• Mission

    Planning For The Work

    As our family returns to Japan, it’s important to reflect on the work that we plan to do upon our return. The vision may morph some once we’ve arrived, but it’s good to bring a vision with us as we go, so we know the kinds of things to be preparing for and praying about. Let me begin by saying, as I have said before, that our primary focus is on making disciples. That means we’re more concerned with spiritual growth than numerical growth. We’re not simply looking to get more people to show up on Sundays. Rather, we want to encourage a church community where all members are serving…

  • Mission,  Statistics

    Japan Missions Profile

    Being as far as it is away from the U.S., many people don’t know much about Japan, especially in terms of the state of the church there. Because of that, it may be difficult to understand why this mission field is so important to my family, as well as some of the challenges that exist on the field. Rather than write a lengthy blog post about every point, I thought it might be easier to make a simple infographic to provide a profile of the mission field in Japan. Scroll down to the bottom to see a few points of interest explained in further detail. As you can see, the…

  • 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…

  • General

    Strength In Weakness – An Article For The Fukuinshi Gospel Magazine

    About a month or two ago my good friend and fellow disciple Tadayoshi Aikawa asked me if I would be willing to contribute to the Fukuinshi. The Fukuinshi (福音誌) is a small magazine/booklet circulated throughout the Churches of Christ in Japan. Aikawa-san (or Tad as many of us foreigners call him) asked me to write an article that would appear as the preface to the June 2019 issue. Since I know most people who see this website won’t ever see that edition of the Fukuinshi (or any edition, for that matter), I wanted to share an English translation, which I hope will be an encouragement to you. Strength In Weakness:…

  • 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…

  • Prayer

    A Prayer For The Reiwa Era

    One week from now, the emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, will officially abdicate and the new emperor, soon-to-be Emperor Naruhito, will take his place. Much like England’s royal family, the emperor of Japan has no legal authority in the country, but that does not mean the status is unimportant. The change of the emperor is a major event in the nation’s life, marking not only the literal end of an era, but also an important change to the nation’s calendar. While Japan uses the Western year system (e.g. 2019), it also uses its own system based upon the year of the Emperor’s reign. The current era is called Heisei, and…

  • 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…

  • General

    Why We Are Going Back

    In 2016, after about three and a half years on the mission field in Japan, our family faced a decision: should we return to the U.S. or stay in Japan and continue the work? At this point, we were well over halfway through our initial 5 year commitment. We had spent over three consecutive years in the country, and that was after an earlier year doing vocational missions. We loved the people and we loved the work, but we weren’t sure what to do. We had only visited the United States once during this these three years, and that visit had not made the answer any clearer. We spent a…

  • General

    Welcome To Taylors In Japan

    Welcome to Taylors in Japan! This is the website for the mission work of the Taylor family in Japan. Here you can find information about our work, our family, and how to support us, among other things. On this blog (or journal, as I like to call it) you will find updates from us on the work and the various activities we have been involved with. Occasionally we will also share various personal thoughts and reflections from the field. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. – The Taylor Family