Wow! Thanks for praying for the Hiroshima church planting First Steps seminar. We had 38, one of the largest regional seminars this year. Some key Japanese pastors also attended and encouraged us. Every time John does these seminars he comes away with a renewed hope for church planting in Japan. We are so excited for the growing vision for church planting among Japanese. Japan has many challenges for church multiplication at this time, but then many workers are instead seeing them as future ministry opportunities. What we heard last week from participants continues to encourage me:
- God seems to be sending a new wave of people to Japan to plant and catalyze church plants. The Hiroshima seminar was a good example. Two of us who have over 60 years experience were training people in their 20s and 30s who just recently arrived in Japan. Their numbers are swelling.
- Vision seems to be expanding for a national goal for churches. Many are catching the vision for as many churches in Japan as we have convenience stores (nearly 50,000). Many are realizing that planting churches in a manner just as before will not complete the Great Commission task in Japan. They want to believe more from God and attempt more for God.
- Some feel we have entered a new season of church planting in Japan. Along with the new people coming there is increasing interest in starting relevant, growing, and reproducing churches that are of a “new type.” At the same time we are seeing the need for networks and clusters of churches to help support church planting and providing resources to ease church multiplication. People really want to lock arms together for the Kingdom.