- Japan has a population of over 126 million people
- Only about 1% of the Japanese population identifies as Christian (this includes Christianity of any form)
- The actual, active percentage of Christians is much less – likely less than 0.5%
- Many churches consist of only a few members
- Between 50% to 80% of the population practices some form of Buddhism and/or Shintoism
- Many Japanese people participate in ancestor worship, including shrines in their own homes
- See more statistics and an infographic here: Japan Missions Profile
Our Mission To Japan:
The Taylor family mission is to encourage and increase God’s Kingdom in Japan. We will carry out our mission locally with the Matsudo Church of Christ in Chiba Prefecture, in partnership with the La Grange Church of Christ in Texas (our sponsoring congregation in the United States). There are three specific areas we will focus on in order to be successful in our mission.
Outreach & Evangelism
Evangelism in Japan is different than in many mission fields of the world. A mixture of cultural factors and 21st century prosperity produces many obstacles to faith. However, by God’s grace, we believe it is possible to overcome these obstacles. We intend to reach out first and foremost by building genuine relationships with the people in our community. Whether it be in shared events with our children, service opportunities, or events & programs at the church building, we believe that it is through authentic relationships that the Christian light shines best. Ultimately we pray that this will draw people to the source of the light which is not us, but Christ. We want them to hear the shepherd’s voice through our lives. As people show interest, we will spend time studying scripture with them, with the aim of leading them to faith in Jesus. But this is about more than simply making converts – we want to be a part of making disciples.
Ministry To The Church
Living as a faithful follower of Jesus in Japan is a difficult task. There are many social factors which can draw people away from Christ. For this reason, ministry to our fellow Christians is an essential part of our mission, no less important than evangelism. We want our brothers and sisters to remain faithful, and also to grow and mature in their Christian walk. This is what discipleship is all about. Our weekly worship service, which includes preaching & teaching, will be an important part of our ministry to the church. We will also seek other opportunities outside of our weekly gathering to encourage our brothers and sisters in their faith, such as enjoying meals and devotional time together in our homes, as well as extra events at the church building. Additionally, we will be mindful of opportunities to encourage other ministers, missionaries, and their families in the work.
A Broader Perspective
There’s a place in Japan for outside-the-box ministry to the broader culture. Although it will take time in Japan to better understand what is needed and to develop this vision fully, we want to bring our unique gifts to the work. This may include things like: producing quality videos online that can speak to younger generations, translating and/or creating spiritually deep Christian literature in Japanese, and other exercises such as these. Our hope is that these kinds of efforts will impact the general culture in a way that will lead to greater openness to the gospel.
Our Heart’s Desire
Our heart’s desire is to see our family be a force for God’s Kingdom in Japan. We desire to make disciples and encourage them to be dedicated to the cause of the Kingdom. We believe that God is at work even in a place as challenging as Japan – that God is drawing people to himself even here – and we want to be humble participants in that work. We pray that the relationships we build and efforts we participate in will ultimately serve our main mission: to encourage and increase God’s Kingdom in Japan.