Expanding Space for an Expanding Ministry

With one church for every 26,000 people in Nagoya and about 0.3% of the total population being Christian, Japan is one of the largest unchurched, unreached people in the world. We have seen that the most effective way of spreading the gospel in Japan is by starting new churches. We have been working with the Japanese Presbyterian church in Japan to plant a Presbyterian church in city center Nagoya for the past two years. One of the biggest hindrances to that work has been not being able to find adequate space for outreach, events and worship. Many of you have been with us in this journey as you have been praying for God to provide suitable space for our ministry. We never dreamed God would provide space that fits both our living needs as a family and also the needs for our ministry. However, after multiple visits with our church’s pastor and his wife, our church’s elders, our team leader and his wife, and our contractor, we all agreed that we have found the perfect space. We are currently negotiating the price and hope to have a contract on the building in the coming weeks.  We would like to ask you to prayerfully consider how God is leading you to be a part of this project. Whether it’s support through your prayers or a one-time financial gift, we would love for you all to be a part of the next step in the growth of our ministry. Below we wrote some common questions and hope for this to be the beginning of a dialog.  Please contact us with any questions or comments you have and thank you for your commitment in helping to expand the church in Japan!


Michael Carter


How much capital do you need to raise for the building?

We are looking to raise $500,000 to purchase the land/building and then an additional $250,000 for a full renovation of the building.  We will do this in a combination of Japanese donations and bonds as well as donations from America.  Praise God that so far we have over $100,000 in donations!!!


A potential breakdown if we had 82 American partners to reach $250,000!

(Praise God we already have about $100,000 pledged!!!)

50 partners to give $1,000

26 partners to give $2,500

5 partners to give $5,000

1 partner to give $10,000


Why this Building?

Besides being large enough to accommodate both ministry space and living space, this building is in an excellent area as well. It’s on a major thoroughfare which makes it easily visible. It’s easily accessible by car, train and bus. It’s in a great neighborhood that many new families are moving into and it’s close to a college campus making it a great space to host college ministry events. Thus far we have been using different spaces throughout the city for our outreaches and having a centralized location will be a crucial step in expanding our ministry and establishing an identity in our area.


What are bonds and why use them? How can you pay them back?

Acquiring a loan in Japan for religious corporations is very difficult.  Therefore we have often used low interest (1.5%) bonds to raise capital for the purchase of buildings.  The money is typically raised from individuals in our denomination after a letter is sent out to each individual church. The money is then paid back through the rental income of the building.  Once the building is paid off in full, the rental income is then put back into church planting in Japan.  MTW has done this multiple times in Japan to raise capital for new churches.


When does all the money need to be gathered?

We are not exactly sure because we don’t have a contract yet, but we hope to have the $500,000 raised in the next two months.


Does the building need a full remodel? Who will do this? How long does this take?

Yes, the building is fairly old and will need a complete remodel.  We will hire a member of our church who actually completed a very similar remodel of Shiga Church about four years ago.  The quality of his work is excellent and he is able to complete the remodel in about three months.


What does it look like to live and have ministry space in the same building?

We will initially use the first floor for gathering space, outreaches such as English, cooking classes, choral ministry, etc. The first floor is big enough to provide worship for up to fifty people as well as office space.  The second and third floor will be turned into a missionary residence.


What happens when you outgrow the space for worship?

Our vision has always been to rent a large hall for worship on Sundays.  To buy a space in downtown Nagoya for 100+ to gather would be well over $1,000,000. However, there are many affordable places available to rent by the day or the hour. Therefore, since space for a large group gathering is necessary only once a week, we feel it is best to rent space for worship and use this building for events, office space and Bible Studies.


Will this always be a missionary residence? 

Prayerfully, as the church grows they will eventually grow into the second and third floor and take over the entire building.


How do we give towards this project?

Currently we are asking those interested to email your pledge amount to carters[at]cartersan.com.

How can we pray?

  • Pray for contract/price negotiations.
  • Pray the seller will give us time to raise the capital for this project.
  • Pray for global generosity. We know God will provide the resources and are excited to see how he provides.
  • Pray for our family as this means a transition and especially for Tobin as he will have to change schools.
  • Pray for God’s will to be done.
  • Pray ultimately this process will glorify God, this location will be used to share the love of Christ to this unreached people group and many would come to know Jesus Christ because of this location and new Church.

Thanks in advance for expanding God’s Kingdom in Japan!

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