Reflections from David Kim
A journey that began four years ago as a half step, an R&D effort, is bearing fruit with vibrant communities in the marketplace and among entrepreneurs in Asia with several potential new country launches on the horizon.
Facing Today's Unique Challenges
We are living through a season where there is more and more change, hate and reactionary times. The set of circumstances and events that challenge every believer and church lead many followers of Jesus to ask, “Why Lord?” In search of answers, 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. But 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.
Losing Our Way As Leaders?
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.
Empowering Marketplace Leaders to Find Their Way
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 so they can 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 a program for pastors in Korea; a delicious reversal of how we began and now the A2.business initiative potentially leading to a pastor track in a country that has not had a pastor track.
The resulting energy in Seoul triggered local entrepreneurs to start a 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?"
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%.
Breaking Down the Sacred/Secular Divide
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. The world is in need, more than ever, for servant leaders.
Founder, Telos VC - a Christ-centered venture capital fund
This post was originally published on A2.business: https://asianaccess.biz/2018/12/4-year-journey-of-a2-business-bearing-fruit-in-asia/
David D. Kim has a corporate finance and corporate law background and has been advising and investing in startups for over a decade. David serves faithfully at his church, Menlo Pres in Silicon Valley as a ruling elder, and is active in the world of global missions in partnership with various agencies. David is also a member of the Asian Access board of directors, offering expertise and serving as a catalyst to help launch A2.business to empower marketplace leaders.