Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. Peter baptizes the first gentile, Cornelius. Jesus stops Saul on the road to Damascus and told him that he would proclaim the Gospel to the gentiles. These events, along with many more since, have paved the road for Mustard Seed’s work in Japan.
For me, I was a gentile brought into the legacy of Christ through no work of my own. A church in Southwest Missouri is here because God brought those who were far off into his kingdom. Paul describes this in Ephesians 2. We were without hope and dead in our transgressions, but through the blood of Christ, we were brought near into the family of God.
Mustard Seed Network desires to see the cities of Japan saturated with and impacted by gospel-centered churches that further the global cause of Jesus Christ. This is not easy work, and it is not always quick work. For many of us, we are foreign missionaries coming into a culture that is unlike our own. We must learn a new language in order to speak the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard it.
Paul gives us a good guide on what this looks like. Paul knew that he needed to go to a place that had never heard the Gospel. He needed to go learn and understand the cultures that he was entering. And he often planted churches in major cities to reach as many people as possible. He did this through preaching and discipleship. In Mustard Seed, we do ministry this way in Japan. 95% of people have never heard the gospel before. Japan is an unreached place. It is filled with big cities where millions of people can have access to one of our churches. We believe that planting churches, preaching the gospel, and raising up leaders through discipleship is how the people in this country can know Jesus.
Our current goal is to plant 12 churches in the 12 largest cities in Japan. Planting in these 12 cities will put 78.6 million people—or 62% of the second largest unreached people group in the world—within reach of Mustard Seed Network churches. Each of these 12 churches will become ministry hubs that catalyze further church planting in their regions. Currently, we have 6 churches planted with one being planted next spring.
Here are a few details of what has happened in our church plant here in Sendai. We are renting two rooms in the middle of the city. We do a lot of personal evangelism to invite people to church. Our church is bilingual in the worship service and the kid’s class. We find ways to do good in the city through a local food bank and NPO that helps people with disabilities through art. We have men’s and women’s bible studies and most recently we started a Thursday night potluck.
God has been working in the hearts of people in Japan for a long time, and we are thankful to be a part of it. Please pray that God gives us the courage and boldness to share the gospel with those around us. Pray that leaders will be developed and a local eldership formed. When you pray the God of the universe who has the power to save hears your prayers.
Post was written by Sam Martin pictured above with his wife, Rachel, and children, Justus, Rosie, and Graham. The Martin family are church-planters currently ministering in the city of Sendai.
Mustard Seed Network
Mustard Seed Network is a collective of church-planting churches in urban Japan. By 2025, their goal is to have planted 12 churches in 12 major Japanese cities. Churches that strive to proclaim the good news of the person and work of Jesus and apply it to every aspect of life, and churches that encourage and equip their members to grow in their own discipleship as well as a life of disciple-making of others. They are currently working on number 7 of the 12 church plants located in the city of Hiroshima. The desire of Mustard Seed Network is to see the cities of Japan saturated with and impacted by gospel-centered churches that further the global cause of Jesus Christ.