I am sure that most of you are aware by now that Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Olympics. However, what you may not know is that interest has been increasing in “Sports Ministries” in Japan over the last few years. It is not always easy, though, for Japanese pastors to see how their churches can be involved in sports ministry. Last month, at a meeting of a growing network of Sports Ministries, I learned why there has not been a strong interest and resulting movement among the local churches. If someone suggested to a local pastor that the church needed a sports ministry, the Pastor’s first reaction would be,
“Sports?” The matches are always held on Sundays. Why would I need a sports ministry?”
This meeting was very encouraging, as it was hosted in a large Japanese church (Hongo Dai Church) and was attended by several Pastors from Kanto and one even from Osaka. Churches from this group are already targeting Brazil for the World Cup Soccer Games on now, and also an Expo Unity World cup being held in India in December. It was very encouraging to hear all that they were already doing and planning to do. It is my goal that I will have something valuable to share with this group from my trip to the UK to meet with the leader who organised the London Olympics for YWAM.
The meeting went over lunch and continued into the afternoon. There was a lot of interaction over the meal, as well as in the more formal times of sharing. In the dining room I was surprised to meet an old friend from TBC who is now on staff at Hongo Dai Church. I am looking forward to meeting him and others again at our next meeting after I return from Europe.