Uniting with Japanese Christian Ministries for the Sake of the Gospel


A country known for Zen Buddhism, Japan is a country with less than 0.1% evangelical Christians. This compels Evangelicals all around to work together for the sake of the gospel.

One longstanding institution that brings together Evangelicals in the country is the Japan Evangelical Association. The Japan Evangelical Association, the member alliance of the WEA was founded in April 1968 to with the purpose of bringing together Evangelical churches and parachurches. Currently there are approximately 100 member organizations from denominations, denominations, churches, and missionary organizations.

On the 8th March 2024, Deputy Secretary General Dr. Lin visited with General Secretary General Rev Dr Takahito Iwagami to learn more about the state of evangelicalism in Japan as well as how unity leads to greater impact for the evangelical community in Japan. Seated in the Ochanomizu Christian Center, JEA join many different evangelical missionaries and agencies who collaborate and support one another.

One key discussion point was the opportunity for evangelical churches as Japan opens up economically. With an increase in church-going migrant workers, they can potentially bless indigenous Japanese churches. WEA committed to providing any support with alliances across the world.

Evangelical unity was further practiced in the next week at Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering. Lausanne Japan has signed MOUs with key evangelical agencies including JEA.

As a conference for the evangelical community in Japan, the YLG brought together 370 Christians from 30+ denominations, diverse backgrounds, and importantly, from multiple generations from age 0 to 70. The purpose of this gathering was to bring together diverse young leaders to build genuine friendships that serve as the foundation for genuine mission collaboration.

The need to strengthen younger leaders is made even more acute as the average age of pastors is around 70, with only 300 pastors in the country under age 40. 

As a younger leader herself, Dr Lin was honored to be invited to lead in a workshop, “Made in the Image of God – Women co-leading for the sake of the kingdom of God”. She shared about the Call for all Christians to broaden one’s awareness, attentiveness, and commitment to specific actions to restore God’s intention for all people. She also had the opportunity to share her own leadership journey to the larger plenary. She talked about the importance of focusing on Christ and the task at hand. Being in a role where her colleagues were acutely different from her, she had at many times experienced imposter syndrome. She shares about drawing strength from being fine with being different. Likening herself to a jar of clay, the source of power comes from God. Who God calls, He equips.

Additonally, WEA’s Youth facilitator, Rev Ashish Hirday also led in the workshop “Navigating Gen Z: A Workshop for Impactful Ministry.” He focused on how one’s Being is foundational to effective ministry. With the goal to unites churches for Gospel witness and discipleship, the WEA is glad to play its part in engaging churches around the world.