Hello, Megumix here!
First, I pray that life gets back to normal as soon as possible, after the floods and landslides in West Japan and the Hokkaido earthquake.
Well today I’ll share with you an interview with Miss Hiromi Kakehashi who serves as small group coordinator at Tokyo Baptist Church (TBC), and as small group coordinator for JCFN in her role as Associate Staff!
For those of you who know Hiromi-chan, you can hear her voice in this interview, let’s go!
When you say SG, what is it?
In the course of a week, on a weekday, studying the Bible together, and praying for each other!
I see. Why are small groups so important in Returnees ministry?
A SG is a place where you can share your thoughts and feelings which are unique heart to you as a returnee, things you can’t talk about at church, and have someone understand your struggles. It’s really important as there may be no one of the same age at the church you attend.And since the SG gathers people from various churches, you can share information about the church and learn about atmosphere of the church, so that returnees who haven’t yet found a church can find one.Also, it’s true that there are many cases that returnees have “returned to church through fellowship” which is a unique characteristic of returnees.
For example; “I was had dinner with a family and they invited me to church”, “When I was at college overseas, a friend invited me to Bible study and eventually to to church”. By these various things, many have been able to experience church overseas an enjoy valuable fellowship.
SG is more than study!!
Oh! That’s what I thought too! Starting with good food and fellowship, getting acquainted with Christians and then visiting a church. So it’s not just a place for study, but an important place to meet and connect with people. “SG is more than study!” is what it should be called for sure!
Hiromi-chan, why are you the small group coordinator?
Perhaps the main reason is because I have passion to care for people. TBC is a big church and it’s really hard to follow-up everyone, but with small groups we can care for each person. When I thought about how to care for people, I think it’s through being the small group coordinator. Because there are returnees all over Japan it is hard for JCFN to follow-up on them all. But now through various small groups it is like having a mini JCFN office in many places.
It’s really encouraging that people are your passion and that may small groups have started. Having trusted leaders in various areas is important for the JCFN ministry to move forward.
Finally, what are your hopes and expectations for small groups? What is your vision?
I hope that each small group would grow and develop and multiply, and that new small groups would start all over Japan so that where ever returnees go, there is a a JCFN small group! I want to welcome returnees in every place.
Thanks! I think sometimes returnees are anxious when they come home, and if they can meet and share, find church information, I have heard first hand about them finding a church to go to. In this way it highlights the importance of small groups!
Here is information about small groups. Please find a nearby group and join. Please if you live in an area without a small group, we want you to start one.
Small Group Information
For small groups in the Kanto/Tokyo area click here.
Small Group Host Meeting
Once every three months we meet at the JCFN office, share snacks and information. If you want to lead a small group join our meeting.