60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The Japan Mission recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. We praise the Lord for using the Mission to reach out in a broad manner to many Japanese over the past 60 years!
The Japan Mission currently ministers through the publication and distribution of literature, English Evangelism and the development and implementation of various evangelistic outreaches throughout Japan. We also have an outreach through the means of two international Christian schools where we minister to many parents and students.
The Lord has strongly impressed upon the leaders of the Japan Mission, that if the Mission is to continue to be effective in reaching out for the Lord in the 21st century, we must be sensitive to plan according to His will and be faithful in sowing the seed. As part of the effort to sow the seed faithfully, our staff distribute thousands of tracts monthly.
We have been greatly impressed with the book, “The Purpose Driven Church” by Rick Warren. He mentions that in some schools in California they teach students how to surf waves as part of Physical Education class. They teach students all about the equipment and how to recognize a “surfable” wave. But nowhere will you find them teaching students “How to build a wave.” Surfing is the art of riding waves that God builds. God makes the waves; surfers ride them. No surfer tries to create waves.
Many churches and mission organizations try to manufacture a wave of God’s Spirit, using gimmicks, programs, or marketing techniques to create growth. But growth cannot be produced by man. As Paul pointed out, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. (1 Cor. 3:6) Only God makes the church grow. Only God can create the waves of revival, growth, and spiritual receptivity among the people which we work.
Movements in the church and missions can be likened to such waves. We cannot create these waves. We must discern the approaching waves and plan our outreach as the Lord leads. As we plan our outreach, we must be sensitive as to how the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of people, and how we can best meet their needs.
The Japan Mission has ridden many waves in the past. It started by riding the wave of Hospital Evangelism. Since then it has ridden the waves of Radio Evangelism, Newspaper Evangelism and Film Evangelism. As times have changed, each of these has given way to other forms of outreach. Results in Newspaper and Radio Evangelism declined, so we started doing English Evangelism and holding evangelistic meetings and wedding seminars. People don’t borrow films anymore so then we started producing and distributing videos.
The Japan Mission is in a unique position to take advantage of changing trends in missions. The Mission is an interdenominational organization which doesn’t plant churches, but rather seeks to link those reached through many avenues of ministry to the many already existing evangelical churches which teach the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. This enables the Mission to be very flexible in its outreach. The Mission is able to change its outreach and start new programs as trends change, according to the Lord’s direction.
Please pray that the leaders of the Japan Mission would be sensitive to God’s leading and the current trends of missions as they plan their outreach. Please pray that each member of the Mission would continue to be faithful in sowing the seed.
Praising God for His faithfulness,