Like many others, 2022 was a year of ups and downs for me and my ministry work. It began with the sudden death of my second-born son which led to a series of difficult months, but throughout them all, my local church and online communities were there with support and encouragement for my family. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see so many people from around the world come together to help us cover his funeral expenses. We are still humbled by your generosity and God’s gifts of comfort and strength. 

Despite the tragic start, the year brought many blessings, surprises, ministry fruits, and personally, life-changing moments. Below is a summary of some of the incredible work God has done and some testimonials about how He touched lives with what we are doing together through XtianNinja Online Missions. 

The Twitch Channel

Livestreaming is XtianNinja OM’s flagship ministry. It’s where people discover what we’re about, relationships are started, teaching is shared, the community is built, and memories are made. 2021 was focused on laying the ministry’s groundwork by learning how to stream, getting familiar with the unique culture, and building connections with viewers and established streamers. 2022’s mission was to build upon that groundwork by growing in reach and effectiveness while going deeper with the community by expanding relationships beyond the stream. I believe that these goals were realized in some very tangible ways as the channel hit some remarkable milestones this year.

Of the folks that joined the live streams, over 175 went deeper with post-stream discussions on Discord where we supported one another in prayer, helped creators with their troubles, dialogued over current events and theological issues, and laughed a lot together! 

The YouTube channel (where folks go to watch edited versions of my streams) had 535,000 views, 1500+ hours watched, and grew to just shy of 300 subscribers. I wish the numbers were higher and intend to work a little harder in 2023 on that platform.

The T.A.C.O. Network

It came as a bit of a surprise when God shifted my ministry focus from evangelistic to disciple-making. When I started streaming I assumed God wanted me to reach those lost in the dark places of the internet, but as I continued to serve and pray, I came to the realization that my digital ministry wasn’t meant to be much different than when I was a full-time pastor. God hadn’t called me to do something new, He had simply moved me to a new ministry field. That’s when the idea for mentoring and networking Christian content creators started to take shape. In Nov 2021, I started sharing some general ideas about starting a “Creator Tribe” and by May 2022 it had morphed into The Alliance for Creative Outreach (TACO). We “soft-launched” in August with a full vision, a ton of documentation, and a preliminary board of directors. In October we had our first official Leadership Team meeting and even an IRL meetup in Florida! 

We met recently to discuss our hopes for next year and came up with a few concrete goals that I’ll be sharing in a later post. It took a long time to get here, but the steps were deliberate and prayerfully considered, and I’m super excited to see how God is going to change the world through TACO in 2023.

The Global E-Sports and Gaming Movement

One of the most exciting things that happened this year was being invited to participate in an international forum on how to help reach and disciple gamers. It was 5 long days of discussions, workshops, presentations, and charts that concluded with practical steps toward reaching casual and competitive gamers in schools, e-sports, and homes around the world. My workgroup was tasked with creating a six-week discipleship program for competitive Christian gamers who already know Jesus and want to take their faith more seriously. My job is to write the main teaching sections for this uniquely challenged group and then pass it along to the rest of the team for application and design. It was an interesting experiment to write some of these chapters live on Twitch.

To be honest, I was disappointed at first that they weren’t as passionate about live stream ministry as I am, but remembered that they had given me a fully-funded trip to Orlando just so they could hear my thoughts and realized that the “movement” is bigger than me and my interests. With our group project I can still use my gifts and experience to reach the same group I’m serving through streaming. So, even though it’s not my main passion, it’s still Kingdom work and I’m happy to participate. 

Conclusion and Hopes for 2023

I’m so thankful for being part of this ministry, and even more thankful to have so many passionate and generous people on my support team. Thank you! As you know, I made moves to change my support system from Patreon to Ko‑fi which, unfortunately, has had a negative impact on my monthly support (from $1725/mo to $1400/mo). I still think the move will be beneficial as Ko‑fi charges fewer fees, hosts my bookstore, has more functions for streamers, and can accept one-time gifts as well as memberships.

I’ve got a lot of ideas swirling around my head about how to approach ministry in 2023 (which will be shared in a post soon). If 2021 was about establishing a solid foundation, 2022 was about deliberately constructing a framework upon it, then it seems to me that 2023 will be the year where we really pick up momentum and the building takes shape. As I said in a previous post, I feel that 2023 is going to be a “make it or break it” year where what we’re doing either becomes an established, effective ministry organization that will stick around for a while, or…. well… it won’t. 

That’s why I need your prayers, support, and willingness to share this ministry with your pastor, church, denomination, and other patrons who see the potential in what we’re doing and want to make sure it keeps happening. 

As I said in my Ko‑fi “God Ask” Goal, I’m asking God to provide $5000/month to pay my bills and another $1500 for healthcare and ministry funding. Those numbers looked outrageous to me until I remembered that I’d been living on God’s grace and support from His people for almost 20 years. He’s always taken good care of me.

I’m hoping to be able to find a way to give tax receipts for your gifts in 2023, but until then, I give a special thank you to everyone who gives without expectation. You are amazing! 

Happy New Year and God bless!