May 6th, 2013 by John
JAPAN was privileged to have Dr. Dan Maxton pastor of LifeBridge church in San Diego visit us last month. He ministered at Field Council along with Roger Inouye (from Wisconsin). The rest of the time Dan met with Rengo pastors and stayed at the Mehn guest house. Some highlights were meeting with members of the Rengo National Mission Department, where we discussed assessment processes for church planters including a new tool translated into Japanese on church planting risk assessment. Dan also met with our local church planting network where he shared about 3 mistakes in daughtering churches. Already those translated materials and the audio podcast are being distributed beyond that meeting.
IN SPITE of key leadership meetings last month, including the most relaxing Field Council in recent memory, John staying overnight 10 nights, and lots of English and Japanese interpretation, John was able to move ahead on some key projects. They all need your prayers.
1. John is writing a Japanese syllabus and bibliography for a church planting seminary class to be part of our CPI Conference this November. This will be the first seminary course on Church Planting in Japan! Pray for progress on the project and for key seminaries to send students to the fall CPI conference.
2. Along with World Harvest Mission, John is coordinating a curriculum project to develop a 4 lesson curriculum in Japanese and English on spiritual transformation for pastors. We hope to introduce this at the fall CPI Conference and conduct training for future trainers.
3. John is also preparing small group training curriculum employing a model small group to develop small group leadership in Rengo churches.
4. John completed his seventh article on Japanese leaders reproducing churches to be published in the Japan Harvest magazine. Later this year a similar article will be published by the Evangelical Missiological Society.
5. John assisted a Cambridge-trained anthropologist in updating his book on Japanese religious behavior. John’s analysis of Japanese church growth information is citied several times in the book.
6. Elaine’s Lessons for Spiritual Growth needs another round of field testing in a local church. She is working on a similar series on Esther to be used in local churches.
The Seattle area ADELPHIA BIBLE SCHOOL sent 7 students and the academic dean to work in Ishinomaki in the disaster area. The team made John feel young again. Usually our teams are mixed age from 16-73. This team averaged about 20. The team worked between some key community events one with 130 people. The team aided with two different families in helping get their yards cleaned up along with several other projects. In visiting a Temporary Housing Facility they distributed rice to families as part of Converge Worldwide Disaster Relief. The overall goal is share the love of Christ in word and deed in the disaster area leading to planting churches where historically there has never been Christians or a church. Pray for our ministry partners that they may have boldness, sensitivity, and creativity see a church born in this area.