A2 launches cohort of Young Professionals
While Asian Access has been known for developing pastors and, more recently, Christian business leaders across Asia, we continue to explore new spheres where kingdom leaders are hungry to grow and to have greater impact. In spite of daunting circumstances in 2020, a vision that God planted in two separate locations has come together in a collaborative hybrid to invest in young professionals. In January of 2021, the Beta version of A2 Young Professionals was launched.
The design of the program leverages the classic A2 pastor training model while adapting it for Christian professionals between the ages of 25-35. It offers a space to explore what it means to have a vibrant faith lived out in a fast-paced, fragmented world and how to authentically be salt and light in today’s workplace.
Focusing on Four Outcomes
This new program is geared to generate these outcomes in each participant:
- Radical love relationship with God—An overarching theme, infused in every module to fan the flames of a radical love relationship with God
- Being a Jesus-follower in the workplace—That love relationship shapes identity, values and priorities in vocation and all life-decisions.
- Contagious Faith— love for God overflows into love for others and distinguishes his people as salt and light in our world
- Fresh expressions of Ecclesia—Our faith is meant to be lived together as followers of Jesus while welcoming others
A unique feature of this program is that it was formed between two South Asian countries and includes nine participants from each country. Together they become a small learning community—a cohort that broadly represents most spheres of society, each participant passionate to make a difference for Christ within their vocation.
In January they met for the first of six modules spread over 18 months. Each module begins with the two countries connecting over Zoom. Afterwards, the sense of community is deepened and content is further contextualized through in-person gatherings by country, or back on Zoom as a last resort, depending on pandemic restrictions. In addition, throughout the 18 months, offline learning and connections continue naturally using the Gnowbe app, Facebook groups, and WhatsApp. Perfect for young professionals.
Inspiring and Equipping a New Generation
Instead of simply regarding young professionals as disengaged and inactive members, the church can do more to inspire and develop this important group to bring hope, being “salt and light,” through their vocation. Now is the time for churches to equip young professionals and marketplace leaders to expand the kingdom of God. They may not easily find a place to serve within the church, but they can be equipped to fully and actively engage for Christ outside the church, in the marketplace and their workspace.
In our rapidly changing world young professionals could be the face of the Great Commission. It is a place where people come to them, contrary to missionaries and evangelists who go out to those yet unreached. What a tremendous opportunity we have today.
Some responses to the first week of Module One,
“This is exactly what I’ve needed.”
“This program matches what I’m doing. It’s designed for where I am.”
“I’m especially interested in developing as a leader.”
“This is a unique group, just for Christian young professionals.”
“Now I understand my need to go deeper in my love relationship with God.”
As the A2 Young Professional cohort, we envision more young professionals trained and equipped and also for churches to reimagine what could be achieved if this high potential group is trained and equipped to impact their world for Christ.
We witnessed this potential at the start of our first module on the last week of January. What an exciting and diverse group of young professional men and women! Whether a hotelier, doctor, engineer, meteorologist, fashion designer or coming from IT, human resources, government or NGO, all bring a passion and desire to grow deeper in their relationship with God and all with the hope of living out their God-given purpose within their place of influence.
Pray with us that God will powerfully use this cohort and more to come.
A2 Young Professionals program
• Thilini De Visser Kodikara (top)
• Kailash Chawan (bottom)
• Mary Jo Wilson (middle)