Asian Access' Doug Birdsall says four decades ago, they recognized the potential of the Asian church body and began making an investment in the future of the church in Asia. "This is a microcosm of the global church, as we now know it. The idea was to connect them, to develop them, to inspire them, to resource them as the next generation of leaders in the task of world evangelization."
Birdsall says their purpose is primarily leadership training. The secondary purpose is introducing these young leaders to the Lausanne concept. "We identify them and create the environment in which they can come together, and then we resource them."
It's a form of mentoring, because their approach allows the indigenous church to keep their own vision. Birdsall explains, "We do not own them, or control them but we simply try to enrich them and then they're released to fulfill the ministries to which God has called them."
Their project in Japan serves as a model for multiplying churches. Asian Access fosters a vision for church multiplication as they train pastors. Over the two-year in-service leadership development sessions within regional training networks, pastors begin to see the need to be church multipliers.
Once pastors are ready to move into church planting, they're networked with three or more of these pastors together. They meet together for 3-4 years, during which time each pastor aims to reproduce a congregation.