Japan is an island nation made up multiple islands. The largest island holds the two major cities Tokyo and Osaka. Tokyo is the largest city spread out over 50 miles with 28 million people.
The geographical location of the Japanese islands has provided physical separation and maybe even isolation from the Asian continent.
The Japanese people are distinct and very strong as a group. Japanese corporations are extensions of that group mentality. As groups, Japanese are excellent at studying products and processes and perfecting them. The Japanese were demoralized by the loss of World War II to the Allies but quickly rebuilt thanks to help from the US and the great sense of teamwork. This group mentality is a strong. It is both a positive and a negative.
The first missionaries came to Japan in 1549. They were well received and many people came to know Jesus as their Lord. Even Japanese leaders were born from above and baptized into the kingdom. By the end of the 1500s insecurity in leadership arose and missionaries were expelled and many Japanese believers were tortured, persecuted, and in many cases murdered. This was something that happened on and off through Japanese history and forced many Japanese believers underground. The much famed Japanese tea ceremony was actually an covert way of celebrating communion.
Due to much persecution for the Word, many modern-day Japanese came to associate the historical persecution with what one has to be like to serve God. Worse yet, many Japanese Christians associate this lifestyle of not enough and sickness as something from God. These two factors have been successful in keeping many people out of church.
Most Japanese churches are under 30 people and the average age is somewhere around fifty. The pastors are old and suffering. They teach their flocks to go and do like-wise. Due to the small sizes of the churches and the insecure leadership, there is almost a dictatorial rule of pastors of the people. Much friction between pastors arises from members switching churches, or the fear thereof.
Many missionary groups have come to Japan with limited success in reaching the lost for Jesus. Every year, experts say 8,000 Japanese nationals return to Japan after being saved in the United States. Most apparently stop attending church within a few months of their return.
October 1997, after a week of intercession for Japan, Patrick Wolfe got an answer to why the church was failing. He saw a vision of a Japanese church while riding into Tokyo on a commuter train. The church was full of about 20 or 30 folding chairs. There was a cold tile floor. The pastor was not preaching but holding and eye-dropper over the front of the pulpit. In front of the pulpit were five or six Japanese members. They were skinny, bony and looked somewhat like the hungering people of Africa. They were starving, but giving the best to catch even a drop of the water coming over the pulpit.
The Lord spoke and said that the water represented to Word of God. He said the reason why the church was failing is because the leadership was not preaching the Word.
In 2001, after serving 3.5 years in a Japanese church, Spencer & Mariko Patrick left their church. It was a difficult step, but God spoke to Mr. Patrick that He had a great plan for Japan but was waiting for people to step into those plans. With this word from God, Victory Word Church was founded and plans were made on how to reach Japan for Jesus.
If spiritual things were considered in business points Japan should be thought of as a market of market of great potential. Less than 1% of the population is “Christian”. The Japanese are avid readers and are quick to pick up on something once it is understood properly. Japan is the world’s second largest economy behind that of the United States. This is even after the formation of the European Union.
Keys for success in Japan-
1) Create a committed prayer team of people willing to interceded for Japan
2) Build a team of people hungry for God and His Word. People willing to go all-out with God and work well together towards increasing the citizens of The Kingdom. This team will come together with people in Japan and families coming from the US.
3) Preach the uncompromised Word of God
4) Provide Word of Faith materials in Japanese. This is crucial for once the Word gets out, we need to have materials ready that people can access.
Posted on 28 November, 2006