Cross Cultural Ministry Plan: Japan - Part 3


There are so many different methods and strategies when it comes to sharing the gospel. As interns and students at New Hope Christian College, we were asked to choose a cross cultural ministry context and do research to come up with a strategy to cultivate a ministry in that context. Because of the amount of information, I have split my findings into four parts. This is part 3 of my 4 part on my cross cultural ministry plan in Japan. I am so thankful for a platform like Wespeak.com, where I am able to openly share the things I've learned. This gives me a huge opportunity to connect with not only my peers, but the rest of the community here on Wespeak.com as well. 

 

The Christian movement in Japan has not been the most successful, and a lot of the variables behind this have little to do with its initial approach. Christianity was making considerable growth in its very early introduction to Japan, but the circumstances became unfavorable due to European conquest and the political context in Japan. What is notable is that despite Christianity being driven underground, they still managed to sustain and pass down the faith to the following generations for decades to come. This demonstrates the resilience and perseverance of the Christians in Japan at the time. This group of evangelists did a great job at communicating the message of Christianity, extending all the way to martyrdom. This is definitely something that is admirable and notable, considering the circumstances. In a culture that values tradition, Churches can become extremely legalistic in Japan. This is something that the church must be careful about. The church in Japan needs to reconfigure its current evangelism methods in relation to its current context in order to become successful. 

 

After nearly 500 years of being in Japan, the population of Christians is still 1.5%. There needs to be a change in method and approach when it comes to evangelism and Christian ministry in Japan. To effectively cultivate a thriving ministry in a cross-cultural context, one must first understand and adapt to that context. If I were to move to Japan and spearhead a ministry, I would dedicate the first year or two to learning as much as I possibly can about the culture and getting used to being a part of it. I say two years because I not only need to learn about the culture but also completely adapt to living and being in it. This will take a substantial amount of time and effort. Moreau states that “Most people who have undergone the process of cultural adaptation (also called acculturation or adjustment) recognize that it is not something that happens all at once. Rather, it is a process that requires emotional as well as intellectual adjustments” (Moreau 213). Adaptation and adjustment is a process, and if I am trying to create a lasting, thriving ministry, I will need a solid foundation. 

 

Work Cited:

“Christianity In Japan”, www.japan-guide.com/e/e2298.html.

“Jul 25 - Pray For: Japan Archives.” Operation World, operationworld.org/prayer-calendar/07-25/#tab-prayer-1. 

Moreau, Scott, Evvy Campbell, and Susan Greener. Effective Intercultural Communication: A Christian Perspective. Baker Academic, 2014

“A Timeline of Christianity in Japan.” Nippon.com, 2 July 2020, www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00597/a-timeline-of-christianity-in-japan.html.