With the eyes of the world on Tokyo Paralympics, the gospel sport movement in Japan is turning to YouTube to get local families up and moving and talking about eternity. The program, called FamilyFit Japan, will release a new episode every fortnight.
The local team has transformed the successful global family.fit strategy into a fun pre-evangelistic tool that churches and Christians in Japan can share personally.
The mentor of the team, Australian, Marty Woods, went to Japan three years ago to start planning for gospel outreach around the Tokyo Olympics. Nobody could have foreseen how things would change.
“We’d been working towards a series of festivals to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he said. “However, COVID-19 has completely overshadowed everything here. This is an economically challenging time for Japan, and many are concerned about infection rates, which are now averaging 20,000 per day across the country.
“Christians in Japan make up less than 1 per cent of the population. Without mass events like festivals, churches were not sure what to do,” Marty said. “The YouTube program is a strategy that big and small churches can use to reach neighbours and build relationships. It has started in a small way but is changing.”
The global family.fit initiative was born at the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, and has found an international audience of families sharing fitness, faith and fun. Sessions are available in 24 languages, across 5 seasons, at family.fit.
A Children’s worker on using the lauch video in their kids’ service commented, “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Not only can kids exercise through games but they also learn something related to the Bible from the game. Thank you so much for making it happen”.
A Church Pastor was equally excited: “Many Japanese people know nothing about the Bible. To see it presented in such a fun and disarming way makes families feel positive towards the Word of God. They want to pursue it more. I believe God will really use this creative approach of people seeing God’s Word.”