Planting a Mother Church
in Shimokitazawa (subculture in Tokyo)
In order for Japan to be considered reached by the Gospel, we need the Gospel within the reach of every person. To achieve that goal, we need 1 church for every 1, 500 people, which means Japan needs 70, 000 new churches (according to Dan Iverson, MTW missionary).
Japanese are the 2nd largest unreached people group. This means that there aren’t enough indigenous Christians yet to evangelize their own nation, and therefore, missionary engagement is necessary.
Here is more on how you can pray and support a Gospel-centered church plant.
It is estimated that over 25 % of Japanese people are now 65 years or older. By 2025, 20-year-olds will make up only 0.8 % owing to the aging population and declining birth rate in Japan. This is the nation’s dilemma and as part of the solution the Setagaya-Ku government has adopted a plan to make the city a youth-friendly place to live in, and a place where “children can thrive.” Setagaya-Ku has the largest population of all the 23 wards in Tokyo, and within this is a subculture district, Shimokitazawa. This area has a population of about 20, 000, of which 20s, 30s and 40-year-olds make up the majority age group.
In a poll, when young people were asked where they would like to live, Shimokitazawa is on the top 3.
Furthermore, this district has about 8 % of all music clubs in Tokyo. So we aim to plant a mother church right at the heart of this district. In the past, there has also been unrest in this area as the government had a plan to redevelop and build a 26-meter wide road, which would eradicate this unique shopping district. This led many of the residents to rally against this idea with the “Save Shimokitazawa” banner. We believe that the unrest, a longing for permanence and security, in this neighborhood is a wonderful opportunity for the Gospel.
Please pray as we desire to see the entire neighborhood Reached, Renewed and Restored by the Gospel.
Our vision is to see young people building healthy families centered on the Gospel of grace, integrating their faith and work, their artistic gifts with their faith, and doing mercy and justice for the common good of Tokyo, Japan and the World to God’s glory.
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