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Location: Japan

Japan: Church/ Pastoral Ministry Worker

  • Spiritual maturity and personal responsibility are extremely important. The ability to interact and work well with others is required.
  • Previous experience working in ministries within a church context is highly valued but not required.
  • Openness and adaptability to new cultural practices and experiences are necessary. The ability to think creatively and some level of initiative are recommended.
  • The willingness to work with different age groups is preferred.
  • The willingness to speak publicly is highly recommended.
  • Some reasonable knowledge of the Bible will be useful and is preferred. However, this can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Shimonoseki, Japan

Language Requirement

To engage those both within the church and in the community at a meaningful level, a fairly developed level of Japanese language ability is very helpful. However, Japanese language education is included within the budget of the worker, and the worker will initially be expected to attend language school in Japan. Experience working within a Japanese church has also historically contributed significantly to developing Japanese language facility.

Length of Service
  • Mid-term: one to twelve months
  • Long-term: two or more years
Ministry Description

The demographics of the Japanese population are dramatically skewed toward the elderly. The overwhelming majority of Japan’s full-time pastors are either at retirement age or will be reaching retirement age within the next decade. The dwindling ranks of pastors have been asked to shoulder ever increasing burdens, and painful decisions are being made about whether existing churches can have full-time pastors attached to them or whether they can even remain open. All of this is occurring at a time when the already minuscule percentage of Christians in the population (by many estimates, less than one percent) is decreasing as well.

This position will require some level of long-term commitment. The worker will initially be placed in a position where he or she can receive training and guidance from global workers and pastors already working in church ministry, and the roles, responsibilities, and training needs can be tailored to the gifts and experiences of the worker. In addition, creating and developing relationships requires sharing life with those in the church and the neighboring community. Developing language and cultural skills is another key to meaningful and fruitful ministry.

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