Japan is a thriving, bustling country, and Tokyo is its thriving, bustling core. At some intersections in Tokyo, every green light sees more than 3,000 pedestrians go by! Estimates put the population of Tokyo between 20-30 million people. (Keep in mind that the population of Canada is just higher than those estimates!) But in all of Japan, less than 1% of people are Christian.
Dale and Ann have reported that the church they work with, Musashino Chapel Centre (MCC), has voted unanimously to work toward another church plant in Tokyo. Called Tokyo Multi-Cultural Church (TMCC), it has a remarkably different concept behind it.
A great number of people have moved to Japan from a host of other countries, and they stay connected with their smaller subcultures within Tokyo. These groups are longing for a meaningful faith connection. The concept of the TMCC would connect with that goal. It will be a primarily English-speaking church, because that gives the greatest level of inclusiveness for the international community.
The church is Japan has its own unique flavour. There are a few specific advantages:
- Strong vibrant, internal relationships
- Generous time commitments both from pastors and lay people
But there are some specific disadvantages too:
- Little commitment to personal evangelism
- Pastor-centred leadership style, rather than individual empowerment
- Little vision for impact and growth — the missional emphasis is missing
- Lay involvement in ministry is low
- Little engagement with external society
TMCC will seek to embrace the best of Japanese culture, as it embraces a push toward dynamic personal outreach and ministry.
Dale and Ann will be highlighting the vision and the potential of TMCC as they begin Home Assignment in the next couple of months. Please pray for them as they make preparations for this new church plant. It is a vision that will likely involve churches in several countries around the world, not just Japan, and it will take a concerted effort to get it to achieve its full potential.
If you’d like to keep up with their site directly, this is a good place to start.