The Robloxian Christians is based out of the online gaming platform known as "Roblox". On Roblox, young people create all of the content, creating millions of games, community groups, virtual-companies, make new friends, and take part in the virtual economy and stock market, etc. It also makes an awesome way to share the message of Christ.History:
In December 2011, we started as a group of six friends joining on a game to pray and worship together. And from there our group grew. Later that month we created an official community group called "The Robloxian Christians". Over the next year or so, we built a building and started hosting services on Sundays.
In case you are wondering, it is a virtual building. People have little characters and walk into the church, have a seat, and are able to type to talk. The virtual meeting space is built like a standard church, with pews, a pulpit with a microphone system that projects on various screens throughout the campus. A table that represents the bread and the wine, since we are unable to physically serve it online.
[Above, is a picture of one of our evening services. The yellow thing cut off, is our cross hanging up front. Each avatar you see, is controlled by a young person from various places around the world.]
Continuing on in our history, over the next two years we continued to grow in numbers, technology and ministry until August 2013. We had settled at over 1,600 people involved in our church. Our ministries were flourishing with an around-the-clock prayer team, outreach team, and new technology being developed. Unfortunately, a technical issue on the Roblox site caused the physical community group collapse, and all but 16 people were kicked out of the group.
That was a challenge. But we got back up on our feet. We said no to the devil, that we would not let whatever he throws at us get in the way of the message we had to share. From there, we quickly moved forward, our ministries sprung back into action. We welcomed new technology, new buildings, as the holy spirit started moving through with an energy we had never experienced before.
Six years later, here we are today. We have over 12,000 young people between the ages of 6-22 involved in our church and ministries. A volunteer staff of over 140 people, that lead in programs like our welcoming team, prayer partners, social media management, place development, coffee and conversation, and "share it" staff teams. All of these programs are actively going on in our church throughout the week.
Our virtual ministry place “God is Love” is a place for quiet prayer. Light shines on the cross, communion is represented on the table, and the crown of thorns hangs on a lowly tree. Quiet worship music plays in the background as up to six players can pray together and connect with God. Since 2016, ‘God is Love’ has been visited over 200,000 times. This translates to thousands of seeds of faith that have been planted in young people from all over the world.
[Above, is a picture of God is Love. Youth can join and listen to music or sit quietly while they pray and connect with God.]What sets TRC apart?
What I think is so awesome, is that our platform is filled with millions of young people. Our average age is 14 years old. In addition, our church defies so many borders that are almost impossible to cross in a physical tangible church. We represent all 6 inhabited continents, every race, it doesn't matter where you are, who you are, or if you can make it to a building in real life, you are welcome and able to make it here. The message of Jesus is so transformative, that it is amazing to see God work online!
In addition, there is an online community that you just don't see in our churches nowadays. Young people being open to talk about what is really going on in their lives, being willing to step up and pray with someone, being totally welcoming to visitors, and feeling like it's a safe environment. It is incredible to get to witness youth in an environment that they feel comfortable to truly worship and to really meet the savior.
How does TRC glorify God through embodying the gospel and focusing on outreach ministry?
I think that The Robloxian Christians was really founded on the idea that, we are on Roblox to live our faith, not just to proclaim it. We are really trying to do that through our outreach into the greater Roblox community. Roblox is a pretty secular environment, many parts of it are almost anti-God.
When thinking of how to answer this question, an example struck me of how we are able to simply reflect the presence of the Holy Spirit on an often forgotten crowd. There have been a few occasions when our outreach team has gone to “True Colors,” the largest LGBTQ+ support group on Roblox, and just offered ourselves as people to talk to. So often our friends in this community find themselves rejected from the church. We are able to be the reassurance that God does not hate them, that they are not predestined to hell. It is really all about connecting with the people society says we aren’t supposed to, just as Jesus ate with the prostitutes and tax collectors, our ministries server outward.
On a different note, we do really well at hosting an environment for young people, but it is our commitment over the next year, to ensure quality services and ministries to the members of our congregation all around the world. Especially those in countries other than the US, Canada, or the UK. As we make TRC events more accessible, we hope to also become more financially sustainable. We’ve found strong correlation between the time that events take place and the (Robux) offering received. The more accessible, the more self-sustainable.How will we use the funds?
Right now, TRC has been operating on a budget of roughly 100 dollars a month. It is truly incredible that a quality ministry serving just over 12,000 young people is able to even exist like that. Over time, however, the costs of maintaining a ministry of this size has been more and more challenging. Especially since most youth involved in our church do not have the ability to give real money online.
The funds will primarily be used to support TRC operating in a sustainable way. These are the ways we would divert funds:
-Upkeep of our website
. (therobloxianchristians.org, not the Roblox group), hosted through GoDaddy, and Squarespace.
. That are necessary for staff development and TRC's data storage. (Examples: Canva, Google Suite, Adobe products, Teachable)
. (We want every member of our core leadership team to have premium Roblox membership to be able to enter multiple group spaces for outreach, this also allows a revenue stream for our staff.)
. (Focused directly on creating the best technology at TRC’s virtual places, specifically the building of a new more current home church.)
-Travel Expenses. (This will pay for airfare, boarding, and food for the annual Roblox Developers Conference, where we learn to use the most recent Roblox technology.)
. (Diverting enough money to purchase an XBox One, as TRC’s ministry reaches this platform, but we have no way of knowing what our services look like from the player end, or if there are any glitches in our places. The console will be used for testing and building relationships.)
. (This is the largest expense. Half of this grant would be transferred to Roblox’s virtual currency, then dispersed into development, sustainable marketing, outreach events, and emergency funds.)Detailed Budget:
The ministries that we are providing are so important to so many young people put there. Folks from all different backgrounds, have found a home and a family at The Robloxian Christians. It is truly a blessing to see how God uses our ministry to impact people’s lives. I’d like to share the story of a good friend I have made in the church. (I received her permission to share this story.)
Aly Weatherly from Michigan, started attending The Robloxian Christians roughly a year ago by the name “MrsRosario,” after clicking on an ad run by TRC. She quickly found that this was a place she could trust. Not too long before, she had accepted Christ into her life, the first to do so in her immediate family. After a little while, Aly decided to get involved at the church, she applied and joined the Prayer Partner ministry. She took time out of her day to serve with compassion, every day. Two months ago, she accepted a position as Team Captain of the Prayer Partner ministry.
This is when I really started to get to know her. Over a series of conversations, I learned that she was severely depressed and had attempted suicide a year earlier. We became trusted friends, accountability partners, and simply two people serving the Lord. The question that she kept asking was “Why was I the one chosen to lead?” Unfortunately, Aly will be stepping down on August 1, due to family pressure in real life, however that question still stands.
I am so glad, that our church has had the opportunity to serve Aly and so many others, in this neverending journey to live our faith.I pray that YOU will be a part of allowing us to to continue to do this work. Thank you, and may the peace of Christ be with you.