Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

 

Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access

Vision Festa Church Planting Movement

I’ve been inspired by pastors in Japan when 70 or more gathered in Northern Japan for a movement called Vision Festa. It’s a movement of people with a passion for church planting and I’m eager to share their stories… Those will come later though. 

For now, why is church planting so important? When so many people are down on the local church these days, why would I believe church planting is so important and why are these leaders coalescing around this fresh vision?

Missiologist Peter Wagner once said,

“Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”

Pastor Tim Keller picked up on this theme as well. Check out his post on the same subject, Why Church Planting?

 

Reasons Church Planting is an Effective Strategy for Evangelism

Everywhere I have gone, I’ve seen these truths displayed as well. Church planting is one of the most effective means of seeing people come to know Christ. A few reasons why:

  • It puts people on the ground next to their neighbors rather than surrounded by believers all the time.
  • There is a hunger at the beginning of a new church plant to grow the fellowship and see new people come join.
  • There’s a fresh expression that tends to relate more practically to people.
  • New followers tend to be the most effective evangelists.
  • There’s very little Christian jargon which can lose people quickly because of some kind of secret code, insider language that nobody understands.
  • It distributes us more effectively into our neighborhoods and communities.

 

Japan Needs Many More Churches

As I look at Japan today, the need is enormous. Despite the great work that has been done in this country by faithful laborers, the task that remains is daunting. Just look at these charts!

Percent of Japan with No Churches

japan no church prefects

 

Percent of Church Attenders per Prefecture

20151021 Jpn ChAttenders

 

Number of Churchless Villages and Towns

2015 October Jpn num Churchless Towns and villages

These charts are striking! 

Fortunately, things are moving in the right direction. God has not forgotten Japan. The Lord is embedding new vision and calling new church planters for the task ahead. Soon, I’ll be posting stories of the fresh vision God is birthing in Japan. It’s exciting and you can be a part of it.

I’ll be sharing more in the coming days, but for now, will you:

  • Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers!
  • Pray for more fellowships: house churches, small groups, church plants of all shapes and sizes to be started!
  • Send funds to see a fresh move of the Spirit in Japan!
  • And, consider coming… Join us in this exciting new season for Japan… Learn more at go2japan...

go2japan

Japan needs YOU—to pray, to support, to come and serve!

With great hope for Japan!

 

joe sig blue
Joe Handley

Joe Handleyemail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
twitter @jwhandley

 

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Emperor to step down as Japan approaches Reiwa era

Japan (MNN) — There’s a new day dawning in the land of the rising sun. Japan’s current emperor – Akihito – is stepping down at the end of April. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will take over this largely-symbolic yet culturally-vital role on May 1. The move basically amounts to resignation, which doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance. Yet, as Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access explains, “This is the first time a current emperor has decided and requested… that he would resign [and for the] Crown Prince to assume the emperor’s position. “This is a brand new thing in our history.”

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Discovering the Joy of Parenting

I often speak with parents about the challenges of parenting and hear stories of the aches and pains people face or simply the frustrations of raising kids. How encouraging to know that Asian Access missionary Barbara Bauman, with help from her husband Gary, has updated her outstanding book Discovering the Joy of Parenting. I can’t wait to get a copy! The original book has been a lifesaver and game changer for many Japanese and Mongolian families around...

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The Little / BIG Principle...

 A basic building block in making disciples

It was John Maxwell who brought to my attention the fact that experience is not the best teacher. Otherwise, everybody would be getting better and more mature as they grow older. Rather, "evaluated experience" is the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the experience that is reflected upon and where lessons are learned and growth in maturity follows. As I have taken time to reflect on my own life’s experiences, certain discipleship lessons have come to the surface. One that has consistently occurred is what is called the little / big principle, and is mentioned four times in the parables of Jesus...

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March 11th... And the future

Eight years ago, Silk and I were here in Japan during the horrific triple disaster that hit the country. In a matter of minutes, lives were ruined, the country was disrupted and it was a day that none of us will ever forget.The spirit of "Ganbatte" — never giving up or it’s similar "Ganbare" – let’s do our best or together carried the nation  through the deep personal and societal loss. It was a significant time for the body of Christ in Japan, as Christ’s Church rose to the occasion to help bring hope and healing to the nation. It was one of the most unifying expressions in modern Japanese church history and the hope that it inspired is still active today. To get a glimpse of how this happened, take a look at this...

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Where is God in the extended seasons of unceasing trauma?

One of our core faculty members, Rod Denton, has been going through a trying season the last several years. After wave upon wave of disappointment and agony, he shared the following wisdom. I'm sharing it here with his permission, and I hope it encourages you... To Our Praying Friends, It is not always easy to have clear perspective as we have journeyed over many years of illness and chronic pain. How do we make sense of it all? Where is God in the extended seasons of unceasing trauma? ...

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2018 Ministry Breakthroughs in Japan

Asian Access/Japan’s Progress Report from 2018

There is much to be thankful to God for in the ministry highlights he brought our way in 2018. Below is a summary of encouraging progress from various ministry categories and missionaries serving in Japan...

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The Koreas: dream of the March 1 Movement lives on

North Korea (MNN) – All eyes are on the peninsula dividing the Koreas over the next couple of days. Will North and South Korea be able to move past the Cold War framework toward peace? Is American President Donald Trump’s leadership style just bold and brash enough to convince North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that peace and reunification is in everyone’s best interest? These are the questions that await an answer as the two-day Summit gets underway.

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Marching Toward 2020

Years ago, Asian Access set some Holy Audacious Goals for the year 2020 and now we find ourselves on the precipice of that important year. We have both 2019 and 2020 to reach these monumental stretch goals and look forward to celebrations in the Spring and Fall of 2020 to see what God has done. To give you a sense of some of those big goals, here’s a sampling...

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2019: What ‘exciting’ really means.

International (A2/MNN) – Asian Access (A2) is a ministry that is usually ahead of the ‘trend’ curves in the world of missions. A few years back, they announced big goals as part of their Vision2020: a.) Equipping Leaders in 20 Countries across Asia, b.) 100 Church Multiplication Teams/Networks – Japan, c.) 1000 Reproducing Churches in Japan. A2 president Joe Handley says 2018 was a...

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Fresh Enthusiasm in Japan

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19 I was struck by hope at the recent A2/Japan National Pastors Conference in Sapporo… All of these pastors pictured here as well as several others shared stories of new life springing forth through their outreach efforts. Many of these pastors ventured “out of their normal boxes” to take their faith...

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