Building Key Alliances
In 2001, before I arrived in Japan I made contact with Talo Sataraka,
Senior Pastor of New Hope Tokyo for advice. What an important moment
that was. We chatted about Tokyo, church, life, family… and I made a
new friend that day.
When our team of 16 arrived in Tokyo we placed ourselves in Talo’s
church for 3 months. I had shared with Talo about our vision. He was
so encouraging at all times.
We worshipped with New Hope. We tithed to New Hope. And we learnt
lessons about church life in Tokyo , bi-lingual church, and 100’s of
things from them.
When we started our own church 3 months later, Talo and his team
prayed for us and ‘sent us out ‘to plant Jesus Lifehouse.
Those lessons we learnt from them were as valuable as gold. New Hope
was the breakthough church and learning from them saved us years of
wasted time learning the same lessons.
Thanks to Pastor Talo and Nori …. You are amazing!!!
Years later I asked Talo if other churches had come and asked to learn
from them in the same way we did. He answered ‘no Rod, you were the
only one who pursued us for advice in such a passionate way’.
Wow – why not others? It didn’t cost anything. It was available. Why
didn’t others check out successful churches like New Hope Tokyo?
And now we have been here 10 years, and seen moderate church growth,
there have been only a few churches that have come and observed what
we are doing right.
One of Those is His Call Church pastored by Masato and Yumi Hosoe.
They ask so many questions. They have become friends with our staff.
They are now a growing and thriving church in Nagoya. They are one of
Japan’s key new churches. We rejoice in their growth.
We have built another key alliance.
… Years later, Talo and I are still close friends. We talk frequently
and enjoy donuts together when we can get time! We pray for each other
and believe the best and speak the best for each other. We help each
other find church venues in Tokyo and support each other publicly.
Talo and Masato are key alliances. And key alliances with the right
people lead us into a bright future together. My advice after 10 years
in Japan is ‘build key alliances’.
(Pr 15:22 MSG) ‘Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take
good counsel and watch them succeed’