Working in youth ministry for several years, I have always looked for different ways to include learning more about scripture with every day life. One of the best and creative ways to include scripture into the every day life of teenagers is to incorporate scripture into their gaming lifestyles. The majority of teenagers either play video games on a console or on their mobile devices. Xbox 360 and PS3 are the current, most popular consoles.
The key aspect of teaching youth the word of God is allowing it to resonate in their daily life. Solid biblical teachers can teach the word of God and relate it to video games. Crystal Richards, one of the leaders for a Bible and Gaming Bible Study, shared that a person has to have a strong understanding of scripture before you can relate it to the games they are playing. “A lot of people believe that you can turn on a Xbox in a room of teenagers and no matter what game is on they will take time later in the night to learn from you.” Crystal continued, “This couldn’t be more wrong. You have to lead in the study with scripture and always keep your focus on Jesus. If you do that you will know which games will work for you and which cross the line.”
Crystal also believes that you have to pay extreme attention to the games that you allow into your study. “We have taken a firm foundation against games like Grand Theft Auto” she continued, “We sensor the games that come on a loose scale. We will allow first person shooters as long as it is more of a science fiction feel instead of real life and if a game degrades another person in anyway, it’s never allowed. It is hard enough to lift people up in todays world, you don’t want the games played to compete against lessons of your own study.”
In speaking to Crystal, she expressed that what she is looking to provide youth in her study is simple. “I want to provide youth four things when they walk into my house” Crystal said, “I want to provide them a place to experience God, a place to feel safe, a place to gain friends, and a place where they can have fun. If my study succeeds in those four aspects I consider whatever study I am doing to be a success.”
Bible and Gaming meets every week at 6:45pm in Hopkinsville Kentucky. If you would like more information please feel free to contact Crystal at anytime.