Why Partner with the Mehns?
With God’s help and prayerfully I have been working to fulfill my personal life vision statement: “I will become a skilled and effective church planting leader working in Japan who will envision, empower, catalyze, and mobilize others in the development of church planting leadership which plant and grow movements of multiplying gospel-driven churches. As a result, many more in Japan and around the world will know Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.”
The application of this vision is in four significant areas: 1) The Japan Church Planting Institute (CPI), 2) the BGC Japan Mission, 3) the Japan Baptist Church Association (the Rengo), and 4) field research for church multiplication.
- You are already somewhat familiar with CPI of which I am the director. Our vision is “Advancing God’s Kingdom by mentoring leaders to be part of a movement that are multiplying churches which are multiplying disciples by the power of the gospel.” We are concerned for leadership development and until our next Japan national conference we are focusing on regional church planting networks and regional equipping seminars. Hopefully partnerships can be developed to resource and encourage these regional developments. [More information at the website www.JCPI.net]. We hope that the envisioning and renewing fire that we have experienced at our national conferences will ignite in several regions around the country year-round. Our next CPI national conference will be held November 3-6, 2009 at Fuji Hakone Land. We hope you can send a short-term team of volunteers to minister in the children’s program, administration, and media.
- I am also currently the Field Coordinator for the Baptist General Conference Japan Mission. Our shared vision is to “Faithfully using our God-given gifts and opportunities, and by His power, in partnership with the Rengo and others, we will multiply, equip and enable disciples, leaders and churches, which will glorify God and contribute to His Kingdom in Japan and the world.” Our current BGC Desired Ministry Outcomes 2009-10, which begin next May, include a commitment to at least three means of empowering for church planting through 1) innovative approaches, 2) partnering for parenting, and 3) regional church planting networks. We also are committed to the education of missionary children and ministries of compassion. I have also attached our BGC JM future strategic initiatives for the next several years.
- We have an effective partnership with an indigenous church association. Our mission’s secret is that we have a great relationship with a national partner for our ministries. We work closely with an indigenous church association or The Japan Baptist Church Association or as it is affectionately known as “the Rengo.” The Rengo is one of the fastest growing church associations in Japan. In the last 20 years the Rengo has nearly doubled in size to about 60 churches (over 42% growth in 20 years) and over 1,800 worship attendance each week. Healthy churches plant healthy churches and the Rengo helps us fulfill our BGC Japan Vision. Currently there are 10 church planting projects underway and 6 more will be started in the next two years. Our recently completed three year experiment with LEAD Team church planting network was very encouraging. Of the five pastors involved, one is currently planting a church and three pastors are planning on starting a new church!
- I am deep in some ongoing research in to characteristics of leadership for church reproduction in Japan. This is my doctor of ministry in missiology project at Trinity International University. Nothing like this has ever been done, especially in Japan. To date we have gathered information on over 50 churches in Japan reproducing several times. It is hoped that the results of this project will have direct connection with CPI leadership development and implementation within the BGC Japan Mission and the Rengo. More information on the research can be found at http://www.gospelrest.com/research/.
I do not want to exclude Elaine’s ministry. Elaine’s ministry is not nearly as national in scope but it is growing. Her key ministry areas are mentoring and encouraging women in ministry. This is accomplished by serving on JEMA’s Women in Ministry leadership team and CPI women’s ministry coordination. Another ministry is in mentoring in spiritual formation and gospel renewal often with women (sometimes partnering with me for missionaries and missions). Elaine’s mission statement is: “My desire is to live in an ever increasing love of God and an ever decreasing love of self; for this love from God to be reflected onto the lives of those around me and draw them into a growing loving relationship with Jesus Christ their Savior.” She has begun The Spring center for mentoring and retreat center for missionary and pastor’s wives. Locally Elaine is very active with several evangelism outreaches through cooking and craft classes along with Bible studies. If you want to get to know me and my wife along with our ministries, we have our own website and it outlines our ministries (www.GospelRest.com). We have released two videos of our ministry early in 2008. One is generally about us and another on the CPI ministry.
Why you? Why your Church?
We want to partner with your church to mobilize for the multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches. There are a few areas that I would like you and your team to consider. Because of our leadership roles these would work together in synergy between the BGC mission, the Rengo, CPI, and us personally.
Converge Japan: Connect, Ignite, Transform
- Mobilization of short-term workers for long-term impact in Japan by birthing and growing churches.
- Partnership with key Japanese churches which exhibit vitality and are committed to church planting reproduction.
- Partnership with the development of church planting networks that will impact regions. We have just completed our first 3 year project. We are getting ready to launch the next phase of expanded networks.
- Involvement with CPI on the national scale including regional development through CPI. CPI desperately needs more staffing either in Japan or virtually.
- Term and Career worker mobilization. We are looking for the “next generation” of Japan missionaries and we are building the foundation to support them with mentoring, training and other support. We hope you can help us recruit, mobilize and equip a new generation. I hope people from your church will come and join our team here in Japan.
- Significant development of resources for encouraging and supporting missionary and national women in ministry.
- Financially I would like you to consider regular partnership support of our monthly needs or targeted ministry projects which will result in the outcomes I have already outlined. For over 10 years we have enjoyed full financial support due to our many partnerships with churches and individuals. Due to the disbanding of a key church caused by a major church fight, the decline in the US dollar and other global factors, currently we are about $648 behind in our regular monthly support. If you would consider $10, $20, $50 a month to our support, joined with others, we can make up this deficit.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter and consider your further participation with us in reaching the unreached people of Japan. I know anything with concrete planning takes some time for development. But let me know what you personally think and give me a read on that you are dreaming and thinking. I would be very open to discussing anything along these lines. I would like us, and others, to think strategically with vision for the nation of Japan and the world.