When we first started Apolomedia Inc., we didn’t know exactly what it might look, but we have always been committed to do everything for the glory of God and let Him open doors to reach others with the good news of His grace through Jesus Christ. It’s hard to believe it has been a year and a half since Apolomedia was recognized as a not-for-profit ministry by the US Department of the Treasury. With a little bit of strategy and just enough direction, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. No opportunity has been too big or small as we have hungered to see how God would employ us to teach parents and reach gamers.
PARENTS OR GAMERS?
In our first book, It’s Not Just a Game, the target audience was parents and gamers, but we quickly discovered that we were really talking to two completely different audiences. Response to the book has been overwhelmingly positive as people were taught “how to think, not what to think.” We have been featured on Moody Radio in Chicago, The Berean Call on the West Coast, and internationally through Focus on the Family. We ramped up production on articles, DVD’s (It’s Not Just a Game), and online content like our youtube series Apologaming.
Still, we know we need to tailor our approach to each specific group. We keep busy creating, but we also keep busy praying. Where and how could God best use us?
On one hand, the parents of gamers have a lot of questions about the world of media and video games. They are sometimes curious, sometimes fearful, always interested. Gamers, on the other hand, just have a passion for games, like us. Some want to find new ways to use games for God’s glory while others are hearing about God for the first time. To meet both sets of needs, we must equip the parent who is a Christ-follower to deal with the challenges of media, while meeting the gamer where they are and helping them explore who God is. We realized God could use us to serve both groups with a simple mantra:
“Teach parents, reach gamers”.
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
In the last 6 months, we have seen God do this in many ways:
Carl spoke to Youth Ministry majors at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL and challenged them in the area of media.
Drew spoke to a Masters level leadership course at Trinity about the way that the future of media shapes the opportunities for ministries.
Carl also partnered with Striving for Eternity ministry in New Jersey, speaking to a room full of parents and teaching them how to handle video games and media. Then he hit the Jersey Shore to share the gospel (pray for Jake whose heart was open!)
Carl delivered two sessions at Gull Lake camp in Michigan: one for parents and one for youth. We witnessed some pretty awesome life-change as parents committed to be the head of their homes, and teens decided to give God priority in their lives.
We sponsored an outreach event in Crittenden, KY and a lock-in with multiple area churches. We set up many of our gaming systems and invited teens and their friends. Our goal was to come alongside those churches to reach their community. Gaming provides the draw.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Teach Parents – Speaking at local churches and regional/national conferences has been our most effective tool for connecting with parents. Books, DVD’s and other physical “products” are helpful as they give parents tangible tools to take home and use with the gamer in their house.
Reach Gamers – The gamers are another story altogether. We are making a big push to increase our online presence through social media like Facebook and Twitter, but even more so through gamer friendly sites like youtube and twitch.tv, which hosts live gaming streams and allows viewers to interact directly with gamers. They watch our stream because they like the games we play, and we choose games specifically for the chance to open up spiritual conversations. We recently streamed a game called “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture”. No surprise – it was packed with spiritual content for easy conversation starters! We are committed to go to where the gamers are and build relationships with them. Like Paul in 1Corinthians 9:22, we are gamers to the gamers in order that we might win some to Christ.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways you can support us on this mission.
Some people have written articles for us. (Thank you Solomon and Peter!)
Some have offered financial support that has allowed us to travel to conferences, sponsor events, and purchase essential equipment for streaming and videos.
Others have written letters or emails of encouragement or offered us personal mentorship (Thanks, Pastor Z! He is also the third member of our board!)
We know that many of your our praying for us. Those prayers are THE most important thing, because we know the One you pray to and He can do all things!
However you may be able to support us, we know that we are blessed and we want to say… THANK YOU. We are excited to see how God uses us to Teach Parents and Reach Gamers next!