E-Sports for Jesus
Discover God recently helped a local church launch its first 16-person FIFA competition. There was a combination of Christian rap music, testimonies, food, and games, it was a great social gathering focused and centred around Jesus and video games. Many local young people attended and many responded to the Gospel when it was shared! It was an amazing night that proved once again; video games are good.
When it comes to video games there are different ways to use them to share the gospel. They include; streaming. GodSquad Church shares primary through twitch and recently raised over $100k, through streaming games and other fun content for six straight days online to further support their mission; https://www.godsquadchurch.com. I believe that pastor Souzy and his team are pioneers and provide wholesome christian centred preaches and content. They have services twice every Saturday at 1:30PM & 7:30PM EST on twitch – twitch.tv/godsquadchurch.
Our mode of engagement was an e-sports tournament, video games are a huge feature of youth culture, we combined this with music and free food. The church wanted to engage the local youth in a friendly, healthy way that included video games. At the beginning of the event we had a welcome and we explained to the young people what we were doing and that we expected good sportsmanship and friendly language during the event and especially during game-play. Often anti-social behaviour and bad language or behaviours are displayed during gaming, we wanted to offer something different. An environment where everyone is talking to someone, where we are all meeting new people, having fun. The event was just that, it was exciting and engaging.
When the gospel talk was shared it was well received. Most of the young people who attended accepted Christ. The young people were mostly unchurched and had never heard the Gospel message. There were some young people that didn’t get a chance to join the tournament and they still stayed and hung out with everyone, the team had some good conversations with them and began to build relationships with them.
The team and everyone involved learned that video games are a fun way to engage young people, this was an outreach event and it went incredibly well. Video games are great ice breakers, conversation starters, and relationship builders. They gave us an opportunity to share the gospel with a group of young people that we would not have otherwise. After the gospel talk we all ate pizza together and then continued to game, at this point most of the young people began to ask “when are you doing this again?” soon, very soon. The young people who got eliminated after the first round stayed and watched the other matches, everyone stayed for the whole event and the final match was great to watch.
As Christians I believe it is our job to engage with culture, adjust it and point it towards Christ, thereby allowing that cultural feature to full-fill its true purpose in revealing God’s Glory. This tournament was a success not only because the young people responded to the Gospel, but because we were able to get to know the young people and build relationships, reflecting Gods relational self in the process of the evening. They were invited to the Church’s youth nights and Sunday services. They were invited a discipleship pathway to learn more about Jesus and live it out in a loving community.
If you or your church want to learn more about how to use video games to share the gospel and want practical tips or a better theological understanding please get in touch and check out our resources here. https://www.discovergod.io/resources/.
Thanks and God Bless.