Launch Team

You have responded to God’s call to the nations. You believe God is leading you to the Japanese. Do you know yet what God has in store for you? Are you now the missionary you wish to be? These two verses capture what Japan Launch is for: to prepare spiritually and practically for the work that God has called you to among the Japanese.

New missionaries to Japan are coming from different places, backgrounds, experiences, skill sets, and gifts. Wherever you are coming from, you will face many challenges in your first term on the field. By joining Japan Launch, you will have two years to focus on developing the character, knowledge and skills necessary for church planting in Japan in a supportive team environment. This is not meant to slow down the process with an intermediate step, but is designed to help you not just survive but thrive for the long term.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

2 Timothy 2:15

What is it?

Launch is a two-year intensive program that prepares Pioneers missionaries for long-term church planting by focusing on language and cultural training, community, and tools for spiritual development. During this time of preparation, missionaries will prayerfully discern next steps in joining or starting a church planting team after Launch.

Where is it?

Fukuoka, Japan

When does it start?

Launch cohorts begin in October. There is a limit on the number of workers that can be accepted.

What are the prerequisites?

All potential candidates are required to:

  • Receive missionary appointment from Pioneers
  • Complete all requirements from sending base
  • Complete a survey trip to Japan
  • Receive a letter of invitation to Japan Launch
  • Complete required Bible training before departure
  • Complete SLA (second language acquisition) online course prior to departure
  • Raise funds for the two-year Launch program
    • Housing Expenses
    • Living Expenses 
    • Language School 
    • Japan Launch admin fee

What should Japan Launch participants expect?

Japan Launch has been intentionally organized to prepare new missionaries for ministry in Japan. You can expect to spend the majority of your time in full time language study (taking into account the differing needs of families and individuals). There are also women’s and men’s small groups, weekly team meetings where we discuss critical skills for new missionaries, and quarterly culture and ministry classes.  

The program is not intended to be a ‘soft landing’ into the region and work. It is often through the challenges that God makes us into the people he wants us to be. However, Launch does provide a supportive team environment in which we can seek the Lord together through the highs and lows.  

Immediately upon arrival, participants will have help setting up their living environments, completing required governmental documents, and exploring their new community.  Afterwards, the real work begins!

What are the key parts of Japan Launch?

Japan Launch has five key strands:


Effective ministry in Japan emerges with increasing acquisition of the language. It is imperative that participants prepare for and pursue language learning according to personal learning styles and strategies. Formal language study will take place at a local language school, GenkiJACS. At the end of Launch, the goal is to reach JLPT N3 level proficiency and conversational fluency. 


Effective ministry in Japan is highly dependent upon cultural acquisition.  Thus, participants will participate in a variety of cultural classes and experiences in order to develop an understanding of Japanese culture and prepare to work in a Japanese setting. 

Character and Spiritual Formation

God often uses a cross-cultural move to deepen our trust of Him, to recognize the depth of our sinfulness, and to make us useable for Him in a new way. This is an opportunity for growth in self-awareness and Christ-likeness. We will journey together as God works in the deeper places of our hearts to be more like him. 

Team Life

Each cohort will function as a Pioneers team, as a place of support, fellowship, and encouragement. We will explore team dynamics and strategies on our own team as we prepare to join a Pioneers church planting team in the future.

Ministry Skills in the Context of Japan

We will observe, discuss and practice various ways to evangelize and disciple in the context of Japanese culture and language through Japanese church visits, pastor interviews, readings, and ministry classes. Participants will learn to pray, read Scripture and give their testimonies in Japanese.

What are the next steps?

If you are interested in Launch or learning more…