The vision of SonRise Tokyo Ministry Initiative is to plant and establish churches in the northwest section of Greater Tokyo (Itabashi-ku and beyond). We seek to do this through creating neutral ground outreach (MAB-Ministry as a Business model) and emphasizing the transforming power of God’s Word.
Missionaries currently working in this initiative:
This initiative is currently focused on ministry in the districts (special wards) of Itabashi and Toshima. Oyama City in Itabashi (est. population: 600,000) is the location of the SonRise Cafe and SonRise Church. SonRise Tokyo missionaries are also active in next door neighbor Toshima (est. population: 300,000), home to Ikebukuro Station (the third busiest train station in the world with 2.8 million daily passengers).
SonRise Cafe is an example of SonRise’s strategy of creating a neutral ground for ministry. Most Japanese are reluctant to enter a church building. The cafe is a non-threatening venue for meeting new people and building relationships.
Located just off a busy urban mall, SonRise Cafe has served over 16,000 customers since it began in October of 2009. Hardly Starbucks traffic, but that is also part of our strategy. Too many customers can limit ministry. Therefore, SonRise Cafe is not a BAM (Business As Mission) operation. We are the opposite: a Ministry As Business (MAB) outreach. We are a ministry in the form of a business. Our primary goal is not cash receipts, but building relationships that lead to sharing Christ. Our operating budget comes from supporters outside Japan, income from classes taught at the cafe, and from SonRise Church.
The SonRise Tokyo Ministry Initiative operates on the concept of “Ministry Magnets”. These are events or services to the community that draws people into the cafe. The types of ministry magnets are limited only by the creativity and giftedness of SonRise Tokyo Ministry Initiative workers. Currently or in the past, we have offered English conversation classes, Mommy & Me kids’ English, Marriage for Mothers classes, cooking classes, art seminars, live music performance, and “American holiday” cultural learning parties. We also have an ongoing outreach to the English Club of a nearby major university.
Planted from the ministry at SonRise Cafe, SRC is a unique family of faith. It consists mostly of new believers, seekers, and Japanese Christians who can’t quite find a place in the traditional Japanese church. As such, we are a hybrid and an alternative. Our vision is to grow a church that is strongly founded on God’s Word, and also speaks clearly to the unique Japanese heart.
Short and Mid-term Workers:
The SonRise Tokyo Ministry Initiative is uniquely positioned to accept short-term and mid-term workers. Short-term interns will work in the cafe, serve customers, build relationships, and get involved in Magnet Ministries…all with limited or no Japanese language required. Mid-termers will do all that, plus have the opportunity to lead or initiate key ministries. All will find a place to use their unique gifts and abilities to reach the Japanese people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Long-term workers are also needed!
You can learn more about what God is doing through this initiative by following the links or reading our stories below!