My colleague John Houlette just completed an outstanding book for Japanese pastors. And, the principles and stories are ones that will help you thrive in every season.
I encourage you to get a copy and learn, not only how Japanese church leaders can thrive but also how you can thrive. You can access a copy here:
As the cover points out, the book is an encouragement to excel in four key endeavors:
- Departing Well
- Arriving Well
- Leading Well
- and Finishing Well in Life and Ministry
I’ve worked alongside John for many years and he’s been in the thick of recovery seasons over many years. With me, he has served leaders following the Triple Disaster of March 2011 and the Kumamoto Quakes and Floods. In each of these, he has come alongside pastors to encourage and strengthen them.
Recently, I was with a Japanese pastor who highlighted John’s ministry saying, “He was my friend when I was lonely. He came alongside and helped me through a very tough and dry season.”
These kinds of praise don’t happen often so I know John has served well.
After reading the book, I wrote this endorsement:
Resilience is a wonderful resource unpacking a life full of lessons for the stages of ministry a pastor goes through. Dr. John Houlette draws from his own story, integrating some of the best resources available along with keen spiritual and scriptural wisdom giving us a resource that will help you thrive in the course of your ministry. As a ministry leader and pastor, I found the book filled with practical strategies to approach each stage and was particularly appreciative for this stage of my own journey in ministry. I hope you’ll take a deep dive into the treasures that John reveals in this important resource.
Today, as I reflect on my own journey through difficult seasons and on the coming 10-year anniversary of the Triple Disaster that hit Japan, I could not recommend John’s book highly enough. There is so much wisdom offered so I hope you’ll dive in, learn and listen to the stories of pastors being shared. It’ll give you insights into your own journey as you seek to thrive through the ongoing waves of life that hit us from every side.
May the words the prophet Isaiah shares strengthen you on your journey:
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." – Isaiah 41:10
Praying that you are living well and thriving,
Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.
President, Asian Access
- Where to find John Houlette's book Resilience...
- See John Houlette's staff profile
- John & Eriko Houlette partner with Hokushin Calvary Church in Fukushima city, assisting the church in leader development and church planting. John provides clergy care and leadership training in Japan and Greater Asia. Since 2011, John has been the director of Three Stream Ministries (TSM) providing clergy care and disaster response chaplaincy training for the church in Japan. After Japan’s triple disaster, he spearheaded WorldVenture’s disaster relief strategy and along with Eriko worked closely with Asian Access to provide Oasis Retreats for pastors.