Metro Area: Nagoya, 9 million
Industry: Headquarters of Toyota
Major transit hub between Tokyo and Osaka
Nagoya, a major city of over two million people which is nonetheless relatively unknown outside Japan, leads the country’s third-largest and the world’s 50th-largest metro area. The city is affluent, with one of Japan’s highest GDPs per capita, and the region is productive, creating nearly 40% of Japan’s industrial goods. In addition, its high-quality airport and prime location between the Tokyo (100 minutes by train) and Osaka (50 minutes) metro areas make Nagoya a critical transit hub, and its importance will only increase with the 2027 completion of the maglev to Tokyo.
Though residents of Nagoya have ready access to Tokyo and Osaka, the severe lack of churches even by Japan’s standards leave them with little access to the gospel. The shortage extends to the greater metro area, with ratios in excess of 20,000 lost people for every one church. Furthermore, Nagoya is known for people being uncommonly reserved, slow to warm up to newcomers, and concerned with the material—all of which present challenges for the continuing evangelization of the city and region. But through Mustard Seed Christian Church - Nagoya, God has opened a door of opportunity for Mustard Seed Network to keep making disciples among Nagoya’s millions.
Mustard Seed Christian Church - Nagoya
Planted December 2009
Nagoya is where it all started. In 2007 a team of church planters came to Japan to plant churches and make disciples. Though they planned to move to Tokyo, they were led in God’s sovereignty to a language school in the Nagoya metro area. Compelled to preach the gospel, the team tried an experiment in late 2009—a bilingual gospel-proclaiming worship service. Starting in a rental space above a sports bar, many came and heard the good news. After a few more weeks a Japanese woman decided to follow Jesus and was baptized. Followed by another. And another. And yet another!
Today Mustard Seed Christian Church - Nagoya is a growing church in the heart of the city. It is a community faithful to God’s word and passionate about declaring the gospel in the city. Many Japanese are hearing the gospel and encountering a community of God’s people for the first time through the ministry of this church.
MSCC Nagoya has played a crucial role in training leaders, sending out church planters, and catalyzing other church plants. Currently poised to send leaders both east toward Tokyo and west to Kansai and Kyushu, we see God’s wisdom in guiding the original team to the strategic central Japan city of Nagoya.
MSCC Nagoya was originally planted by Mike Ackerman (Mustard Seed Network Director of Development) and is currently led by Andy Rodriquez.