Jet Set Japan: Tokyo Hustle

Welcome to another brief report from Japan and my daily experiences. The short version is that we spent the greater portion of the day traveling to and investigating a particular area of Tokyo. To say that we experience the whole of this city of 34 million people or that we even grazed the surface would be far from the truth. Reality settled us in a smaller portion of the city center and learned about church planting from Seima Aoyagi as he is planting in the Tokyo region of Toyosu. As we traveled from Chiba to meet Seima we encountered the most efficient and arguably busiest public transportation system in the world. Spending an hour in Tokyo station itself was a hustle of millions of people each day. The labyrinth of tunnels from one line to another would bring one who doesn't know the layout or language to their knees. It was incredible.

A few stats stood out for me from my interaction and discussion today.

  • Tokyo is a city of over 34 million people.
  • There is probably two tenths of a percent (.2) of Protestant Evangelical Christians in Japan.
  • In terms of Tokyo that means for every 500 people there might be one Christian.
  • Conversely in the US it is estimated that for every five people one is a Christian.
  • If my church reflected the ratio of Christians to non-Christians in Japan the church would have to double in size before we'd have one Christian.

Those kinds of numbers and ratios blow me away here in Japan. I see the largest pagan city in the world and feel the same concern for this city as God did for Ninevah in Jonah 4. "Should I not pity that great city?" I think about the task here and the deep need for the gospel that this culture has and I'm compelled to pray that the Lord would send forth laborers into this field. The gospel is desperately needed.