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Apologetics Meetings in Nakano a Success
December 28, 2017

After months of evangelistic preparation, the meetings on apologetic subjects planned for Japan took place. From September 16 to 20, 2017, Dr. Ron Clouzet, ministerial association director of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), and his translator presented relevant topics for the general public. The series Why God? included subjects on the concept of God, suffering, hell, the Bible, and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as a religious leader. It was designed to attract a secular public and give them a biblical worldview option to consider. An average of 250 people attended each night, including about 100 non- or nominal members. Such high non-Adventist attendance hadn’t happened in a long time.

Volunteer church members helped in a number of ways. Not only were there greeters and ushers and those in charge of providing food for helpers, but on a long resource table there were a variety of relevant books and DVDs available for purchase supporting the learning process. Sales were higher than expected. In addition, there were row hosts for every three rows and sets of tables, assisting attendees with registration, feedback cards, and announcements. A key objective for the row hosts was to get acquainted with the people in their section for future evangelistic visitation. These meetings functioned also as a dress rehearsal for the main evangelistic meetings coming up in early October.

The attendance grew each night, with about 90% registering and providing nightly feedback. That also was considerably higher than expected in a society that tends to be hesitant about giving personal information. The presentation content was of a professional quality, appealing to the mind, and using numerous references to philosophy, history, literature, and culture—aside from Scripture—in order to be more relevant to non-religious and non-Christian ears. Those who attended at least 60% of the lectures received a new Japanese translation of Dr. Clouzet’s book on the subject. The Japan Union Conference media team filmed the series and will produce a set of the presentations for interested persons. The nightly meetings were also broadcast live online to a number of churches involved in the field school of evangelism in Japan.

The feedback by the attendees was extremely positive, with many remarking on the value of the things they were able to learn as biblical truth as compared to other worldviews. The great majority of those attending made the decision to attend the main evangelistic meetings in Amanuma, scheduled from October 6 to 28.