27 February, 2013

Does Japan need missionaries?

I heard yesterday that

  • Korea has one church for every 738 people 
  • Philippines has one church for every 880 people 
  • Japan has one church for every 16,000. 
And yet at the same time the number of missionaries and pastors is decreasing.

Does Japan need missionaries?

As I talk to missionaries in Japan, pretty much everyone has stories of supporting churches who no longer support them because:-

• they don't see Japan as a needy field anymore
• Japan is too expensive.
• they'd rather support native pastors directly
• Japan isn't in the 10/40 window (by the way, it is)

Yes Japan is expensive, but it is still a needy field. There are many who've never heard of Jesus and the church (under 1% of the population) isn't big enough to evangelise their own country.

Another statistic I heard yesterday is the suicide rate: 30,000 per year. That's 300,000 in 10 years. So the truth is that Japan, though a "first world" country and a place where people don't look needy, is a country full of people with deep needs and not just spiritual ones. So yes, more than church planters and evangelists are needed.

Nearly two years ago the world's spotlight was turned on Japan when a huge earthquake and tsunami (not to mention a serious nuclear event) hit this country. There are many people who didn't "get wet" in that disaster, and many who didn't die, yet more than 50,000 have since died by their own hand since then.

Does Japan need missionaries? Yes.


Nancy said...

Thank you, Wendy, for this accurate assessment that needs to be forwarded to people around the world!

Anonymous said...

I agree!