Disciplemaking Leaders

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Reproducing Disciplemaking Leaders

Fruitful leaders say, “Follow me as I follow Jesus”. They live out that truth by reproducing themselves in others and equipping those new disciples to follow their example to make more disciples. This is the heart of the Great Commission to make disciples who not only follow Jesus but also make more disciples.
  • To Be Like Jesus, Part 2

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

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    You can know a person by the company they keep.

  • To Be Like Jesus

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

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    The remarkable life of Jesus was brought home to me when I read these words,

    “The life of Jesus was so unique, unpredictable, illogical and inconsistent that it would have been impossible for someone to make it up. It had to be true.”

  • Stand with North Africa as “partakers of God’s calling”

    Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash.

    North Africa (MNN) — The Body of Christ plays out on a regional and international scale in North Africa despite challenges.

  • Alumni impacted by A3 now giving back to Bangladesh's next generation of leaders

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    An Update from Lasar Banargee in Bangladesh

  • I feel alone!

    worship time 

    We were training in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region last year and working with first-generation pastors and leaders. They were so encouraged by our faculty and mentors saying they had never experienced such rich, deep communal experiences like these.

  • What Christian leaders in restricted nations are looking for

    Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Gabriel Almanzar via Pexels.

    North Africa (MNN) — Christian leaders in restricted nations are hungry for discipleship. Would you prayerfully consider investing in them?

  • GivingTuesday: Double your gift to equip generations of servant leaders across the globe.


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    Laboring Under Persecution

    “For twenty years, the Church in our country labored under significant persecution. The benefit of this persecution, though, was that it brought us together in unity.”

  • From Generation to Generation: Modeling and Mentoring to Build the Kingdom

    image courtesy Lausanne Global Analysis 



    A Crisis Sounds the Alarm

    ‘I’m sorry to bring bad news, Joe. Ron has suffered a stroke.’ Ron McMahon, chairman of A3 (formerly known as the Asian Access), was in his early sixties. While Ron survived the stroke, it clearly took much of his active life away.

  • How Effective is A3?

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    Viewing A3 Alumni Survey Results

  • The Missional Christian

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    We need a critical paradigm shift in missions today. It’s not a new paradigm. It’s simply a neglected one.

    Get this. Missions is not the 'special call ' for a few ‘spiritual commandos’ in the church. Rather, missions is the redemptive purpose of God for EVERY believer. 

  • The Future of the Gospel


    October 8-12, I was honored to be part of The Future of the Gospel Forum, led by the World Evangelical Alliance in Istanbul, Turkiye.

  • Double your gift to equip generations of servant leaders across the globe.


    A3 FirstGenLeaders papaioannou kostas tysecUm5HJA unsplash 1000px

    Laboring Under Persecution

    “For twenty years, the Church in our country labored under significant persecution. The benefit of this persecution, though, was that it brought us together in unity.”

  • A Call to Prayer for the Muslim World

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    The last few weeks I traveled throughout the Muslim world. And, as this picture of the Hagia Sophia reminds, the call to prayer goes out 5 times per day. Every time I’m in that part of the world, I have vivid memories of living in Istanbul and traveling throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia as well as Bangladesh and Indonesia. I even heard the call to prayer while in India last week as well.

  • Aging Japanese businesses and churches seek successors

     Header photo by Aditya Rao on Unsplash.

    Japan (MNN) – A declining, aging population in Japan means both businesses and churches need guidance through the transition of leadership.

  • Not 'Make Disciples' but 'Disciple the Nations'

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    "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
    — Matthew 28:18-20 

  • It's Important What You See: Followers or Emerging Leaders

    By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation

    Who do you you—followers or emerging leaders?

    For twenty years Douglas Hyde was a member of the Communist Party in England before he renounced Communism and joined the Catholic Church. He then wrote a book called Dedication and Leadership to explain what Christians can learn from the Communist’s attitudes and methods.

  • Mustard Seed... Possibilities

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    It warmed my heart being with the A3 alumni in the Philippines recently.

  • Why is creation care a discipleship issue?

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    ‘Creation care?’ Isn’t that just about planting trees and picking up litter? What’s that got to do with multiplying transformational Christian leaders and churches?”

  • Former Iman reaching other Imams with the Gospel

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    “My dilemma is that I am still the head of the Mosque, but I can no longer stand the Muslim faith.”

    That amazing statement was made by Imam Talib*, the head of a Mosque in a Middle Eastern country that we cannot name for security reasons. Your gift at this time will help develop Talib and many others to become effective leaders of the church in his country.

  • How could closing 20 churches increase disciplemaking?

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    During the inaugural A3 training just conducted in North Africa two weeks ago, we were updated on two recent events—the closing of 20 churches by the government, and the conviction of three pastors for leading churches.

  • Disciplemaking course takes fresh look at following Jesus today

    BT disciplemaking group discussion

    A3 online course offered by Biblical Training

    Disciplemaking is not an everyday word. It may be mentioned at church, but even there it can feel foreign to our common experience. To be honest, the word “disciplemaking” is not in the Bible and my auto-correct continues to tell me it’s not a word in any standard dictionary.

  • Yearnings and Callings for 2022

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    Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

    This post is a little later than I had hoped because our family was hit with the coronavirus variant over the holidays. We are deeply grateful for your prayers and appreciate you for the way we journey together in life and mission.

  • Bring A3 to the Middle East & North Africa

    Thank you for helping us fulfill this 2021 giving challenge that helps us launch in the MENA region. Ongoing support of A3 for this multiyear project for the expansion into the Middle East and North Africa is vitally important. As we move forward, please consider partnering with us in continuing this special project beyond 2022...

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    What's Missing?

    "Joe, we have tons of leadership training in this region but what is missing is relationship. There are wonderful groups serving our region offering all sorts of material, ideas, tips and techniques. Many of those are good but what is lacking is a deep commitment to journey together. If A3 can walk with us, together hand-in-hand, it would be a tremendous encouragement."

  • Evangelism: from an optional extra to an important priority

    shutterstock_141036124There is much to suggest that the church in the west is living in a post-Christian generation. Evangelism has fallen on hard times, and ironically it seems that seminars to help people learn how to share their faith are doing no better.  And yet our denominations, although aware of their continued decrease in numbers, seem largely unmotivated to address the real issue. If ever there was a time to get back to basics, then surely it is now and I would like to suggest that the following 10 keys will give you a platform on which to build a fruitful church that will reach lost people. These 10 keys will help you to take evangelism in your church from being an optional extra to an important priority...

  • Choose your friends carefully! Your future depends on it.

    friends duy pham Cecb0 8Hx o unsplash 640pxOne of the wisest persons in the Bible wrote the following words that have served me well in my life of ministry:

    “The righteous choose their friends carefully, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
    Proverbs 12:26

    So important was this principle for his readers to take to heart, that he repeated it in varying ways through the book of Proverbs. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20...

  • Toward A Deeper Discipleship

    A2/Philippines group photoA more biblical understanding of discipleship is critical to disciple a nation. Planting a church as a signpost of the Kingdom of God to evangelize a community is a good start. However, in a success-driven ministry, many pastors and leaders are simply dreaming of making their churches grow big and bigger. When the world’s criteria for success drives the ministry, discipleship is hurried up without the spiritual depth necessary to impact society. The World Evangelical Alliance’s call to a "Decade of Discipleship" needs radical calibration to grow...

  • Robert Boyd Munger, a mentor of mine

    Dr. Robert Munger with Rod & Sue Denton at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena USA (1991)The person who modelled to me the key to growing. The first principle of mentoring is “the attraction of the mentor to the mentee.” I was first attracted to Doctor Robert (Bob) Boyd Munger when I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California where Bob served in the esteemed position of Chaplain to the Faculty. Prior to that, he was the professor of Evangelism and Church Renewal. In addition, Bob taught an adult Bible study class at nearby Lake Avenue Congregational Church where, with my family, I attended church. We joined this weekly Bible study class on a Sunday morning prior to attending one of the various church worship services. Bob was the author of the book My Heart – Christ’s Home which he first preached as a sermon in 1954...{addthis off}

  • Discipleship ROI

    Joe Handley, Edwin Keh, Phil FoxwellThere is no greater Return on Investment than discipleship and investing in other people.
    – Mike Duke (former CEO of Walmart) 

    A few weeks ago, Asian Access had a wonderful gathering in Tokyo with marketplace leaders. Edwin Keh, former Senior Vice President at Walmart and Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania joined us utilizing a 4-hour video interview he conducted with Mike Duke, quoted above. They taught on discipleship as an opening topic for the orientation and launch of Asian Access/Business (known as A2.business) for Japan. As Mike’s quote suggests, far more than his investment in...{addthis off}

  • Followers Create Leaders!

    Missing VoicesAsian Access is honored to have one of our very own, Takeshi Takazawa, contribute to a significant new work about leadership called Missing Voices: Learning to Lead Beyond Our Horizons. I received a pre-released copy of the first chapter where Takeshi offers several important insights from an East Asian perspective about leadership. Having read this chapter alone, I’m eager to get a copy of this book as soon as possible! To give you a bit of a teaser on some of what Takeshi offers...{addthis off}

  • Your Church is Like a Factory

    church is a factoryNot long ago, one of our national directors was sharing about visiting a leading pastor in his nation. He was visiting to see if they could work together toward human rights in the nation. They are a country whose Christian population is constantly scrutinized and often persecuted for their faith. He went not knowing what this well-known pastor might say. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he’d be willing to help because often churches like this one, led by this pastor can become insular focused exclusively on their own congregation. However, this day, the famous pastor said to the Asian Access country director,...{addthis off}

  • Terry Looper on Loving God & Making Disciples

    joe handley interviewing terry looperRecently, I was able to interview Terry Looper about his new book SacredPace being released today on February 26. It’s a book laying out several great principles that align with our core focus at Asian Access. I know you’ll enjoy the book. You can learn more about it here: Sacred Pace. Here are a couple clips from our interview that I want to share with you. Terry talks about his relationship with God highlighting some of the themes from the book. It’s a terrific reflection on Asian Access first outcome, Living in a Love Relationship with God. Enjoy! I hope it inspires your walk with Jesus... {addthis off}

  • Meet The Bird Man: Reproducing Disciple-Makers

    mon ideree photographer

    Ideree the Bird Man is more famous worldwide for his bird photography than for his pastoring a church or working with the leadership team of A3...  

  • Keep it simple: Developing a discipleship pathway

    The Forbes.com’s number 1 Business Book of 2016 was, KEEP IT SIMPLE: Unclutter Your Mind to Uncomplicate Your Life written by Joe Calloway. The book challenges us to resist the temptation to overcomplicate things and to boil things down to the essence of what matters most. It confronts our natural almost unnoticed tendency to drift towards complexity or away from the purpose for which we exist. It takes some continued resolve to keep it simple and focused. Calloway’s advice is to boil things down to three simple rules, like the large national trucking company that reduced things to three simple rules:

    1. Pick it up when you said you would.
    2. Deliver it when...
  • Former Hindu priest with vision to see 2.4M people come to Christ!

    Not long ago I met this pastor in one of our Asian Access cohorts. His name, face and country are hidden to protect him, his family, church and the work of God in his community. What a story though! As he was sharing, I learned that he was formerly a Hindu Priest. He came to the capital of his country to seek a better life because he was on the brink of disaster—close to suicide because his life was so bad. Along the way...



  • Delightful couple shares about their transformation

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    During graduation week in Myanmar, one of the participants burst out in appreciation for A3....

  • Ajith Fernando, A2|50th Day 3 Keynote: The Way of Spiritual Parenthood

    A2 50th day3 jj 09Discipling Is For Everyone

    Using the Father-Son metaphor found in Scripture, here are a few brief, but poignant quotes from Dr. Ajith Fernando's challenging message:

    • "The most important thing we do in discipling our people is to pray for them."
    • "The balanced life is our cross. So where is the time for discipling? Well, we find time for what is important."
    • "Discipling is a battle for the souls of people. That's a battle we wage. We do this through prayer, through confrontation, through teaching, through meeting, and...

  • Asian Access: Reaching the Unreached

    Joe with friendWhen I joined Asian Access just over 9 years ago, one of the motivating factors was their focus and success in reaching the unreached people groups of the world. That’s why I so enjoyed spending time with a colleague in one of our sessions recently in a country that must remain unnamed due to security concerns. My colleague wrote this follow up report that so encouraged me. I trust it’ll encourage you as well:

    “One of the most exciting things for me about the pastors in these two classes is the dedication that they show toward...

  • Rapid Reproduction

    rapid reproduction E 500pxA few weeks ago, I was in a SE Asian country teaching as part of our two-year cohort. It was such a joy spending time with the pastors and seeing how eager they were to learn. One pastor, whom I’ll call NV to protect his identity, quickly came up to me sharing that he had already taken what he learned in the first session a few months prior and was sharing it in several contexts. Here’s what he later shared with me:

    “All the lessons of the first session were really significant to me and others whom I reproduced it. My purpose is to contribute for the revival at the very heart of the capital city, so, since 2008, I have 2 trips each year on May and October for pastoral training for all pastors and church workers for churches of 8 denominations, including the government sanctioned church in three large cities (they came from many cities at N region). Last May I trained SHAPE and TIMELINE for over 120 pastors and main workers. They all said that it was so good and they will continue to retrain at their local churches. I plan to retrain the session "the heart of the ministry" next Oct.”

  • Increasing Synergy in Leader Development

    joe and fregy 500pxIt was an honor co-convening the Leader Development Consultation last week in Chiang Mai Thailand! Asian Access came alongside of LeaderSource and several other organizations and movements to help “catalyze advances in thinking and practice in leader development around the world.”  We led an all-day intensive called “A Taste of Asian Access” and several of our colleagues led other workshops. In addition, we were an active player in the formal/non-formal theological education dialog where we are trying to find synergy for leader development specifically through theological formation. The highlight for me was...

  • Strategic Category 2: Reproducing Other Leaders

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    Asian Access utilizes an interwoven curriculum that focuses on fourteen strategic areas of leadership and church health. These strategic areas are covered in a variety of ways depending on the needs and situation of the participants and on the availability of faculty.

    There are four categories covered:

    1. Developing the Leader
    2. Reproducing Other Leaders
    3. Multiplying Churches
    4. Expanding the Kingdom...
  • Jesus led a mentoring movement

    roli manuel“If you want something to last a year, plant a seed. If you want something to last a decade, plant a tree. If you want something to last a century, plant a person. But, if you want something to last for eternity, mentor people!” — Roli Manuel, Mentorlink and TOPIC, Philippines — Today’s topic for our Spiritual Engagement Track was Pastoring of Pastors and/or Mentoring. Herman Moldez, the leader of Mentorlink and TOPIC for the Philippines did an exceptional job of showing us how to really see lives changed: through mentoring of others to be and live like Jesus. His colleague Roli, caught the concept quite well in quoting the proverb above: if you want something to have enduring value: mentor people...

  • Mentoring: A Relationship That Empowers

    mentoring 79312166 1200x800I recently read an article by Thom Rainer entitled ‘The One Common Factor of Effective Church Leaders’. He began the article by asking a critical question, “Is it possible to find one common factor in the lives and ministries of the most effective church leaders?” He answered, “I think so” and then went on to say that “The most effective church leaders are being continuously and intentionally mentored… …it is the difference between good leadership and great leadership for most church leaders.” Having made his point with some conviction, Thom Rainer however had to conclude that “mentoring is missing in over 90% of church leaders’ lives today.” After reading the article, I stopped to say a quiet prayer of thanks for my mentor of over 30 years, John Mallison who happened to be one of the great Christian leaders in Australia for the twentieth century. After an amazingly fruitful life that spanned more than eighty years, John went to be with the Lord he loved while he was out on his morning walk...

  • The Power of Authentic Leaders in Action

    Silk and I we were in this church that she was really touched by the warmth of the family and friendship—about 100 and 150 people. They asked me to preach that day which was just a wonderful honor and privilege. I had been asked to talk about disciple-making. So I preached this fairly strong message about it, hoping maybe I can inspire this congregation to be disciple makers. Little did I know that they were already very actively doing this. It is really amazing...

  • Accelerating Kingdom Leaders

    constitiutionIt’s been an historic year for one of the countries we work in this year. Their country has been transformed in dramatic ways and Asian Access had the privilege of taking a small part in this sea changing season. The country was a former religious kingdom overthrown by a local insurgency which struggled to run the country. The religious groups dominating the nation were constantly...

  • Bold Bangladeshi leaders empowered by Holy Spirit


    I enjoyed seeing A3/Bangladesh class 2 leaders wrestle with Byron MacDonald's teaching...

  • Why Disciple-Making is So Important


    Peter Mazumder, co-national director of A3/Bangladesh shares stories of the life-transforming process...

  • You are the Light of the World

    cam-worship-service01You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16) In June, I had the privilege of visiting my friend and A2/Cambodia National Director, Meng Aun Hour, in Cambodia. Meng took my daughters and me...

  • Work of Reproducing Disciple-Making Leaders


    Five A3/Cambodia graduates shared their learning with a small village northeast of Phnom Penh. A3 alumni frequently visit towns to pass on what they have learned...

  • Reproducing Disciple-Making Leaders

    00014 00028I recently attended the Global Discipleship Congress in Manila (May 22-25) and had a wonderful experience. Below is a note from Pastor Edmund Chan, a new friend whom I really enjoy spending time with. He has a passion for discipleship and I wanted to share with you his heartbeat.

    I also wanted to share a brief testimony about my time at the event. I was invited to speak at a workshop for the Congress on "Pastors Reproducing Disciple-Making Leaders"...

  • Focus on the Outcomes

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    What do we want to see as the result of our work in the life and ministry of each leader?

    A3 seeks the following outcomes of our work in the life and ministry of every participant.  We feel we're successful when the leader is...

    1. Living in a love relationship with God.

    Effective ministry flows from our relationship with God—from the inside out. After 10-15 years in ministry, leaders can begin to lose their connection to the Lord—relying more on their strengths and experience. This brings trouble and weakens the impact of their ministry.  In contrast, leaders who continue to deepen their love of God are transformed and can bring powerful change to their sphere of influence.

    2. Growing as a Christ-like leader.

    Effective leaders who abide with Jesus, lead more and more like Jesus. Flowing out of transformed hearts, they exhibit fruits of the Spirit and grow in Christlikeness. If leaders are not growing in Christlikeness, ministry can get off track and they are more susceptible to spiritual plateau and abuse of power.

    3. Reproducing disciple-making leaders.

    Fruitful leaders say, “Follow me as I follow Jesus”. They live out that truth by reproducing themselves in others and equipping those new disciples to follow their example to make more disciples. This is the heart of the Great Commission to make disciples who not only follow Jesus but also make more disciples.

    4. Catalyzing Christ-centered movements.

    Fruitful leaders build kingdom movements to expand the reach of their ministries. Starting new witnessing communities for spiritual growth, outreach, and multiplication gives more people access to Christ’s life-changing power. Launching new missional businesses brings about God-honoring change. Catalyzing movements advance the kingdom and bring momentum that transform people, families, cities, and countries.

    The fifth unspoken outcome of launching a church multiplication movement is entirely up to God. Yet, with His blessing, the first four outcomes can actually result from specific steps A3 takes. In other words, there are practical things we can do in structuring our program in order to help achieve these outcomes.

    1 | 2 | 3 - Next... >>

    OUR ESSENCE | Outcomes | Leader Development Model | Sustainability


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    This one-sheet, double-sided flyer outlines the Essence of A3 in terms of our four desired ministry outcomes, the A3 leader development model and our ultimate goal for sustainable ministry in each country.



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