Tokyo is one of the most beautiful, modern, and influential cities in the world. But under its wealthy, efficient surface, the changing culture has broken down traditional community relationships and values, and many Japanese struggle with depression. Intense focus on prosperity, success, and perfection has resulted in alienation and frequently, despair. Tokyo is a vibrant, growing city with a deep need at its core for the gospel of grace.
The MTW Tokyo City Team seeks to introduce Japanese to that grace through church planting and community outreach. The church planting team works alongside our Japanese partners to plant and grow churches, with a special focus on developing Japanese leaders. They long to see Tokyo filled with healthy, growing churches of people who model true faith, repentance, forgiveness, and worship, bringing new life to the culture around them.
SETAGAYA GRACE PROJECT
Setagaya Grace exists so that Setagaya might be filled with communities of people who glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Our mission is to plant churches throughout Setagaya, beginning in the Kitazawa area (with a focus on Matsubara, Akatsutsumi, and Umegaoka), concentrating on reaching students, young adults, and families, in order to raise up the next generation of leaders for the Japanese church. We are still in the early stages of the work and our primary focus is currently evangelism through missional community groups. Over the next year, as we trust the Lord to build up his church here, our team’s primary task is to pray, research, build relationships of trust, launch missional community groups, and prepare for worship. Lord willing, we will begin regular public worship sometime in 2023.
Celebration — Because the Lord is always good, merciful, and just, we always have great reasons to celebrate as his people (Psalm 96; Psalm 126). God delights in his creation and in his people. He sings over us in never-ending joy (Psalm 104:31; Zephaniah 3:17). We are a people who are always celebrating the goodness of our God through the enjoyment of his good gifts and blessings. As we celebrate, give thanks, and feast in community together through the normal rhythms of life, it gives further opportunity to bear witness to the blessings we have in Jesus, and the goodness of the Father’s love. When we celebrate well in our neighborhood, we enact in a public way an important part of the story of God. In every celebration and feast, we foretell the consummation of the Lord’s redemption and point to our eternal celebration with him (Revelation 19).
Compassion — Mercy and compassion are the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 7:14; Luke 15:20). As a church, our calling as a family of servant missionaries is to follow in Jesus’s example, seeing the needs of our neighbors, showing compassion, and loving sacrificially. Jesus came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45; John 15:13). We follow Jesus’s model in how to love, because this is the love we have received. Because we cannot love unless we know just how much we have been loved, we ourselves must moment by moment rely on the power of the Spirit to enlighten us to how deeply cherished we are by the Lord in Christ (Ephesians 3:14–21). As we wash ourselves in the word and receive compassion from Christ, our love and compassion for others will naturally flow into our neighborhood. We daily ask the Lord to take us into the divine fervor of His love and compassion for the lost.
Curiosity — God has promised that no place on earth has been left without witness to his goodness and grace (Acts 14:17). Our responsibility as his people is to to give testimony to the ways creation declares the glory of God by making disciples of the nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching all that Jesus commanded (Psalm 19:1; Matthew 28:18-20). As we incarnate in our neighborhood, we are to be curious about the ways the Lord is revealing himself to our neighbors. We are to be ever curious about ways to serve, ways to witness, ways to speak about the glory of the Lord, participating as His coworkers in revealing the truth to the lost (1 Corinthians 3:9). Instead of judging, we ask questions. We listen to hear instead of listening to respond. Instead of fear, we practice faithful presence, knowing full well that those who belong to the Lord will hear his voice and follow him (John 10:27–28).
REFORMED UNIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP TOKYO (RUF TOKYO)
RUF Tokyo is a Christian campus ministry that exists to reach students with the hope of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. RUF Tokyo seeks to be a friendly Christ-centered community for the convinced and the unconvinced, the churched and un-churched, the burned, the bored, and the run-down. It is a place to bring your doubts and your questions to understand more about Christianity and to experience the person and work of Jesus Christ.
RUF missionaries are ordained campus ministers and female campus staff who have been called to long-term ministry overseas. RUF Global ministry teams also include recent college graduates who are committed to serving two-year internships. These RUF Global missionaries partner with mission teams from Mission to the World (MTW) and Serge, and with national denominations, to minister to college students on overseas campuses.