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 Our History


Launching Ministry in Japan [1967]

A3’s presence in Japan paralleled Japan's spectacular emergence and development as a world leader in trade, finance, and technology. The incorporation of A3 began in Japan in 1965, the year after Japan had hosted the summer Olympic Games. Ministry was launched in 1967. [top]


Early Years of A3 [1965-1980]

Language Institute For Evangelism logoDuring the first fifteen years of the history of Language Institute For Evangelism, the focus was primarily on evangelism, and the staff was made up most exclusively of short-term missionaries who were teaching English conversation. A3 was a pioneer in the area of summer ministries. During the 70s and 80s, the ministry of Scrum Dendo (arm-in-arm evangelism) became widely known at Christian colleges and churches all across the country. About 2,000 students participated in this pioneering summer ministry. A good number of them returned for a period of one to three years to serve as year-round English teachers. They were involved in A3's innovative strategy of using English conversation schools as centers for establishing new churches.

This ministry was an extremely fruitful one with thousands of students being exposed to the Gospel and many of them coming to faith in Christ. Today there are over 100 Japanese pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers who came to faith in Christ through the witness and outreach of A3's English conversation centers. [top]


The Years of Expansion [1980-'95] 

The second distinct phase of A3 was a second fifteen-year period from 1980 to 1995. During these years there was a significant influx of career missionaries. The majority of them had originally served on A3's summer program or as one-to-three-year missionaries.

LIFE Ministries logoThe name of the mission was changed from Language Institute for Evangelism (L.I.F.E.) to LIFE Ministries. The name change reflected the fact that the Mission was involved in more than its original focus on English teaching. During this time of influx of new staff, the Mission was characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit. Many new ministries were started to serve the more than 500 churches that made up LIFE Ministries' network across the country. The new ministries reflected the interest of the missionaries and also responded to opportunities that existed to serve the church in areas such as music, worship, sports, church planting, and leadership development. It was an exciting time of growth and a fruitful time of ministry. [top]


A More Focused and Powerful Ministry [1995-2002]

A third phase in the work of LIFE Ministries began about 1995 when a decision was made to focus on two primary areas—church multiplication and leader development. Evangelism was helpful, but it was far more strategic to help accelerate the leadership capacity of pastors and to equip them to plant new churches. To do this, LIFE significantly maximized the relationships with more than 500 churches and national leaders that had been developed in the early years of the Mission's history.

A new tagline representing this new focus was adopted: "Starting and strengthening Japanese churches".  [top]


20/20 Vision of A3/Japan 

In the early 1990s, the 20/20 Vision was articulated as the integrating vision:

To deploy 100 church multiplication teams

  • To establish 1,000 reproducing congregations
  • To enfold 1 million new followers of Christ,
  • who will in turn send 1,000 missionaries from Japan to the cities of Asia that will be home to
  • 1 billion people by the year 2020 AD.

With church multiplication as the singular objective of A3, the most strategic means for accomplishing that vision was determined to be the selection, development and resourcing of Japan's most visionary pastors and congregations. To implement this strategy, A3's leadership development program, the Japan Church Growth Institute (and later JCGI Network) was redesigned under complete Japanese leadership to take the results of fourteen years of investment in leaders and make it more widely accessible to pastors across the country. As such, Regional Training Networks were designed to be established in each of ten major regions of Japan. This ministry is now known as A3/Japan and is flourishing under the leadership of a Board made up of national leaders, and this ministry has been led by former directors, Rev. Hiroshi Kawasaki and Takeshi Takazawa, and now Yoshiya Hari.

A3/Japan participants are being selected and trained so that they can then become part of church multiplication networks throughout Japan. That work will be based upon A3's innovative model of church planting networks that have been developed in an area in northern Japan, Yamagata.  [top]


Expansion Beyond Japan Leads to a New Name: Asian Access [2002]

A3 logo 

In 1996, work was expanded outside of Japan for the first time, as the first pastor training session was launched in Mongolia. This expansion represents the fourth phase in our mission. Eleven other countries have since been added to the work since 1996, with a vision to be established in 20 countries as the Lord opens the doors.

In October 2002, the Board of Directors approved the new name Asian Access. (more about this name...)

The name change and widened scope brought clarity to our vision and mission:

  • VISION: "To see a vibrant community of servant leaders with vision, character and competence leading the church across Asia."
  • MISSION: "To identify, develop and release emerging kingdom leaders to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."  [top]


A2Japan logo tag red 500x83In 2015, Japan Church Growth Institute chose the new name, Asian Access/Japan. This aligned with our other countries that were already using this name (e.g., Asian Access/Cambodia, Asian Access/Mongolia, etc...). [top]

go2japan: a new way to recruit missionaries

go2japanAsian Access designed a new way to recruit missionaries for Japan. go2japan was started in 2008 to leverage the power of the internet to raise awareness of the need for missionaries in Japan and to help find them. See this website here: www.go2japan.org... [top]


A Strategic Partnership for Japan [2011 – present]

A2 + SIMAsian Access and SIM USA partner to send more church-planting missionaries to Japan

Strategic partnership just part of larger, collaborative vision

In 2011, a strategic partnership uniting Asian Access and SIM USA was launched, aiming to send more church-planting missionaries to Japan. By leveraging the strengths of the two mission-sending agencies, our two organizations began maximizing effectiveness toward the goal of planting 1,000 church congregations in Japan by 2020. This has been an award-winning, innovative partnership. Read more about this strategic partnership here...  [top]


Expanding to Impact Marketplace Leaders [2014 – present]

a2 dot business tag 450x87A2.business launched in 2014. Up until 2014, A3 had been on the forefront of leadership development, and our customer had been emerging kingdom leader pastors in Asia. But that was really never our mission. Instead, our mission has been to “identify, develop and release emerging kingdom leaders,” period. And emerging kingdom leaders is a landscape that has a much wider vista than pastors alone. In fact, we've always believed that emerging kingdom leaders in every sector of society are critical to our vision, “a vibrant community of servant leaders with vision, character and competence leading the Church across Asia.” 

In 2014, Asian Access entered into the marketplace, taking our focus on missional outcomes that utilizes a transformational process, a vibrant learning community and an integrated curriculum to those who can shape their workplace, their community and their society. Read more about A3.business here... [top]


EV1 book cover 2017 smallEastern Voices

Insight, Perspective, and Vision from Kingdom Leaders in Asia In Their Own Words

Eastern Voices is a platform whereby leaders from Asia can be heard. They have much to add to the discussion. Leaders from the West can and should learn from leaders in the East.

See video interviews, read excerpts, purchase the book: http://www.easternvoices.org [top

Celebrating 5 Decades of Changing the Few who Change the Many [2017] 

A250 pos tag 375x140

More info on our 50th anniversary... [top]

Refreshed Vision & Mission (2021)

  • Vision: A vibrant community accelerating Christ-centered movements around the world.
  • Mission: We equip and unify visionary Christ-centered leaders to influence Spirit-led change.

Read more about A3's vision and mission here... [top]

A3: Asian Access takes on a new name as the ministry goes global

a3 tag color 385x90As Asian Access expanded to several places beyond Asia starting in 2020, the organization outgrew its name. With cohorts in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), Europe, and the Americas, Asian Access (A2) became A3 on 2.3.23 (Feb. 3, 2023) to reflect this new reality. The name "A3" represents a deepening during the third wave of ministry:

  1. LFE Ministries > Japan (1967-2000)
  2. Asian Access > Asia (2001-2022)
  3. A3 > Global (2023 and beyond)

3 Phases of History

More on our new name...



Looking Ahead toward 2025

A3 has been exploring invitations to bring its training model to places outside the borders of Asia and outside the boundaries of CHURCH and MARKETPLACE. So stay tuned for more updates here: https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre.


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