge to me:

    “Be strong and courageous… The LORD your God will be with you wherever you go!”
    — Joshua 1:9 

    That’s my promise for 2017. What’s yours?

     

    joe sig blue
    Joe Handley

    Joe Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org
    twitter@jwhandley

     

Contact Us...

go2japan
PO Box 3307
Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
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www.go2japan.org

 

 

 

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