Something to consider when ministering to the gaming community we must also abide by the rules of the companies who produce the games. As many may know we cannot out right preach to the gaming community without violating their policies because it is a game not blog or open forum; but what many Christian gamers do not realize is there are plenty of ways and opportunities for us to minister without violating. Remember MMORPG’s and many other games are also social communities with events and activities. If we are a part of a Christian Guild or Community then we also get to advertise. If you are a recruiter for a guild do you put the word Christian in the recruiting message? Why not?
Just to let you know you are not violating any policies by sharing that you are a Christian guild; think about it how many guilds out there surround themselves around a foundation of sorts. I am not talking about PvE vs. PvP or WvW vs. Events focused. You see sometimes as you do research on some guilds such as their website they may have a 5+ years behind their existence, and a reason or goal behind it. We are Christians and our basis is to be a Christian community. Though in many situations we do not hold aloud that we are Christian because we are afraid to be banned from the game if we share something about it. This is MISINFORMED because you can be your own community as long as you are not evangelizing in the game, on company forums, or spamming whispers to random people.
Now for ideas:
1. A lot of what we can do is literally based on each game. LOTRO I was able to do game nights where we invited people outside our guild. A few times some visitors actually joined the guild while others looked forward to our monthly event. In LOTRO we did Hide-n-Seek in Bree, Drunken Race, and Dueling tournaments. We gave prices and money, but we also advertised who we were. In Guild Wars 2 we have been trying to figure out ways to minister. Current methods is inviting PuGs to join us in dungeon runs. We will be doing a banquet with Banners once in awhile to advertise us but to also gives boons for people. We also would like to do some of the special events and invite outsiders to join. What you need to do is look at your game, see how you can invite people to join you on events. Be creative, create game nights.
2. Where should you start ministering? To be honest it should start with your guild. How are you going to be able to minister to the gaming community if you cannot your own members. I would start with guild night events. One idea we will be doing is a Bible Trivia Night. We will give members 30 min to do answer certain questions. The first one to get ALL right will win an opportunity to use gems on the gem store. Other ideas that you could do are races, dueling tournaments, scavenger hunts, and etc.
3. How about spiritual or more biblical approach on ministry. As a guild community you can have prayer nights, bible studies, or scriptural sharing. It is all based on members willing to minister each other. It all starts with a few Christians willing to minister as they play. It is not about making an online church just an opportunity to minister. Being willing to listen to each other is the first step. How do you reach the community with these opportunities. Well do you advertise it on the website your guild uses? Do you guys use youtube? Do you all have a wordpress to do blogs? The key to invite outsiders is to advertise who you are, what you provide, and how they can get involved. My community is allied to another Christian community, and they have Bible studies they promote. On your website you could put a public section for prayer requests, and you can also even put devotionals and the plan of salvation for public people to see.
I won’t lie, but it is not going to be easy to push members in the direction of ministry. Many feel they use gaming to relax not minister while others do not see how we can minister. I will share another idea that could be a great idea, and I have met many Christian gamers that used it. Random Acts of Kindness: this is designed to help those who need help. We should be in this mindset at anytime. Someone needs money, or you noticed someone needs better gear. How about helping someone with a quest, boss, or event. Helping members in your guild even though you rather be doing something else. Those are opportunities to minister.
One idea that is a burden for me, but I have not be able to make it a success is being a mentor/councilor for the guild. This would then lead to being open to people outside of the guild membership. Now when I have advertised my guild I have had hundreds of opportunities to chat with various different people with different views of life and religion. I honestly believe that one way we can help the membership is to teach them how to communicate Christianity when those opportunities come. If people ask questions to your guild being Christian publicly you are more than allowed to respond. The concern is you should never attack those who may troll you, but respond to their trolling respectively but with smarts. Know God’s Word, and also take time to learn how to discuss/debate. Otherwise the best response is not responding. You can be more serious about what you say if they whisper you questions. Ultimately you need to be willing and ready for ministry opportunities.