“What will the church in Japan look like in 2030? What role does God want us to play in its future?”
These are the questions our leadership team has been considering. Over the last months they have spent significant time praying and discussing our aims and direction up to 2030. We long to see God greatly glorified here in Japan. We long to see many Japanese people coming to know and love him.
As we grapple with these questions, our heartbeat is the same as it has been over many years. We want to preach the gospel to those who have not heard; and we want to do it in their language and fitting in with their culture as far as we can.
When OMF missionaries first arrived in Japan in the 1950s they started by surveying the state of church and missions in Japan. They found out that the least work was being done in the north, so that is where we sent most of our workers, especially to Hokkaido. In those early days, a lot of work involved church planting in small towns. Then, as the cities grew, we responded by starting more urban work.
What are the pressing needs now?
The bare statistics about the state of the church in Japan paint a depressing picture. Church numbers decreasing, baptism numbers dropping, missionary numbers falling, and pastors getting older with not enough replacements for them. But God is not bound by these statistics. In faith, OMF wants to build for the next generation in Japan.
We are committed to prayer: praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power in Japan, praying for the next generation of workers who will join us, and praying for the next generation of pray-ers who will labour on their knees.
Japan needs many more churches if people are going to be reached for Jesus. OMF is committed to playing our part in building the next generation of churches. In some places we plant churches on our own, in other places we delight to work in partnership with Japanese Churches supporting their church planting initiatives.
OMF is also committed to working with current Japanese churches—helping them to spread the gospel to many and helping equip Christians for evangelism and leadership. Alongside this we have members in student work and theological education; and OMF Friends who labour in the marketplace and witness for Christ there.
But this is only one part of the answer of who we are and what we do. We often talk about the “OMF family” because we want to be a Fellowship that cares for and loves one another as we serve the Lord together. The OMF family in Japan has 120+ missionaries from 16 nationalities and many different church backgrounds. God has blessed us with many children who are part of our family too.
As you can see, we are diverse and the work we do is diverse, but in it all we are united in our passion to build God’s kingdom here in Japan.
By OMF Japan’s Field Director, Chris Pain
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power in Japan
- Pray for the next generation of workers to join us here in Japan
- Pray for the next generation of prayer warriors to intercede for this needy country.