We work in a partnership with local area pastors and leaders and globally with churches outside Japan to equip every person in the church to do the work of ministry. Each believer’s gifts are needed for starting and building up healthy churches that actively reproduce themselves. Although the Japanese default is to rely on the “paid experts” to run a program of worship services, we intentionally focus on outreach methods that everyday Japanese believers can replicate, and we challenge every believer to actively apply their spiritual gifts every day inside and outside the church.
Missionaries currently working in this ministry initiative include:
Chris & Megumi Risden
We are located in Matsumoto Valley, Nagano Prefecture, where we work to establish reproducing churches.
Far less than 1% of the area’s population professes faith in Jesus Christ. By partnering with local Japanese pastors, we strive to plant churches or build up weak churches so the gospel can go forth and multiply within this region. Leaders from elsewhere in Japan tell us they see the makings for movement arising in this area. God is doing something that we believe can affect the whole of Japan!
We are actively involved in church-based ministry in three separate locations in the Matsumoto area: Abundant Life Church, Azumino Family Chapel, and Norikura Fellowship. We passionately believe that Japanese believers need to be firmly grounded in a chronological study of God’s Word (from Creation to Christ) so that they clearly grasp how the Old Testament leads to fulfillment in Christ. We also serve the greater church community in the Central Nagano region by building up about ten local pastors through continuing education and peer-to-peer encouragement. We reach out to the community through English classes, Christmas events, and regular Bible studies at a mental health facility and a local boys’ reformatory. We also seek to bless the region overall by ministering to the civic and business leaders in the region. We host seminars and conferences on servant leadership, a felt need among many men in the region. Some have even come to faith in Christ by getting to know Him as the ultimate servant leader.
Because the fields are white for harvest here in the Matsumoto Valley, we are praying for the Lord to raise up laborers, especially through church partnerships from locations outside Japan (North America, Korea, Singapore, wherever) to help us establish reproducing churches or renew churches that are struggling. Being involved in a partnership is an incredible opportunity that includes:
-Visiting Japan to learn and explore the needs of a possible partnership.
-Making a commitment of five years and coming multiple times to form bridges and relationships.
-Using gifts and abilities unique to the church and that fit into the Japanese program and needs.
-Being willing to accept Japanese believers or unbelievers for homestays, and leaders for mutual encouragement and vision building.
-Short-term teams to the Matsumoto area with the following abilities:
1. Sports outreach (skateboarding, snowboarding, soccer, baseball, or basketball)
2. Event outreach (Music/worship, drama/skits)
3. Seminars (leadership, parenting, marriage counseling)
4. Construction work teams