There are three different ways to be involved in ministry through OMF Japan. The short term ‘Serve Asia’ program, our mid term ‘Internship’ program and to join as a long term member. Find out more about each program.
(up to 12 months)
Serve Asia Teams
Serve Asia is our OMF short-term program. Teams visit Japan for 2-12 months. They help us make contacts in the local community through English teaching, drama, song, coffee shops and vacation camps.
When you join a Serve Asia team, you will:
There are two ways you can join a Serve Asia team
Most Serve Asia teams are run in Japan’s summer period July-August, or in December over the Christmas period.
What if I can’t join one of the Serve Asia teams? Can I still come short-term by myself?
We can also accept individual short-term workers. Our aim is to provide a foundation for those seriously considering options for ongoing involvement in cross-cultural missions.
If you have specific skill that one of our ministries needs, then we may also have a place for you. This might include: office skills, especially computer, media or finance skills; or training in social work or counseling that would allow you to assist our ministries to marginalized people.
If you would like the opportunity to do more than just join a short-term team for a few weeks, then we have an associate program that will enable you to spend one to three years in Japan. You can get involved in ministry, learn about missionary work and think through the next step in your journey with God.
OMF Japan’s associate program was established for people who are willing to join one of our ministry teams for a period of one to three years. Associates gain experience in ministry on the mission field and also receive training from experienced missionaries.
This program is for people who think that God may be leading them into cross-cultural ministry but are not clear on their future direction, or are not yet able to commit to a longer term involvement. It is not really intended as a substitute for long-term mission involvement—but rather as a stepping stone toward that goal.
An interest in exploring the possibilities of long-term mission/full time ministry and a willingness to learn.
We expect that most associates will not yet have theological training. At the end of the period of service, associates will be encouraged to return home to receive formal theological education before engaging in further ministry. Associates who have already completed theological training would have the option of converting to long-term membership with OMF.
As an associate, you would join one of OMF Japan’s ministry teams and will be under the supervision of an experienced OMF missionary. As language ability allows, you would participate in a range of ministries that contribute to OMF’s work in Japan. Ministries could include church planting, student work and children’s ministries.
Non-Japanese speakers would undertake an initial study period of 1-3 months (one month for each year or service). This is required so that associates can live comfortably in Japan, be prepared for some ministry involvement in Japanese and gain a realistic insight into what is required for effective long-term mission.
You would also participate in training designed to develop your ability to minister in a cross-cultural setting.
(more than 4yrs)
Let’s face it. Long-term or “career” missions is a frightening thought. It involves a commitment that is hard to contemplate. So why is “career” missions at the heart of OMF’s strategy for Japan?
If you want to deeply impact people, you need to get to know them. If you want to change a nation, you need to become one with its people.
Although we promote short-term missions, we believe that, by far,the greatest impact comes when we are willing to stick around for the long haul. It comes from those people who learn the language and culture, build deep relationships and demonstrate by their love that Japan and it’s people matter—not only to them, but also to God.
This is why long-term mission is at the heart of our ministry strategy. Long-term can be anything from four to 40 years. And the reality is clear: If we want to reach the people of Japan with the gospel, we need more missionaries who will stay here for the long term.
If God called you to Japan with OMF what could you expect to do?
First you’d spend two years at OMF’s modern new Language Center in Sapporo in the northmost island of Hokkaido. Every day you would study a challenging but not impossible language with a Japanese teacher. During that time you would meet with various mission leaders to determine the most suitable place to work, taking into account your training and gifts.
Are there really opportunities for people with all types of skills?
Field Nurse, Medical Advisor, Director for Administration and Finance (computer literate, with accounting skills), Urban Church Planters, Rural Church Planters, Evangelism through English Teaching, Nurses Ministry (Nurses Christian Fellowship), Student Ministry (Campus Outreach), Teaching at Christian Academy in Japan, Tokyo, Teaching at Hokkaido International School, Sapporo, Secretarial Work – linked with Church Planting in Sapporo/Ichikawa areas are all needs at this present time. And maybe you have some other skills. It could be that God wants to use them in Japan.
It is also about joining our OMF family. When new workers arrive, we place a premium on looking after them, giving them the best training in the Japanese language (up to two years full-time), and helping them establish a solid foundation for a lifetime of fruitful ministry. In fact, OMF International is renowned for its excellent orientation, member care and ongoing training.
Taking that step of long-term commitment is hard. But if this is where God is leading you, you certainly won’t regret it. Read a testimony from one of our members here.
Anyone who is considering a career in missions will have a lot of questions. It is important to choose the right fit in terms of mission agency, country and ministry. We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.