clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fortnite can also be church night: Online congregation caters to video gamers

Matt Souza has started the GodSquad Church, which he says is the first online-only congregation for video-game players. Gamers from Illinois and around the world are among his members, Souza says. | YouTube

Many religious congregations are finding it tough to attract and engage young people, but one pastor is maneuvering in their space — video games.

Matt Souza, 27, a Virginia minister, has started the GodSquad Church, which he says is the first online-only congregation for video-game players.

Gamers from Illinois and around the world are among his members, Souza says.

The church is part of the Pentecostal and evangelical Assemblies of God denomination and aims to connect “God to gamers,” leading them from a “virtual life to eternal life,” Souza says.

He uses Twitch, a live-streaming platform that’s popular with video game enthusiasts, to play games such as Fortnite while preaching informally and answering questions about life, the Bible and relationships.

There also are weekly sermons and services over the web.

Souza says he tries to set an ethical tone for how to engage in video games, teaching sportsmanship and, for instance, frowning on the game Grand Theft Auto because of its virtual violence and sexual content.

Souza says that if Jesus were “walking on the earth today . . . he’d play video games” — but probably not the more graphic ones.

The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out suntimes.com. Email tips and comments to Robert Herguth at rherguth@suntimes.com.