Get help Sharing the gospel Sharing the gospel with my Japanese friend It can be challenging to explain the gospel to someone from a completely different culture, who also has a different mother tongue! Here are some ideas, thoughts and beliefs which your Japanese friend may hold, as well as a few approaches to consider as you share the gospel. What do Japanese people think or believe? Generalisations about how any national group understands the world are difficult, however please take a look at our pages on What do Japanese people believe? and Understanding Japanese thinking - equipped with this information you will hopefully be ready to consider how to share the gospel with your Japanese friend. So how should I share the gospel with my Japanese friend? Many Japanese may feel quite positive about Christianity. The problem is, not that they are unwilling to accept it, but that they will not accept it exclusively. Jesus’ statement in John’s gospel about no one coming to the Father except through him will cause a problem for many Japanese. Based on some of the thoughts and beliefs outlined above, you can begin to see some of the difficulties which might arise as you share the gospel with your friend. Here are a few suggestions to bear in mind. Build friendships: Consider how best to build your relationship with your friend. Recall that Japan operates as a relationship / group based society – not an individualistic one. Relationships take time and commitment. If a Japanese person sees you as someone who can be trusted, they are more likely to open up to you. This can require a certain degree of commitment. Consider your friend's needs: Japanese people away from home will often have lots of questions about practical things and they may run into practical difficulties. They would really appreciate our willingness to be the kind of friend that is alert to their needs and offers help. Offering practical help is a powerful way of showing love to your friend. Run outings / events: Another highly effective way to engage is to offer outings and events of interest. Food can be a big attraction! This is one way we can stand out as Christians from those around us. If you live in a country which may not welcome overseas visitors then you have a great opportunity to demonstrate the difference Christ makes in your life. Your friend will see Christian love in action. Ask questions: When you are friends you can ask questions that will prompt thought – "Why did you come to this country, university, meeting, etc."; "What are some of the goals for your study/work/life?"; "What do you think is the purpose of life?"; "What does life, God, love, etc. mean to you?"; "What is the most important thing in your life … and why?". Help your friend get used to thinking and talking about these kinds of things … and be prepared to be asked the same questions back and give an answer which shares your love for Jesus! Run Bible studies: Offer your friend the opportunity to come to a Bible study. Let God’s word speak for itself! You might want to have on hand some resources in Japanese as well, or perhaps use a bilingual Bible study which you can obtain from our online bookstore. Don’t forget an invitation to a Bible study will almost certainly not be considered scary or intrusive by your friend, especially if you have taken some time to build a good relationship.