Asian Access looks for coaches and 'spiritual fathers' for the growing body of Christ in Asia
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 circumstance.
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 in the next several years. There is more information on how you can help here.
- This article originally published by Mission Network News; click here to read.
- Listen to the radio broadcast, including an interview with Joe Handley:
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- Joe Handley's staff profile