Mr. Tanaka fell into despair due to a challenging situation at his workplace. But then a friend invited him and his wife to our church. This couple was so touched by God`s love that they decided to get baptized soon after starting to attend the church.
In whatever way we choose to share God`s love it seems to me that our personal love and connection to God and people are very important. That`s why one of our core values at my church is this: We believe that the most effective evangelism happens through people inviting people.
Reaching out with God`s love can be done in so many ways. Here some of the things I have done:
- joined a jogging club,
- visited a university regularly—making contact with students,
- dressed up as a Santa in December and invited people to church,
- joined a flash mob at the famous Shibuya crossing,
- took a friend who can play the guitar or can dance to a train station,
- started a meetup group at my house, and
- used Facebook and Instagram to share the gospel by putting up Bible verses in Japanese.
Mr. and Ms. Tanaka were invited to church by their friend and that`s how they became friends with Jesus. Facebook, Instagram, Santa Parade, and Flash mobs are all great ways to reach out as they can be a stepping stones to a personal friendship with Jesus and other Christians. But it`s most often through our personal friendships that Jesus reached out to the other people.
We are the channel through which others can get to know Jesus. But as we are far from perfect, we might feel uncomfortable with God wanting to use us in this way.
As missionary I`m often so busy in front of my computer, doing “church work” that it seems hard to find time for personal relationships with people who don`t know Jesus yet. On the other hand: many Japanese have personal friendships with people who don`t yet know Jesus. But many are afraid to let their Christian faith flow into their relationships.
It seems to me that being confident as a Christian and trusting that God will work through our personal relationships is important when it comes to evangelism. Japanese Christians need to be encouraged in this area. And missionaries like me need to be challenged: it might be more important to take time to meet with somebody who does not yet know God, than to have a perfect sermon ready on Sunday.
By Matthias, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that Japanese Christians will be confident in their faith and willing to let their faith flow into their relationships.
- Pray that missionaries will know how best to use their time.
- Pray for many more to be touched by God’s love in Japan.