Why Digital?

In a previous blog post, I talked about what manga is and why I think it’s a great tool for 21st century missions in Japan. Today I want to talk about the another side of this ministry vision: digital.

It should come as no surprise that Japan is one of the most “wired” nations in the world. Almost every is online, and much of that is mobile, especially among the young. It’s more and more common to see people reading manga on their smartphones, too.

Here are some statistics I dug up recently:

Devices — University Students:
99.3% have a smartphone (100% use 6-7 days/week).
90% have a computer (31% use 6-7 days/week).
87.5% say their smartphone is their main internet access device.
 
Overall Internet Usage:
115,111,595 Internet Users in Japan (2016*)
Share of Japan Population: 91.1 % (penetration)
Total Population : 126,323,715
Share of World Internet Users: 3.4 %
Internet Users in the World: 3,424,971,237
 
Social Network Usage:
Social network usage by % of population (2017):
Twitter 35.55% (45 million active users)
Facebook 22.12% (28 million active users)
Instagram: 15.8% (20 million active users)
— Twitter still top in Japan, one of its strongest markets.
— Twitter most diverse user base.
— Instagram growing rapidly; could overtake FB.
— Females in 20-30s biggest Instagram users.
— 75% over 30 on Facebook.
(Source: Source)
 
LINE:
– #1 messaging app in Japan
– 75 million monthly active users (2018) in Japan
– Found on over 90% of all smartphones in Japan
(Sources: statista / humblebunny)
 
So, why digital?
 
In the 21st century, if you want to get the good news of Jesus out to as many people as possible, it seems obvious to me that digital is the way to go. Yes, we need more churches actively reaching out to their communities. Yes, we need more Christians to share their faith with friends. But an online outreach, effectively done, can (in a non-confrontational way) get the Gospel out to people who might might not have any Christian friends or a church in their neighbourhood. In the developed world, it should be at least a part of our missions strategy. That’s why I want to make it part of mine.