I’m telling gamers that Jesus loves them, and I need your help!
If you know me, you know that gaming is a big part of my life. What you might not know is that I am a games missionary! A little under three years ago, God called me here to move 3000 miles from New England to California, with a mission to reach videogamers with His love.
The longer I’m here, the more I see that God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought me here. Whenever I’m stuck in L.A. traffic, I’m awed by the sheer numbers of people here, and how God took me from my tiny corner of the world to live a few hours outside an incredibly diverse and giant metropolitan area. And then He sends me out from here to conventions all around the country—with attendances of up to 100,000 people each—where I have an opportunity to interact with gamers, anime fans, and geeky folk who desperately need to know that God loves them exactly as they are.
Why gamers? Why are they a group worth targeting? Gamers are one of the largest people groups in the US, if not the world! According to a 2017 report by the ESA, 67% of all households in the US are home to a device that is used to play video games, and 65% of all households have at least one person who plays at least three hours of video games per week. In 2016, $30.4 billion dollars were spent on video games in this country alone. The average video gamer is 35 years old, and 41% of all gamers are female: a far cry from the stereotypical college kid in his parents’ basement!
But the Church has done little to welcome this growing population. At best, videogames are dismissed as essentially meaningless, and at worst they’re condemned as harmful, even evil. This is to say nothing of the countless gamers who focus instead on roleplaying games, board games, anime, cosplay, or comics and find themselves equally targeted by Christian protesters at nearly every convention we go to.
I work with an organization called Gamechurch, and we believe that the way to reach gamers with the Gospel is through love, not condemnation. Everything we do—whether it’s writing thoughtful games commentary on our website, traveling to a gaming or nerd convention to interact with attendees at our booth, inviting people to game with us online, or chatting with them in our Facebook community—is motivated by the simple message: “Jesus loves gamers.” I am privileged to be part of the exciting work that God is doing in gamer and nerd culture! I carry this same message with me as I join board gamers on a weekly basis, as well as when I host my monthly board game day in the Seed House.
Click photo to see my 2017 in Review photo gallery!
Looking forward into 2018, there are lots of exciting new things on the horizon for me as well. The one that I know about for sure is that for the first time, I plan to partner with our friends at Jesus Otaku to go on a missions trip with them. Jesus Otaku is a ministry out of Saddleback Church that does outreach work in the anime and cosplay community much like Gamechurch reaches into gamer culture. Much of the first half of my year will be focused on training with them and preparing for that trip in July. Their methods are different than Gamechurch’s because their target is a different people group, and I’m looking forward to learning from them!
If you love this mission and want to see my part in it continue, would you prayerfully consider joining my team of financial supporters? In order for me to continue my work here, I raise support as a missionary each year. My goal for 2018 is a monthly support level of $1050, of which $450 is pledged. This money goes towards my travel expenses as well as just supporting my day to day needs.
Just as importantly, I need your prayers and encouragement! I send out 6 to 12 email newsletters a year with stories, pictures, prayer requests, and support updates, and would love for you to join that mailing list by clicking here and signing up. I also post periodic updates in a Facebook group I’ve created just for that purpose.
To set up a monthly donation, make a one-time contribution, or increase your current monthly donation, go to http://gamechurch.com/campaigns/april-lyns-epic-quest/. You can also contribute one time or regularly by sending a check payable to Gamechurch, and mail it to:
1496 Tower Square
Ventura, CA 93003
If contributing by check, please include a separate note saying that the contribution is for me – do not write my name on the check itself. All contributions are tax-deductible.
If you would like more information about Gamechurch, Jesus Otaku, the board game ministry at Seed Communities, my part in any of these ministries, or how you can get involved, I would love to tell you more about the exciting work that God is doing! Email me, text me, call me. Let’s meet for coffee, or get on a Skype call.
Thank you for your support!