Thursday, September 16, 2010

For YWAM Outreach Teams

We, as YWAM Japan staff, want to help you prepare for your arrival in Japan. This page clarifies and explains the typical process of partnering with YWAM Japan staff in the greater Tokyo area. Our goal is to prepare your YWAM Outreach team, so that your experience and ours (as long-term YWAM Japan missionaries) might be enhanced.
Discernment Process
After you and your team have prayed and discerned that God has called you to come to Japan to serve on outreach, which specific locations (cities, regions) has God revealed to you? Please refer to the YWAM Japan web site for information on the various YWAM team locations in Japan ( Will your team serve the entire outreach in one location or more than one location?

What kinds of ministries has God put on your hearts? What spiritual gifts, talents, and skills do your teammates have? Do the existing YWAM Japan team locations have ministry opportunities you desire to provide? When you contact YWAM Japan staff, please inquire about ministry opportunities available in the area. YWAM Japan staff may also contact local churches and other ministries for your outreach experience. Please do not make direct contact with local churches or local ministries; please work through your YWAM Japan staff that have long-term commitments to serve in Japan and to develop enduring relations with local ministries and churches.

At this time in the greater Tokyo area, there is no YWAM “base.” YWAM Japan missionaries typically live in their own rented housing in different locations throughout the greater Tokyo area. Therefore, there is no single “base” for housing large teams. If teams are willing to split up into smaller groups, it is usually easier to accommodate you within the Tokyo area. Please consult with the YWAM Japan staff at the locations your team intends to serve.

In the greater Tokyo area, here are the YWAM teams and a brief explanation of the ministries available:
·      YWAM Japan National Office (Tokyo): Prayer and intercession for Japan, homeless ministry, and prayer-walks with outreach teams. Email:
·      YWAM Tokyo: Evangelism, worship, and Discipleship Training School. Email:
·      NorthEast Tokyo (Ayase): Sports ministries, working with local churches, and an affiliated coffee house. Email:
·      Narita (Chiba-ken): Church-planting and a Christian international preschool. Email:

Three Keywords
In order to make your outreach fruitful, we advise you with three keywords: Good Preparation, Servant’s Heart, and Thorough Communication.

Good Preparation
  •  Learn about Japan and prepare by praying frequently for your outreach and interceding for Japan. 
  • In general, Japanese do not understand English. A translator may not always be available in every church. In order to tell the good news, something beyond language needs to be prepared in advance of your team’s arrival in Japan (such as pantomime, dance, music, drama, etc.). If you learn some Japanese greetings before coming to Japan, it also helps to make the Japanese people’s hearts more open to you.
  • Please bring one set of clothing appropriate to wear in church at a Sunday worship service. These outfits do not have to be fancy. However, in Japan for special occasions, clothes are still one of the expressions of respect to others rather than just self-expression. Please consider how your team will look when you are standing on the platform in front of the congregation. How you present yourselves also reflects on other YWAM outreach teams and on YWAM Japan’s ongoing relationship with the local churches. At church services, please avoid wearing clothing that exposes a lot of skin, such as short pants, clothing with holes, sleeveless dresses, tank tops, spaghetti-strap tops, short skirts, beach sandals, low-slung pants, low-cut tops, etc. When in doubt, please “dress up” (rather than “dress down”).
  • Please bring clothes appropriate for the season. In the winter, colds and flu usually go around. Often team members become sick. In summer, it is very humid and hot. In spring and autumn, the weather is unstable. Recommended: Bring vitamins, cold medicines which you find effective, etc. (Typically, medicines and vitamins are expensive in Japan, and you may not be able to read the labels with instructions in Japanese.
  • Please practice using chopsticks before your arrival in Japan.

Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for Him (Matthew 3:3).

Servant's Heart

·      In Tokyo, there are no YWAM “bases” (only family or individual homes or apartments). In most cases, we will try to arrange for your team to stay at local churches where you can also serve. Local churches are typically not big or rich. Most likely, you will have to sleep on the floor. Please do not expect that every church has futons or beds. SLEEPING BAGS are NECESSARY for every member of the outreach team to bring.
·      Church people will welcome you and try their best to host you. However, they expect you to minister to them. Please serve them with a servant's heart.
·      Please plan to bring a gift for the host of each place where your team plans to stay. (Suggestions: Pray and ask God what to bring. Ideas: Gift cards with a photo of your team, small packages of specialty coffee, packaged sweets or treats, something representative of your home country.)
·      Please be sure that all members (not only outreach leaders) receive the pastor’s orientation at the beginning of your stay.
·      Please follow the pastor’s guidance during your time at the church. Cleaning, washing dishes, tidying your belongings, properly handling garbage (sorting, recycling), etc., can minister to Japanese hearts mightily. This demonstrates thoughtful stewardship of the church building and builds a foundation of trust. This is also a way of honoring your host.
·      Please be aware that your hosts will bear additional costs while your team is staying with them (increased use of utilities, household supplies, etc.). Please do your best to conserve energy and resources.

and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:27-29)

Thorough Communication
One of the enemy’s strategies to disturb your team’s unity is miscommunication. Prayerfully guard over all communication, particularly:
·      Communication between the outreach leader and the contact person in YWAM Japan
·      Communication between the outreach leader and the local pastor
·      Communication between the outreach leader and the members of the team
To minimize miscommunication, communicate thoroughly even on seemingly small matters. Please confirm and reconfirm every communication in order to keep unity in the body of Christ. When you hit a communication snag, be sure to intercede until you feel the breakthrough.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

(Updated September 16, 2009)