After we went through a major change in my ministry and in my personal life, I started to think seriously about starting a new church, and praying about what kind of church God wants for Japan. My ministry background and experiences were extreme in one sense, driven only by vision, toughness, disciplined leadership and effort. I needed a more balanced approach.
As I was praying, I was introduced to Jay Kyle, CTC’s Director for Asia. He explained to me the concept of gospel-centered preaching. When I first learned about it, I felt guilt about my past style of preaching. I was guilty of preaching “self-motivational speeches” with good Bible principles, but was essentially just telling people to “try harder” without a clear gospel explanation. I started to have a strong desire to preach the biblical gospel to Japanese people. In this process of rediscovering the gospel, I also found myself changing, becoming more relaxed, yet more confident in my calling. I experienced grace! Even my wife saw the change in me, which is always a good sign!
Jay told me about the Asia Intensive, a 4-week residency training experience for ministry leaders in the leading cities of Asia.
My primary motivation to enroll in the Asia Intensive was to learn more about preaching. Soon I realized that CTC’s training is about much more than effective preaching, it is also about being centered on Jesus. I realized that our church ministry needs to be inspired and empowered by the grace of the gospel: in worship, prayer, stewardship, discipleship, evangelism, everything.
I realized that CTC's training is about much more than effective preaching, it is also about being centered on Jesus.
As I start a new church in an artistic and creative district in Tokyo, I now know that it is not just about the balance of love and discipline, grace and law, creativity and conservatism. “Gospel- -centeredness” is another way entirely. I believe God holds both extremes (and everything else) together. More than ever, I am excited about discovering how Christ can be known here in Tokyo, and I am very grateful to Redeemer City to City.