Next summer, the world will fix their eyes on Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Millions from across the globe will flock to the world’s largest city to cheer on their country’s best athletes, and IMB missionaries from across East Asia will be among them, planting gospel seeds and reaching people for Christ during this ultimate competition. The Connect 2020 Campaign is the official IMB ministry of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, helping Japanese churches, IMB missionaries, and American volunteers share the love of Christ with the millions of lost souls in Tokyo during the games. Your partnership with Connect 2020 will reach the nations of the world as they converge in Tokyo. Your gift will underwrite the costs of gospel resources to share with non-believers, supply event and festival spaces for evangelistic events, and help Japanese churches host viewing parties for Olympic events all of which will foster gospel-sharing opportunities. Partner today with The Connect 2020 Campaign to spread the gospel to Japanese communities and people of all nations who come to experience the Olympic games!
The Connect 2020 Campaign is comprised of four ministry components, each designed to connect Christians with the lost and provide witnessing opportunities. The three goals of The Connect 2020 Campaign are to (1) Connect Japanese to Jesus, (2) Connect Japanese believers with other believers, and (3) Connect the church in Japan to the world to make disciples for Christ’s kingdom.
Evangelistic resources play a vital role in our outreach efforts. During all outreach events, missionaries, local Christians, and American volunteers will distribute Bibles, Bible portions, and tracts in Japanese and English. The Olympic tradition of pin trading is another avenue for gospel resource distribution. Volunteers will be stationed in major thoroughfares, engaging all passersby in pin trading. The pins’ designs facilitate gospel conversations by depicting the Bible’s overarching story. Your gift will help supply all gospel resources used to spread the gospel throughout Tokyo during the 2020 Olympic games.
The ECHO Project will offer Christ-centered entertainment, including musicians, spoken word, and other captivating cultural performances as an avenue to share gospel truth. A free cup of coffee or tea at the coffee house and booths for Olympic pin trading and other activities will draw the community into The ECHO Project venue. Through hospitality and conversation, Japanese and American Christians engage guests one-on-one with the good news of Christ.
Community festivals enable local churches to ‘declare and share’ the gospel of Jesus Christ. By offering free, family friendly entertainment and activities, nonbelieving kids and parents interact with believers who are demonstrating their faith in the love of God in a low-pressure environment. Each festival is like a block party, creating community through celebration. Group activities are featured in the center of a U-shaped space with inflatables and booths along the perimeter that offer face painting, cookie decorating, carnival games, bubbles, refreshments, and sports challenges. Festivals build legitimate contact with the local church’s community and enable local Japanese to experience authentic Christian joy. They are a bridge to connect non-believers to Christian communities, ultimately transforming lives through Christ and making disciples. Your gift will help sponsor festivals through Connect 2020, opening doors for missionaries and local believers to communicate the gospel of Christ in word and deed.
Viewing Parties provide a significant platform for local churches to engage and serve their community by throwing a party to watch the Olympics together live on a big screen! In the months leading up to the Olympics, church members will connect with their neighbors through community festivals and other events and invite them to the viewing parties. Athletes and Japanese Christians will share their testimonies at the parties, and the Christian hosts will initiate one-on-one gospel conversations. Your gift will help local partner churches host the viewing parties, providing audio/visual equipment, pay for broadcasting licensing rights, and purchasing other party supplies.
Through these components of The Connect 2020 Campaign, IMB missionaries will champion evangelism, prayer, and discipleship in cooperation with the church in Japan. The goal is to see more than four hundred Japanese believers trained in evangelism, prayer, and discipleship to reach their fellow countrymen and the world with the Good News of Jesus. Volunteer opportunities will be listed on the Conect2020 website at www.Connect2020.net when it launches in late summer 2019.
Japan is less than .5 percent evangelical Christian, making the Japanese the second largest unreached people group in the world. Bullying and suicide are societal epidemics, evidence of hopelessness that can only find satisfaction in Jesus Christ. Japan is an aging country with a declining birth rate, but even so, people around the world are fascinated with the country and its people. More than thirty million international tourists flocked to Japan in 2018. Forty million are expected in 2020! As the largest metropolitan area in the world with thirty-eight million people, Tokyo’s potential for being impacted with the gospel is exciting. Imagine how this global city, when reached, will influence the rest of the world with the gospel.
The 2020 Olympics will be a watershed opportunity for the church in Japan to rise up and work together in unprecedented ways, sharing the gospel with their communities, the nation of Japan, and the world. Southern Baptists have regularly played a significant role in the spread of the gospel and the strengthening of the local church through the gathering of people at the Olympics. Partner today with your IMB missionaries and Japanese churches and to reach the nations through the Connect 2020 Campaign!
From the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the vast plains of Mongolia, East Asia is rich with 5,000 years of history and a bold vision for the future. This region, comprised of China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Taiwan, represents one-fourth of the world’s population and houses four of the world’s most populous cities.
Though East Asia has contributed some of the world’s most revolutionary ideas and valuable technology, the name of Christ remains unknown to hundreds of millions among its 213 unreached and unengaged people groups. Buddhism, ancestor worship, animism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Islam blind the people to Christ's truth. Only a tiny percentage among these East Asian people groups are Christian.
Pray that great breakthroughs will occur so that many of these yet-unreached people will call on the name of the Lord and be saved.