RJC World

Reaching Japanese for Christ (RJC) is a network of loving Christians, primarily in Norh America, who are helping Japanese who are here temporarily.

Friday, May 19, 2006

As They Go Back

We are thankful for the many Japanese who come in contact with Christ here in North America. The contact level ranges from attending a church or Bible study for the first time to becoming a believer and being baptized. This is exciting stuff!

However, a large percent of those returning to Japan leave their faith experience back in North America, and never continue their faith in their home country.

Since the Christian church in Japan is so small, this fact is a tragedy. The reasons why this happens are complex, but here are a few.

1. The actual "faith" of the Japanese is connected to American cultural Christianity, more than to Christ.

Things that we can do:

1] Talk about this problem. Explain that drums and a guitar in worship might not be New Testament based, but are cultural items. Help them to see that you can worship God in silence and in high-noise level situations; in large groups and in small gatherings.

2] Explain that the main point is following Jesus, and seek to nurture their relationship to Jesus.

3] If possible, connect them with a Japanese Christiawn or church so that they will be able to process their faith in Japanese.

2. Upon returning to Japan the pressure of the society sucks them back to becoming an "ordinary" person.

Things that we can do:

1] Talk about this problem. Ask them what problems they can expect if they will be serious about their faith, and then help them process these. Issues related to family, friends, work and church attendance should be handled.

2] Pray much for them and keep in contact with them as they return.

3] Make every effort to introduce your friend to a Japanese church in Japan, some other returnee, or missionary who can help the tranistion.

3. There is also the difficulty of finding a Japanese church which will be a good fit. It often seems like there isn't a convenient church, and if there is a church, it might not be too friendly to people coming back from a foreign country.
Things that we can do:

1] That is right, talk about the problem. Be sure to be positive and encouraging.

2] Be sure to be actively involved in helping the person find a good church or small group. There are a number of organizations that can help you. One of the best is JCFN (Japanese Christian Fellowship Network).

What do you think?

There are several very helpful study guides which help internationals prepare for their return. If you are interested, let me know.

And if you need help finding a Christian church or fellowship back in Japan, drop me a note at don_wright@mac.com.


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