|WLPM Mission Statement|
Word of Life Press Ministries (WLPM) is a group of nondenominational evangelistic ministries, seeking to bring glory to God.
|Greeting from WLPM Group President Motoyoshi Tago|
More than sixty years ago, missionaries planted the seeds called Word of Life Press. Now these seeds have grown beyond anything that could have been expected. Increasingly, we give thanks to God who imparted the vision for this ministry and who has done great and wonderful things through it. Word of Life Press has been called by God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all, and has come to this point with the purpose of serving the Lord and of serving His Church. We are dedicated to continuing with this underlying purpose in mind in all our publishing programs and other ministries.
|Introducing Word of Life Press Ministries|
Word of Life Press Ministries (WLPM) began in 1950 as a literature evangelism committee of missionaries of The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM). It became independent from TEAM in 2003 and is now part the religious corporation Sweden Alliance Christ Mission (SACM). Rev. Akira Yoshimochi is chairman of the SACM board. TEAM missionary Kenneth McVety directed WLPM virtually from its beginning until 1994, when Mr. Motoyoshi Tago became Group President (kaicho). It has grown into Japan's largest Christian publishing, retailing and distributing enterprise with a staff of 120 Japanese evangelical Christians from 50 denominations. Its 6 divisions called “missions” include ministries that publish Bibles, books, music, CDs, DVDs, computer software, Christian education materials, church supplies, 4 monthly magazines, a quarterly journal for pastors, tracts, gifts, cards and a weekly newspaper. Over 800 titles are in print at any one time and 60 to 80 new titles a year are published. Ministries also include a ministry to the blind, a nationwide tract distribution ministry, and a camp and conference center. Distribution is by a chain of 9 wholly owned Christian bookstores, mail order, internet store, event sales, church visits, Gospel Box mobile store, and wholesale to religious and secular retailers. WLPM has had a vital part in the growth of the evangelical movement and in evangelizing all of Japan.
|What are these WLPM ministries?|
Twelve ministries are housed at the headquarters building in NAKANO Ward in downtown Tokyo.
(1) Book Publishing Ministry
a. Word of Life Press publishes 50 to 60 new titles a year. Books range from Bible study, commentaries and reference works to evangelistic books, gift books, children's books, books for Christian growth and a new hymnal, Evangelical Hymns for the Church. Electronic editions for Kindle readers are also available for some titles. Special Bible editions are the Bilingual Bible with the NIV and the Life Application Study Bible. Eight hundred titles are currently in print. Missions and denominations subsidize important publishing projects. The CARDIA BOOKS imprint has counseling books. Short-run digital printings of out-of-print titles are published under the RIPA BOOKS imprint. A monthly magazine, Inochi no Kotoba (Word of Life), has book reviews and articles on the Christian life. b. Forest Books is impacting Japanese society with books that gently introduce biblical principles to the 99% of Japanese who are not Christians. They are widely marketed in secular bookstores under the FOREST BOOKS imprint and include manga books (including a comic book edition of the Bible), picture books for children and adults, novels, biographies, non-fiction books introducing the Bible to secular people, poetry and art books, plus books aimed at businessmen and women. c. Special Publishing Service (Jihi Shuppan) provides expert help for churches, denominations, missions and individuals to publish books under their own name with their own funds by contracting for editing, design, layout and printing arrangements by WLPM staff. WLPM can also distribute the book.
(2) New Japanese Bible Center. In 1962, evangelical leaders agreed Japan needed a Bible translation that is dependable and contemporary. Forty-one translators were contributed by a coalition of 5 trans-denominational associations and funding came from Japanese churches as well as North American foundations. In 1970, the completed Shinkaiyaku Bible translation (The English title is the New Japanese Bible) was released. It is a literal translation designed to teach sound doctrine and was revised in 1978 and 2003. Now the standard translation of Japanese evangelicals, there are 40 printed editions and it is available in cassette, CD, Braille, and electronic editions, including a downloadable application for iPhone (useable on iPad and iPod Touch) and Kindle reader editions. It is quoted in evangelical books, periodicals and curriculum. More than 15 million Bibles or testaments have been distributed. This is remarkable in a country of 127 million people where there are only 550,000 Protestant church members in 8,000 churches with 290,000 attending on any given Sunday.
(3) The Printing Service arranges printing for all publishing divisions in the print medium and prints advertising flyers for the divisions.
(4) Manna Monthly Devotional magazine has daily devotions that focus on Bible passages with commentary and application questions, plus a Bible reading plan to cover the entire Bible in 3 years. It features a testimony of a believer in each issue, original art and topical articles as well.
(5) Outreach (Non-Profit)
a. Church School Growth Center produces a comprehensive curriculum (Seicho) for Sunday Schools and camps. It provides training seminars for Sunday School teachers and produces Christian education resources and supplies, a line of books for children and the family, youth books, books on prayer and songbooks. It sponsors Joy Joy camps for elementary and jr./sr. high school children in Karuizawa and interchurch Joy Joy Festivals in various parts of the country. It also publishes the Japanese Living Bible paraphrase in everyday language for the 99% of Japanese who are not yet Christians to introduce them to the Bible in various editions, including a downloadable application for iPhone (useable on iPad and iPod Touch). b. Since 1953, Every Home for Christ (EHC) has four times coordinated successful efforts by churches and missionaries to place a Gospel tract in every home in Japan. It has reached into hospitals and prisons as well. Recent targets have been un-churched areas. EHC distributed 1 million tracts over 3 years in areas hit by the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Disaster. EHC has produced 180 million tracts and more than 388,000 readers have taken correspondence courses, bringing thousands into local churches. It is supported by donations as well as the sale of tracts. c. The Ministry to the Blind, operating from donations and staffed entirely by volunteers, produces Braille and computer generated voice editions of books, magazines, songbooks and tracts. It cooperates in seminars and camps for blind Christians.
(6) LifeCreation is the multi-media, audio-visual, gifts and supplies ministry.
a. Life Entertainment produces most of Japan's Christian videos and DVDs, including dramatic features, children's dramas, animated Bible stories, biography/testimonies, music worship videos, plus documentaries on science, Japanese culture and counseling. It distributes to the entire Christian market other companies' productions that have value as family entertainment or have Christian themes. Audio-only products include an audio edition of the Bible called The Listening Bible as well as sermons on the New Testament and Ayako Miura’s Bible introduction books on CDs. b. Life Music produces printed songbooks and music CDs for children, youth and adults. Outreach events include evangelistic concerts with the excellent roster of Japanese Christian musicians who record for us as well as some foreign artists from time to time. One music imprint, LIVING PRAISE MUSIC, has been used by God to revive the devotional life of many believers and enliven the worship of many churches by producing recordings and books containing praise and worship songs with devotional messages. The J-WORSHIP series has contemporary praise. c. Life Software produces computer software for Bible study (J-BIBLE for pc), Christian growth and church life, as well as some Christian-themed games. d. Creation Productions weds beauty with a message in its gift items that witness in a Christian's home and lifestyle. Calendars, greeting cards, stationary, supplies for churches and Christian kindergartens along with children's picture books fill out the line of over 800 products listed in their colorful catalog.
(7) The General Affairs Department handles legal affairs and accounting for all divisions. This division also maintains the computer-run company-wide inventory system and the in-house network.
(8) The Advertising Department develops advertising campaigns, publishes catalogs and announcements and maintains the company web site at www.wlpm.or.jp where all WLPM products are showcased and customers can order WLPM products easily from anywhere in the world. The web site also links customers to other ministries in Japan and promotes various events sponsored by all the various ministries of WLPM.
(9) The International Department is the link to the world for WLPM. Staff includes multi-lingual Sachiko Niimi plus TEAM missionaries Don Regier and consultant Russ Epley. They publish 5 English catalogs (Books, Bibles & Software, Music, Tracts, Videos) of WLPM's Japanese publications and put all that information on the English page of the web site. They create English advertisements for English periodicals and issue press releases in English. Mr. Regier teaches seminars for new missionaries on how to use the tools WLPM and other publishers produce. For books, videos or songs translated from English, the staff helps check the translation, corresponds with the original publisher, and handles contracts in English. For WLPM books translated into other languages they provide contracts for foreign publishers. They recommend books to translate into Japanese and answer English letters, faxes, phone calls and e-mail. For WLPM customers who prefer to order in English, they can take orders by phone and e-mail and send the order to the mail order department. They also assist staff in importing English gifts, cards and recordings for distribution through the Gospel Shops, and other Christian bookstores. They facilitate international distribution of WLPM products by contracting with distributors in other countries and handling orders from overseas stores. This provides access to Japanese Christian publications for the 1 million Japanese living, working and studying overseas where they are more open to the gospel. They coordinate teams of overseas volunteers for ministries such as Megumi Chalet. The staff can help a limited number of overseas ministries who want to minister in Japan with logistical and communication roles and by coordinating with Japanese ministries.
a. Gospel for the Millions Magazine is Japan's premier Christian family magazine with beautiful design and selection of articles appealing to seekers as well as believers. Each month 10,000 copies are printed, but they are read by many more. This division sponsors a writer's contest to find new writers and publishes biographies, gift books, testimonies, manga and art books under the MANNA BOOKS imprint. ?b. More than any other publication, "THE CHRISTIAN" Newspaper has given a voice and identity to the evangelical movement. The weekly paper's 10,000 readers include laymen and church leaders of all denominations. Through features and reports on news across Japan and around the world, it has fostered unity and cooperation. The editorial board is representative and speaks for and to the evangelicals and to the nation. This department also publishes manga books, testimony books, and 2 million copies per year of the monthly Gospel Edition (Fukuinban) 4-page leaflets for adults and Lammy, a monthly evangelistic comic book for children. The serialized manga stories from Lammy are published in books under the LAMMY COMICS imprint. This division publishes print and CD editions of the yearly Christian Databook, which is a comprehensive guide to Japanese churches and Christian organizations, publishers, bookstores, hospitals and other ministries in Japan. Pastors Journal is a quarterly publication encouraging pastors.
(11) Wholesale efficiently supplies the Gospel Shop stores, other Christian bookstores (80 in the whole country) and secular stores with WLPM products. Stores in other countries also use its services. The inventory is housed in a warehouse in Fuchu, a city in the western Tokyo metro area, but the administrative staff is in the Nakano building. The General Market Service staff promotes WLPM products in secular stores.
(12) Marketing coordinates marketing campaigns for several ministries and administers three departments:. a. The Gospel Shop Chain of 9 Gospel Shop Christian bookstores is the vital link between the publishing ministries and the public. These retail stores are located throughout Japan but the headquarters is here. They now are part of the Bible Shop Chain along with Christian Literature Crusade (CLC) stores for cooperative promotions and purchasing. For people not near a store, the b. WINGS Service mail-order ministry enables even remote villages to receive Christian literature. WINGS Service also sends products to customers overseas. The staff of the c. Life Service ministry operates sales tables at Christian events and visits local churches in the Tokyo metro area to introduce new products. d. Gospel Box is a van outfitted as a store on wheels visiting towns with no bookstore in a nation-wide ministry to local churches. e. www.gospelshop.jp is an internet-based online bookstore that sells materials from all publishers, not just WLPM.
Meanwhile, far away from Tokyo, in KARUIZAWA up in the mountains of central Japan is another WLPM ministry.
(13) Megumi Chalet Karuizawa (MCK) is a year-round camp and Bible conference center in the mountain resort town of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture. Facilities include both Japanese and western-style rooms, bunk rooms, handicapped access room, meeting rooms of many sizes, 2 chapels, a gymnasium, prayer chapel, dining hall, covered walk-ways connecting buildings, The Woodshed coffee shop, and a bookstore and gift shop. Missions, churches and "mission schools" rent the facilities for their own camps and conferences. Non-Christians are introduced to Christ in a beautiful mountain setting. The staff also plans and promotes a full range of prayer, Bible and Christian life conferences, concerts and evangelistic events. Karuizawa Bible School seminars are taught by seminary professors and offer academic credit. Each December, the Christmas lighting display draws about 15-20,000 tourists on tour busses and in cars who are introduced to the Christ of Christmas through tracts, a hot drink, concerts, and someone to tell them about Jesus. These visitors can then listen to the Singing Christmas Tree (an outdoor choir standing in front of a tree-shaped backdrop), attend a concert or candlelight carol service and hear more of Christ. Teams of overseas volunteers from partnering ministries and churches help in this outreach or in maintaining the buildings.
|Missionaries and International Relationships|
Although WLPM is now independent, it still maintains a warm working relationship with TEAM. WLPM maintains its non-denominational character under the same doctrinal statement it had under TEAM, and TEAM assigns missionaries to work with the ministry in the International Department. WLPM provides ways for overseas churches and other ministries to partner with us in reaching Japanese for Christ. We have established a non-profit corporation in Illinois that issues tax-deductible receipts for contributions from US partners. US dollar checks should be made out to Word of Life Press Ministries and mailed to:
Word of Life Press Ministries-USA
c/o Mosher & Associates, LLC
33 North LaSalle Street, Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60602 USA
The International Department staff also partners with overseas churches and other ministries to bring teams of volunteers for outreach ministries at Megumi Chalet and for tract distribution. Other teams work to maintain the buildings at MCK. These partnerships provide opportunities for churches to have a vital part in these ministries of the Body of Christ in Japan that seek to reach the 99% of Japanese who do not know Christ.
While much of our work at WLPM is publishing and creating various products, we also endeavor to meet contemporary needs by planning and providing comprehensive service to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We plan and support concerts, art exhibitions and teaching seminars all over Japan. Plus, we offer planning and support for many more creative ideas for local churches and missions. For example, periodically we sponsor Joy Joy Festival children's evangelistic rallies across the country that bring hundreds of children and Sunday School teachers together in cooperation with local churches.
From the time of its founding, Word of Life Press Ministries has had one purpose and vision, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ for Everyone." This is the vision that still burns in our hearts and is our motivation in each of our various activities. All these ministries are based on a clear call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to penetrate this fast changing world with our never changing message.
Contact Us: Word of Life Press Ministries (Inochi no Kotobasha Dendo Group)2-1-5 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0001 JAPAN
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