Is Home Church the New Norm in Japan?

Asian Access senior leaders meet on Zoom in March 2020. (Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

In January 2020, a group of believers in Japan lost their church building. Little did they know, God would use their “temporary solution” as a growth point when the pandemic turned the world upside-down.

“Before other churches in Japan needed to go to an online format, we were forced into that kind of a style. A lot of creative ideas came out of it,” Jeffery Sonnenberg of Asian Access says.

“There are some interesting new ministries we wouldn’t have dreamed of starting without being forced into an online format.”

Planted more than 20 years ago, Saikyo Hope Chapel brought believers together for discipleship and fellowship on the north side of Tokyo. “Weeks before the beginning of the pandemic, we lost our (physical) space and started meeting in rented facilities,” Sonnenberg says.

“Then suddenly, the pandemic happened, and we couldn’t access community centers. We had to switch to an online format very quickly, and that [transformed] our thinking about what ‘church’ looks like.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth


  • Praise God for innovative ideas, and for the growth Saikyo Hope Chapel experienced through a difficult season.
  • Pray for Saikyo Hope Chapel leaders as they decide how to proceed in the new year.

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