On Sunday we walked to Lifehouse Church. It was a breath of fresh air to be greeted in English and asked if we were new as soon as we walked through the door. We were quickly taken to the kids area and got the kids all checked in. I know Z & A were very happy to be around English speaking kids as well.
When we were searching possible neighborhoods to live in there were a couple considerations we made: Distance to church, Crossfit, and kids school. We knew we would be relying on public transportation for many things but proximity to these things were most important to us. Christianity is not a major religion in Japan. I believe something like only 2% of the Japanese practice Christianity. I had researched churches online and was interested in Lifehouse. On one of Caleb’s trips to Japan for business he visited Lifehouse church. He attended a late afternoon service, which was more of a young adult service. This week we attended 11 am church (their first service of the day) and it has kids programming.
After getting the kids checked in we took an escalator down to the auditorium. Worship had already started some people were jumping around, the music was pumping, lights flashing, and a fog machine was going. It was much like a night club! The songs were sung one verse at a time, in Japanese then in English, the sermon was delivered in the same way. It was pretty easy once you got the hang of it. Although I knew none of the songs.
The sermon was given by the senior pastor and really hit home for me. He talked about how God was like a river. His grace, and love for us never runs out. Being 6,000 miles from home it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated. In this moment I was reminded that God is the same at the beginning of the river as he is here now with me. That He will not grow tired and stop loving me. Immediately after the service we were met again by Toni, a very friendly and welcoming woman that has been with the church from the beginning.
We were led upstairs to get some more coffee and met more friendly people! The story of this church is amazing, we found out that they are currently doing a building campaign to raise money to purchase a long term home for their church. Wow, does that sound familiar. They currently rent the space for Sundays only and pay $10,000 per week! WOW! They also have to set up and tear down everything every week! We know what that is like, on a much smaller scale. When we moved to Minnesota we were part of a small church plant in Minneapolis. We stored amps, and music equipment, and kids stuff in our living room and helped haul it to the community center for church on Sundays.
We were very blessed by our experience at the church, we left refreshed and will be back again another week!
To read more about Lifehouse Church visit their site here