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