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6 Jun 2020

Building the kingdom of God through Minecraft

 

The Revd Nathan Gregory, Assistant Chaplain, St Paul’s Tervuren shares a story about engaging children in faith through the online world of Minecraft …

How do we find new ways to connect with children and youth, to continue to build the kingdom of God in a time when we can’t physically meet?

St Paul’s Tervuren were asking this question and trying to find ways to connect with the young people in the church - ways that didn’t involve the children and their leaders doing yet another video conference call. Trying to find a way to meet children where they are at, they asked where do many children like to spend their time? A popular place to play at the moment is in the online game of Minecraft

Minecraft is a popular game amongst children and teens. If you are not familiar with it then it is a blocky 3D world where gamers can build and be creative; think Lego online and you are heading in the right direction. It has been recognised by many gaming websites as one of the greatest and most influential games of the decade or even all time. One reason for its popularity is that it can be played across platforms so whether you have a games console, PC or ipad you can connect with one another. That makes it a great way for children to connect online.

St Paul’s asked some of the children in the church to create an online Minecraft world where they could connect with other children from church, and their friends. In the world they built a church building. This grey block building reflected the school canteen where St Paul’s usually meet.

 

 

When children joined the world they had time to go and explore the surrounding areas, the animals, the Parkour course, swimming pool and play.  Then they were all teleported into the main meeting room, the church. Once there they were asked to go to a box in the corner and pull out a book, when they opened it there was a Bible passage.

 

 

The group spent a short time thinking about the passage with Zoom open (well it can’t be avoided, can it!). The passage was the wise and foolish builder. When they had finished discussing the passage they went ‘outside’ to do an activity together: building the wise man’s house and the foolish man’s house. Then standing around the foolish man’s house, they talked about what could be the storms in our life that threaten to wash us away and then everyone broke the foolish man’s house.

 

 

 

Then the children could return to the meeting room and write a prayer in a book and place it in the box, they could continue to work on the wise man’s house or continue to explore and play in the world.

 

 

It was a good fun event and a great way to engage with the children about faith in a place where they felt at home.

 

Photos:  Nathan Gregory

Find out more about St Paul's,Tervuren on their website:

http://www.stpaulstervuren.be