Rod Plumber is the Senior Minister of Jesus Life House in Tokyo.  He shares some insights on what they did well when they planted their church.

After living in Japan for 9 years, we learnt a lot about church planting. Of course we’ve made some mistakes, but mostly it’s been a wild and exciting ride! Here are some things we did right.

1. Started with a team.

10 young Aussies came with us and gave a year of service. Each one met and led a few Japanese young people to Jesus. Some of those new Japanese Christians are now pillars in our church. 

2. We had a Word from God…

…about being fruitful and successful here in Japan. When we arrived there were lots of negative voices. You know the ones: ‘graveyard of missions’, ‘spiritual darkness’ etc. We had a Word from God and didn’t let any of that nonsense get into our hearts.

3. Simple strategy of evangelism

Meet people at coffee shops, universities, street bands etc. We’ve met a lot of people and know a lot about the emerging youth culture. We love them and understand them better.

4. Simple discipleship model

We need a reproducible process for new Christians to grow in and become leaders. We started cell groups even before the main service and this has been such a blessing in Japan, where people need a small community of strength and togetherness.

5. Simple DNA for emerging leaders 

We have 3 key areas – journaling, simple prayer and a daily heart check with God. Many ask us what our REAL key to growth is, and after much thought we returned to these 3 basic Christian disciplines.

6. Great music

A team of great musicians obviously takes time to build, but wow … what an impact on Japanese youth!

7. Fun

We really, really love the Japanese youth. They are crazy, funny, creative, warm people and we love doing life together with them.

You can see a little bit of our world through the website: