By Jacob Toman
The work that we do at Gospel & Gaming is people work. We work with people. Sure, we play games, but primarily with people. When we play alone, it’s so we can write about a game...for other people. In 2015 Gospel & Gaming saw an opportunity to expand the work of this ministry to a local community of people; these people are gamers, and they live together in a retirement community.
These gamers weren’t your typical group of gamers. You won’t find this community armed with paper and pencils playing Dungeons and Dragons or shouting expletives at one another in a competitive match of Halo. Instead you will find gamers engaging in a wide variety of hobbies from a time before the internet MMO and a few adaptive gamers willing to explore the realm of digital gaming.
On any given day there could be classic card or tabletop games being played such as Uno, Poker, Blackjack, Rack-O, or Checkers. Some days gaming is more digital than others, with Wii bowling and golf being some of the favorites on the big screen projector in the social center at Lake St. Charles Retirement Community.
The initial challenge for us as a mission dedicated to serving gamers was in serving the massive spiritual needs of this community while maintaining our vision and core identity as a missions organization dedicated to gamers. Through prayerful conversations with supporters, and other ministry leaders, Gospel & Gaming was able to develop a sense about our place in serving gamers.
Gospel & Gaming is primarily an evangelistic mission - We are a group of dedicated believers sharing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus with gamers who do not know or profess faith in Jesus.
Gospel & Gaming is NOT a sect or church denomination - Gospel & Gaming doesn’t have a set of theological distinctions that set it apart, in competition with, or divided against any group of believers that profess that God made all things, man rebelled against God, and God himself paid the price for the redemption through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Gospel & Gaming is focused on empowering gamers - We do this through building personal relationships that lead to eternally meaningful conversations. This means playing games, sharing mutual experiences and stories, and prayerfully serving the areas and people of gaming we have capacity to impact.
Gospel & Gaming is NOT a counseling service - We are not in any way licensed or seek to provide medical or psychological diagnosis. In some extreme circumstances we reference individuals to medical professionals. We are not a treatment center for the human body, but are messages of the great physician of the soul, Jesus Christ.
Gospel & Gaming is focused on equipping the church - Through sharing research, presentations, stories, and industry data, Gospel & Gaming seeks to equip the church to further express and follow the work of loving gamers through service, friendship, and sharing Christ.
With these fundamental characteristics of Gospel & Gaming in mind, we were easily able to determine if serving the community of gamers at Lake St. Charles was within this scope of ministry with a few questions.
- Are there gamers who are not Christians at Lake St. Charles?
- Are there gamers who are Christians at Lake St. Charles?
- Are there opportunities for sharing Jesus with non-Christians at Lake St. Charles?
- Are there opportunities to encourage Christians with scripture at Lake St. Charles?
The answer to each of these questions was a resounding yes. Through offering to assist in leading worship on Sundays, facilitate discussion group on Tuesdays, and lead bible study on Thursdays Gospel & Gaming began its work of equipping and empowering the residents of the Lake St. Charles community. We have a host of opportunities outside of regularly scheduled events to chat, fellowship, share a meal, and develop relationships that lead to eternally meaningful conversations.
Expanding the work God allows us to do meant expanding our team. Even as friends and supporters of Gospel & Gaming began to pray about this expansion of ministry, God was preparing a person with abundant gifts to serve the community at Lake St. Charles. Ben Kieffer was this person. In providing Ben, God faithfully provided a staffer who is passionate about equipping believers and empowering gamers.
You will hear more about the work of Gospel & Gaming at Lake St. Charles over the upcoming months here on Gospel & Gaming from Ben Kieffer. You will also have the ability to listen to past and current sermons preached during regular worship at Lake St. Charles by keeping up to date with our YouTube page.
As with all of our ministry endeavors at Gospel & Gaming, our staff and budget for Lake St. Charles is 100% funded by supporters like you. If you’d like to support the efforts of Gospel & Gaming in equipping the church and empowering gamers at Lake St. Charles, you can shoot us an email or click the “Donate” button on the home page!
We aren’t in the work of planting churches; we are in the work of equipping churches. We aren’t in the work of saving gamers; we are in the work of sharing about the only one who can truly save anyone, gamers included!