Developing Leaders in Asia and Beyond through Asian Access .biz

We are living through a season where there is more and more change, hate and reactionary times to set of circumstances and events that challenge every believer, church and followers of Jesus to ask, why Lord? 

We can turn to Scripture, to passages such as 2 Chronicles 7:14 as well as call to prayer for our souls, our nations and our collective resolve to be our best selves and to stand with those hurting, questioning and the relevance of His words in these turbulent times.

Is that enough? I would suggest, it is the minimum / lowest bar for followers of Jesus and sometimes, a default, almost flippant response without a commitment to do more. 

When I joined the Board of Asian Access, it was a calling to leadership development as I sensed that we are losing what it meant to be a leader— a servant leader— in the church, in the community, in our homes, in the marketplace and in society as a whole. We are losing the essence, moral clarity and power of what it truly means to be a servant leader as Christ as our eternal model of a servant leader. 

Leadership development begins with exemplified living. Recently, the Wall Street Journal profiled a movement among human resources departments in the United States, that proclaimed:

“The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses” (WSJ)

An internationally well-revered pastor in the United States shared the following statistic at a luncheon I recently attended:

“only 9% of believers come to believe in Jesus Christ through a sermon or a church.”

If true, then this elevates even a higher calling for followers of Jesus to be evangelists and witnesses through our servant leadership living. Indeed, others are watching, and we should be both “offensive and appealing” in what believe and how we live.

This is the vision behind the Asian Access business initiative that we call A2.business (asianaccess.biz) to care for, to mentor and to walk among entrepreneurs and marketplace leaders to be more Christ like leaders in the spheres of influence that God has placed each and every one of us. 

A2.biz began as an R&D pilot project in Seoul, Korea to dream and pray about bring the ethos of Asian Access of a vibrant community among entrepreneurs and the marketplace. What began four years ago, has led to a momentum where two cohort classes (each cohort is a two-year process) have now graduated in Seoul, one class has graduated in India and there are exploratory initiatives in four other nations in Asia. 

The momentum in Seoul has led to a pastor to ask Asian Access, for such as program for pastors in Korea; a delicious reversal of how we began and now the A2B initiative potentially leading to a pastor track in a country that has not had a pastor track. 

The momentum in Seoul triggered local entrepreneurs to start at monthly Barnabas meeting where it is an outreach, open to all to come, enjoy dinner fellowship and hear from notable speakers on faith and work integration. In over a year, these monthly Barnabas meetings have attracted a gathering of 50 – 100 attendees and the following is a snapshot of its impact. The following (redacted names for privacy) is a congregant who attended a Barnabas meeting responding to her pastor’s simple question of:  “how was it?”

P[astor] Joel, there is no words to express how I am feeling right now
I’m inspired, motivated, touched, excited…
One of the best experiences in years
I’m sooooo inspired and motivated
I found direction where to go from here, what to look for and what to aim for.

God is eternally faithful, and He wants our whole being (1 Samuel 15:22) to model servant leadership in every sphere of where we live and work. A2.business is part of that prayerful initiative that through the entrepreneurs and the marketplace, we can see more and more servant leaders who are Christ like and who live in a vibrant community to be evangelists and witness so that we can be change agents for those 91%. 

I pray for a day that there are no more sacred vs secular divides. I pray that – as with Jesus – we go OUT rather than asking people to come IN. That my life has a purpose, and that we bring meaning to work and that faith is relevant and our work matters to God. Others are watching and we at A2 and A2B want to be part of a new leadership development conversation among pastors and marketplace leaders across Asia and beyond. 

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