Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Children's Ministry Around the World - Japan!

We've been looking at Children's Ministry around the world . . . today on our final stop we will look at Children's Ministry in Japan! 

I asked Kayo Kunimatsu some questions about Children's Ministry in Japan and she told me "Japan is not a Christian country. While Japan has freedom of religion, most of the people are Buddhist. Less than one percent of the population of Japan is Christian." Kayo said since Christianity is not popular, even though she attends the largest church in her city, they do not have many children attending and sometimes have more volunteers than children in their ministry.

Kayo told me their curriculum tends to follow the Christian and Japanese calendar. She said, "In January we celebrate a New Year's Day on the 2nd or 3rd Sunday by pounding Mochi, rice cake - it is a rice cake making festival! In March or April we celebrate Easter and make many Easter eggs. In addition, our new school year begins in April so we have a welcoming party as well. During Lent we pray by turns. In May children attend the worship service for adults. Kodomo-no-hi is Children's Day and is celebrated on May 5th. Kodomo-no-hi was established by the National Holidays Law, which was enforced in 1948. Kodomo-no-hi is one of the holidays which make up Golden Week. Children's Day is celebrated in hopes of healthy growth, happiness, and prosperity of both boys and girls.

In May or June we talk about Pentecost and in July we prepare for summer camp which we have in August for three days and two nights. In September we write letters to friends who do not come to church and in October we have a charity bazaar. We begin preparing the children's drama for Christmas in November and then celebrate Christmas with the adults in December.  

Thank you Kayo for giving us a glimpse of Children's Ministry in Japan! As we all continue to pray for the people of Japan, Kayo's words can help us know how to better pray for them. Pray . . . 
  • through the tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami the Japanese people will come to know Jesus as the church steps forward to provide help and hope.
  • pray more children will be reached and an entire generation of people may come to know and love God
  • pray adults will be curious and turn to Christians with questions. pray the believers will know how to point their friends, neighbors and family to Jesus.

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