There are roughly 3.09 billion gamers in the world. There are roughly 2.20 billion Christians on the planet. This number is absolutely staggering and one the church needs to pay attention to. Gaming culture isn’t going anywhere and for the most part the church has little to no idea for how to engage with it or the people that call it home. However, there are people that live with a foot in both worlds and their hearts have been moved to love the people that love what they love. Live streamers, youtubers, influencers, digital churches, and organizations have jumped into places like Twitch, Youtube, and Discord to tell people about Jesus and help them to become like Jesus. They have done so with very little to no support from their churches and with the money from their own bank accounts. They have given endless hours from their family to be live with their community and have invested their hearts in the least and last of our world that often find their home in digital spaces and digital communities.
Many of these pioneers go unnoticed and unthanked and are only fueled by their unquenchable desire to see the kingdom move forward in a vast world that the church doesn’t know exists at best and at worst dismisses entirely as “not real” or a “waste of time”. While video games may be a “waste of time” the people that play them are anything but a waste of time. More and more people are finding their community, support, and livelihood inside the gaming community. This vast digital city has main drags, back streets, individual unique communities, and every nation on the planet represented. It’s the largest city you never knew existed.
Back in the Spring of 2022 a great young leader named Zach came to our church service at Lux. After service I met with him and heard his heart to see unity and encouragement come to our world. The digital missionaries, churches, content creators, and organizations in this digital city have often been under resourced and as a result, fractured or competitive. Still, I had met with many of them one on one and knew that most of them had a heart to see unity come to the space. They wanted to work together instead of on an island. I didn’t know how that would happen but God had already given Zach a vision for it.
That night Zach told me his heart for unity in the space and his dream to gather all of these amazing God loving people in the same physical space to fight for unity, refreshment, and encouragement. I knew we didn’t have the funding to fly them all to the same place, house them, feed them, and bless them. But I also knew that God had placed this same desire in dozens of hearts across the space and I knew that God funds the visions He gives. After a few phone calls we had the money from Rivers Crossing Church in Cincinnati and New Life Christian Ministries in Pittsburgh. Rivers Crossing volunteered their space and Zach (an extremely gifted project manager) and I set out to bring what he had seen into reality.
In October last year 23 of us gathered in Cincinnati for The Megazord Summit. We invested much needed time, energy, and financial resources into these pioneers. The goal was above all, to let them know they are not alone and that they are not one another’s enemies. What came out of that time is a group of networks and a new physical conference in Texas this upcoming year (more information soon) called the Nerd Culture Ministry Summit. It’s an opportunity for church leaders to come learn about how they can engage with nerd and gamer culture in a way that is authentic and impactful.
But this is only a portion of this blog. I could write pages about what happened at Megazord and what God is doing in the space. I live in a world where we see God transform lives every day though digital spaces and digital tools. I am fully convinced of the power and necessity of the church engaging in digital space. But you may be unsure. That’s why we did more then host an event for some pioneers to gather. While we had them in Cincinnati, we filmed a documentary to tell their stories and write a video love letter to the church. It’s called Megazrod: The Story of Unity and you can watch it for free right now. You will find the link below. Take some time and learn about what God is up to in the gaming community. Then, come join us or support someone who is giving their life to this digital city. We need your help. The ground is hard, but fertile. We need more workers and better tools. As you watch it, if God speaks to your heart and prompts you to get into this space please email me. If instead, you would like to partner with one of these amazing digital pioneers and help them pour gas on the fire that God has already lit then please reach out to me and I will connect you with any of them.
We aren’t going to stop. But we need your help. Come help us assemble the Megazord.
There is one body, but it has many parts.
1 Cor 12:12a