Japan: one of the world's largest economic powers, a nation highly advanced in technology and industry, and the home of a culture rich in history and heritage. One may ask, "Why plant churches in Japan?" The answer is simple: the Japanese do not yet know the good news of Jesus Christ!
"I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand." -- Romans 15:20-21
The Japanese are the second largest unreached people group in the world.
- Japan is less than 1% Christian
- Less than 0.5% of the population of Japan is evangelical
- 0.2% attend a Protestant church
Most people in Japan have never been to church, have never read the Bible, and have no Christian friends. It is estimated that 95% of Japanese have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are over 126,000,000 people in Japan, the majority of whom live in three major metropolitan areas:
- Tokyo (37 million, including Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Saitama)
- Osaka (19 million, including Kobe and Kyoto)
- Nagoya (9 million, include the greater metropolitan area).
Japan has another 5 metropolitan areas with over 2 million people each: Fukuoka, Shizuoka, Sapporo, Sendai, and Hiroshima. High population density and efficient public transportation make Japan's urban areas fertile ground for the spread of the gospel.
The most vital and pressing need in Japan is the planting of new churches.
- There is only 1 church for every 16,700 people (1 church for every 800 people in the USA)
- 60% of churches are fewer than 15 people
- 70% of pastors are over 50 years old
- Missionaries are down by 34% over the past 20 years
When a church is planted in a city it becomes a witness for the gospel in that city. Disciples will be made. God will call some of those disciples to become leaders. Some of those leaders will start new churches--beginning the cycle of multiplication again.