• Mission

    The Motivation Of Mission

    Throughout this year, I’ve been working my way through a devotional book by Tim Keller on the Psalms. One of the Psalms, Psalm 67, includes this passage: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Here, the Psalmist requests blessings from God, but the request is made so that the ways of God may be known among the peoples of the earth, and that they might praise him. Of this, Keller notes, “true…

  • Mission

    Evangelism In Japan: The Obstacle Double Punch

    Anyone who has done evangelistic work in Japan for any length of time knows it is a challenging field. I’ve known of missionaries in other fields who find incredible success, baptizing hundreds over the course of a decade. Meanwhile, in Japan, making 10-20 disciples over the same amount of time could be considered a significant success. Why such a huge difference? Why is mission work in Japan so much slower than in some other places? From my experience, I would say there are two particular issues that form a kind of double punch on potential followers, making it difficult for them to commit to following Christ. Left Jab: Religious Worldview…

  • Mission,  Statistics

    Alarming Statistics And How To Respond

    It is no secret that Japan’s population has begun to decline. While the government makes serious efforts to encourage childbirth, the reality of a declining population continues to set in. I saw a map on Twitter today laying out this point in full color: #Japan population change map 2015-2018 Blue = decline Red = growth Growth hot spots in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka pic.twitter.com/0Ei32aW11l — shootjapan (@ShootOsaka) April 13, 2019 As I reflected on this map, it got me to thinking about the percentage of Christians in Japan. The Christian population could technically rise in the coming years: assuming stable numbers among Christianity, a declining population would mean a…

  • Mission

    A Vision For Discipleship In Japan

    In Matthew 28, as Jesus met with the eleven disciples on the mountain in Galilee, he famously gave them the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” This is the call and the command of Jesus – to make disciples. And this is the call and command we wish to follow upon our return to Japan. There are a number of benefits to focusing on discipleship within the…