Did you know that over 227 million people in the US play video games one to a few hours per week? That there are over 3.2 billion "gamers" in the world? And that, in the US, people usually have around eight games installed per device? These are just some of the amazing and mind boggling stats about the gaming industry and who are play found in this list from Truest.
Gaming is big business for media companies and, as you can see from the stats above, very popular with people all over the world. Whether they are playing on an X-Box, PS5 or PC, people are investing time, money and energy into this area.
But, too often, gaming has a negative connotation to it. Gamers have been viewed as slackers and living without a purpose. However, as Jeff Reed and Mark Lutz show us, gaming is a digital mission field ripe for people to hear about Jesus can turn their lives over to Him. Jeff and Mark record eleven different episodes featuring gamers who are doing missionary work in the gaming communities. Take a listen to these episodes and be encouraged that you, too, can reach people for Christ in this space.
- EP252 - Mark Lutz, Season 4: Jesus, Gamers, & Church. Jeff brings on Mark Lutz, founder of Lux Digital Church, about gaming culture and how Digital Missionaries can reach gamers for Christ.
- EP254 - Bubba Stallcup & Love Thy Nerd. Jeff talks with Bubba Stallcup, founder of Love Thy Nerd, to find out how to best love "nerd culture."
- EP256 - Johno and Esports. Esports is widely popular today. That is why Jeff talks with Johno, Director of Esports for Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Johno has deep understanding of the Esports industry and he has as a vision for what ministry looks like in that space.
- EP258 - Jate the Gaming Digital Missionary. More and more gamers lack of institutional trust, which is one of the many reasons why the church has historically struggled to connect with gamers. But Jate Earhart and others, are working to overcome this tension, essentially operating as a vocational missionary in gaming space by using Twitch and Discord. See how he is doing.
- EP260 - Aki & Family Streaming. Streamer AKI involves his wife and kids in the stream, making it truly a family event! AKI and Peach open up their family time to Twitch and Discord, allowing the audience to be part of a healthy, non-toxic family environment. Creating this environment is really important as many of AKI’s audience don’t have a healthy environment in their lives.
- EP262 - Exponential & the Gaming Church. This year's Exponential Conference in Florida featured a Digital Track. As the conference was wrapping up, Mark Lutz, Jeff, Bubba Stallcup, and others share about what they learned and how they are applying it to their ministries.
- EP263 - Flatcap, Physical Pastors & Twitch. Flatcap leads a network of physical pastors who are streaming on Twitch. Through his network Flatcap provides coaching, care, and community to others. Mark Lutz joins Flatcap as they talk about what pastors are currently doing on Twitch and how that it is going.
- EP265 - DJ Soto, and Churches Inside Video Games. What does church look like inside a video game? DJ, Soto and Pastor Koko share with Jeff what church, and discipleship, look like inside video games!
- EP266 - Women Streamers, Trolls, and the Struggle of Female Content Creators. In this episode Jeff talks with GodSquad’s Amanda Souza and Asia the Girl, two Twitch Streamers who utilize their influence for the Kingdom. See what it means to be a woman streamer, and what ministry looks like for them on Twitch.
- EP267 - Gaming Church, APEST, and Biblical Collaboration. How does APEST apply to Gaming Church, and to Gaming Culture? Jeff, Mark Lutz, Zach Miller from Storyland Studios (and Nerd Culture Ministry Collective) explore APEST in Gaming Church.
- EP268 - GenZ, GenA, and the Benefits of Gamer Church. Jeff and Mark jump in a conversation to discuss the highlights of the season, as well as an overarching theme: what are the opportunities to utilize Gaming Church to reach Gen Z, and even Gen A!
There was a time when a lot of people criticize gamers and have called them "slackers." However, what we have seen in Jeff and Mark's interviews, these Digital Missionaries who are playing video games are anything but slackers. They are family men and women who have a heart to reach gamers for Christ. The opportunity is there and these eleven episodes have highlighted different ways digital missionaries and reach the gaming community today.
What do you think? What did you learn about ministry in the gaming community? How are you going to reach people for Christ in this area? Share your ideas below or on social media.
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