Wrapping it up

2 comments Written on February 11th, 2012     
Filed under: earthquake
Friday morning we woke up early and left Ofunato before 7AM for a beautiful drive over the mountains to Morioka. We were there by 9AM and met up with Pastor Kondo, founder and key leader of the 3.11 Iwate Church Network. We found our way to a coffee shop near the train station and spent over an hour in discussion about ministry in the current context. Pastor Kondo is incredibly insightful and communicates very well so I think it was a stimulating discussion for our guests from Wheaton. As usual they had many good questions that helped give direction and focus to the discussion. Before we knew it it was time to put our guests on the bullet train headed for Tokyo and the airport, where they were catching an evening flight back to the U.S.

Pastor Kondo repeatedly stressed the important of relationship building with the tsunami victims. He talked about old metaphors for church work and evangelism that center on events and explained how that doesn’t really work in these rural areas, especially in the present situation. Instead the work is primarily relational and intentionally slow paced. In some ways the rejection of the “event based evangelism” metaphor should apply to urban settings as well but it isn’t easy to let go of things that seem so close to the core, especially when you can’t think of any alternatives.

Beautiful AM drive over the mountains

Meeting with Pastor Kondo

At the coffee shop

Train's about to leave…


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2 comments “Wrapping it up”

Hi Mr. Peterson, My husband and I were deeply moved by this post. It is so encouraging to see Japanese church leaders experiencing a major paradigm shift since 3-11. Praise God that this pastor is moving out and reaching so many people and that the is primarily relational and intentionally slow paced, as you mentioned. We hope to move to Tohoku this summer and look forward to seeing what mighty things God is doing up there.

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That Key is Jesus–thought this was a good quote—“The early Christian was very precisely a person carrying about a key . . . . The whole Christian movement consisted in claiming to possess that key. It was not merely a vague forward movement, which might be better represented by a battering ram. It was not something that swept along with it similar or dissimilar things, as does a modern social movement. As we shall see in a moment, it rather definitely refused to do so. It definitely asserted that there was a key, and that it possessed that key, and that no other key was like it; in that sense it was as narrow as you please. Only it happened to be the key that could unlock the prison of the whole world, and let in the white daylight of liberty.”

G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man (Radford, 2008), page 137.

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