Our vision as LINK is to reach the next generation for Jesus Christ and, by doing so, support and encourage the Japanese church. Our ministry is focused primarily, but not exclusively, on young adults, which we define as people in their 20s and 30s. We desire to function as ‘links’ that bring churches, Christians young adults and non-Christian young adults in the Tokyo area together (see the ministry chart below).
We long to see more young adults coming to know God, more Christian young adults meeting together, encouraging each other, growing in their faith and sharing about God with others, and more churches working together to support Christian young adults and to reach out to non-Christians.
There are three key areas we would like to focus on to work towards our vision:
(1) Learning about and joining various existing ministry activities being run by Japanese Christian young adults in the Tokyo area. By doing so, we hope to be an encouragement to the young leaders and offer assistance as needed. In addition to this, we are keen to come alongside Christians who have ideas and visions for young adult-focused ministries and support them in putting their ideas into practice. If this is you, please let us know!
(2) Using our hobbies, interests and gifts to meet people and make friends, and through these relationships seeking to show the love of Christ. This may involve joining existing groups or starting new groups where Christians and non-Christians can gather. Current groups range from a small group Bible study to Hip-Hop dancing classes – see the ‘Ministry’ menu for more information. We are keen to have others who share our vision join us in this ministry in Tokyo. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.
(3) Supporting churches to reach out to young adults in Tokyo. Rather than attending one church as a team, members of the LINK team are involved in different Japanese local churches. Through our attendance and involvement, we hope to find out about the needs of these churches and discover ways we can assist them in reaching out to young adults in Tokyo. We also hope to encourage these and other churches to work together in this much-needed ministry. Seeing more and more churches work together to reach the next generation for Christ is a goal we have dreamt of for many years.
How it all began
This ministry began in 2007 and was named JS-Seinen Ministry, for Japan-Swiss Youth Ministry, because it was started by the DOMEI churches in Japan and the Swiss Alliance Mission. In 2008 the ministry was renamed Youth Focus (YouFo). At this time the team consisted of two Japanese pastors, two full-time missionaries and a short-term missionary. The vision of the ministry was to find and put into practice new ways of outreach, and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the next generation (ages 22-35) in the Tokyo area. The 10 years that followed were a blessed time of fellowship and finding many new ways to get in contact with young adults.
In 2009 the Swiss Alliance Mission pulled out of the YouFo ministry and out of Japan. The missionaries involved in YouFo joined another mission organisation called OMF International (henceforth OMF). As DOMEI did not want to continue the ministry on their own and the missionaries had become part of a different mission organisation, YouFo become an OMF ministry. From 2010 to 2015, YouFo worked together with Gospel Church Tokyo. The ministry then moved from that to partnering with multiple churches and ministries and was renamed to its present name: LINK.