Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holy Fire Burning for Revival in Japan: An Interview with Missionary Stephen Barrett

Keys to Igniting a Move of God in Japan

Today I was blessed to have an engaging discussion with my brother Steve, an American missionary laboring in Fukuoka, Japan for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit across that nation. Steve's passionate heart burns with holy fire to see revival blaze across the Japanese islands.

As Steve shared, the reality on the ground is that evangelical Christianity only comprises about 1% of the population in Japan currently. The church there lacks the diversity of expressions and movements that we see in America. The Christians that do exist tend to be fairly traditional and denominational in nature. 

However, Steve believes this sad state is an incredible opportunity for the Holy Spirit to birth fresh, New Testament expressions of the church contextualized to the various subcultures and people groups across Japan. This is the vision behind his involvement with Dynamic Church Planting International - to equip and deploy Japanese believers to start organic, indigenous churches rooted in their communities.

Steve emphasized the primacy of simply lifting up Jesus and giving the Holy Spirit room to draw people to the Son. Rather than relying on intellectual arguments or charismatic personalities which can't save, we must clear the way for authentic supernatural encounters with the living Christ. Steve recounted testimonies of how God has given him prophetic words and words of knowledge that have stopped people in their tracks, undeniably confirming the reality of the Gospel.

Powerful corporate worship was another key he lifted up as vital for the move of God in Japan. Steve recounted how in the Book of Acts, teaching from the apostles would lead to spontaneous outbursts of praise and worship among the people. He desires to cultivate the same environment of intimacy and exaltation of Jesus that positions believers to experience fresh revelations and divine encounters.

My friend requested focused prayer covering for two specific needs: First, for supernatural provision to complete the translation of DCPI's church planting materials into Japanese. This is a crucial key to equipped the Japanese leaders they are training.  Secondly, for God to go before them in preparing the way for regional training events in Tokyo and other key cities starting as soon as next year. Steve has a profound hunger for believers in Japan to be unified together under this vision of seeing the nation transformed by the Gospel through multiplication of healthy, vibrant churches.

I was incredibly stirred by my time with Steve and the real move of the Spirit of God occurring through his ministry. While only 1% in Japan are Christian now, I can sense a mighty spiritual shift on the horizon as this first-fruits company of Japanese believers unite to exalt Jesus and passionately pursue an outpouring of Holy Ghost revival across their nation. Please join me in fervent prayer for Holy Fire Japan and Dynamic Church Planting International as they blaze a trail for the advancing Kingdom of God in Japan!

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