I was so inspired a few weeks ago visiting my colleague Pastor Hideo Ohashi. He has served faithfully with Asian Access over several decades and his church is a remarkable testament to God’s faithfulness to Japan.
You’ll see him pictured here with his son and grandson: three generations of pastors! What a powerful image of God’s work from one generation to the next.
Silk has been asking everyone what are some of the blessings and challenges from 2020 and COVID-19. It’s been fascinating to hear responses. I have been encouraged as you’ll see in some of my recent and upcoming posts: new life in Christ, new churches planted and silver linings. God is birthing many new things amid the challenges of COVID-19.
Pastor Ohashi's son, the current senior pastor of the church, shared something I found especially innovative. He said that in our current situation, the challenge is that we cannot gather like we used to. So, he proposed having the church operate like the “Takkyubin” service (pronounced /ta kyu bean/ or "Ta-Q-Bin"). Takkyubin means "shipping/fast delivery at home". It is the renowned delivery system here in Japan developed by Yamato Transport where you can mail anything, anywhere in a rapid and reliable fashion.
As we prepared to leave Japan, we used this tremendously convenient shipping system to deliver four huge suitcases to Narita Airport for our flight We sent it one day prior to our flight. It made it much easier for us to travel to the airport with our two small carry-on bags. We picked the other four large suitcases up at the airport and then simply rolled them onto the escalator to check in to our flight. It was so easy!
Pastor Ohashi’s idea to make church deliverable like the “Takkyubin” is brilliant. And, I believe it’ll be a model for the church worldwide in the coming decades. In fact, I’m so enamored with these forms of church: digi-, micro-, and now takkyubin that I’ll be personally using them as we transition back to the US. I believe future generations will prefer these forms of gathering since their expression involves a deeper sense of community.
Praise God for all these new expressions. And, let’s pray that the “Takkyubin Church” becomes a key force for God in Japan in the coming years!
Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.
President, Asian Access
Click the button/link to hear how to pronounce takkyubin (Ta-Q-Bin):