Attractional event + Missional model? | Jonny Magic Japan Mission Trip Update

Disclaimer: I am not a writer (if you read this post, you’ll discover that for yourself in the first paragraph).  I am a pastor-missionary-trainer-discipler-maker who is passionate for God’s glory will not let my lack of writing skills keep me from communicating what I see God doing around me. GospelLive-Magic
Last month my good friend, Jon Mobley (aka Jonny Magic) visited us here in Sapporo city on the island of Hokkaido for a week-long mission trip. It was exciting to see God use my multi-talented friend in many ways including: website consulting, training & production of promotional videos, street illusion ministry, large group illusion outreach events & encouragement of believers (yours truly included).  Our primary goal for his time here was to take another step towards our vision: reach the 5.5 million unreached of Hokkaido, Japan with the gospel of Jesus Christ through disciple-making & church multiplication.  So how did the multi-dimensional Jonny Magic with his eye-popping and soul-stirring illusions help us take steps towards reaching our vision (he doesn’t speak a lick of Japanese).  Simple.  God used Jon’s gifts (and his American-ness) to draw people in and help us reach hundreds of Japanese with the gospel that we would not normally be able reach.  These is not only new people, these are new families, new groups of friends, new schools, new communities (think multiplication here).  But wait…can we use attractional events and be missional?  Yes (very carefully).  Won’t that take up so much time and energy and money and keep people from missional ministry?  No (not if you are careful, intentional & keep it to a supplemental level).  While attractional events as a primary strategy are not effective in producing multiplication of disciples & churches, they can be used (with careful planning, intentionality and intense follow-up) as a supplemental tool in a missional approach.
To help you understand what I mean, check out the flow of our strategy to better understand what I’m saying.
Strategy for reaching 5.5 million unreached of Hokkaido, Japan:
1. sow gospel seeds & identify people who want to…
2. begin discovery Bible studies that lead to…
3. new disciples who reach their friends/family who….
4. form new churches that…
5. make disciples & plant churches that…
6. make disciples & plant churches…
For a disciple-multiplying movement to begin, it is imperative that disciples of Jesus prayerfully sow seeds of the gospel (Romans 10) among the unreached. Many believe (myself included) this is best accomplished through prayerful personal evangelism. This method is easier to multiply & better equips disciples. That said, the occasional attractional event can serve to share the gospel with a large number of people in the community we would not otherwise reach.  Like a turbo boost or shot of adrenaline, Jon helped us with step number one. Sadly, many churches & ministries put all their eggs in the basket of outreach events and have no plan for the type of follow-up and discipleship that leads to multiplication (or any type of follow-up and discipleship, for that matter).  If you choose to use an attractional event, make sure you & your disciples are prepared to handle the follow up which includes evangelistic Bible study & discipleship.
We at Grace Church Sapporo are very thankful to the Lord for bringing Jonny Magic to Hokkaido last month.  Some examples of “visible fruit” of his time here include:
thousands received gospel literature
150+ heard a clear gospel presentation
9 want to begin discovery Bible study
5 believed in Jesus
Thank you to the many who prayed for Jon’s mission trip.  Please pray the Lord would continue to bless his ministry.  Pray also for the many Japanese we in Hokkaido have the joy of following up with and pursuing for discovery Bible study and discipleship!So, yes, you can use an attractional event as a supplement in your missional approach to disciple-making.  Just make sure it is a supplement, not the primary strategy.
CLICK HERE to view the video highlights of Jonny Magic’s fruitful week of ministry in Japan.

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