My Mission: To couple my theological education and ministry experience with my sense of humour and love of technology to creating a meaningful online community that brings meaningful community and […]
To couple my theological education and ministry experience with my sense of humour and love of technology to creating a meaningful online community that brings meaningful community and the light of the gospel to people that could never be reached by traditional missions. I will do this by becoming a unique, entertaining streamer and creating a network that will train up a world-changing generation of Christian creators.
Welcome & Introduction:
To Hi! I’m Al (known on Twitch as XtianNinja), a pastor and full-time streamer and content creator from Canada who is working hard to serve the online community by mentoring content creators and building a meaningful online family, through entertaining content, real talk, and teaching God’s truth. God is absolutely blowing my mind these days with all the things He’s doing and my heart is filled with excitement and thanksgiving every day because I get to be at the forefront of this world-changing ministry. I’m honoured that you’ve come here to learn more about it.
When I felt God’s call to drop everything and start streaming full-time, I had no idea what was in store, but I’ve been working hard for months trying to connect with the lost, lonely, and disenfranchised around the world, mentor new Christian creators, and make the best possible content, and WOW, is God ever blessing! The last year has been an absolutely wild ride and experiencing such success has given me the encouragement to seek out more ministry partners. I know that God is just getting started and has already confirmed that a unique ministry like this one can have a deep, spiritual impact on people both locally and around the world.
(Click here for a video about the “New and Different Christian Creator Network” I’m building)
“When I came across XtianNinja’s channel on Twitch, I recognized he had a goal that was more than simply streaming and playing games. As I continued watching his streams, I saw how happy he was (and is) to be a true friend and reach out to those who may be hurting, whether they’re comfortable opening up or staying silent, all while having lots of fun with the community. XtianNinja is willing to make himself vulnerable and shares about his own struggles with the intent of lifting someone else up, and I find that highly admirable. He has been a great example to me for reaching out to others while still having a good time. I entered the XtianNinja community with open arms to welcome me, and I know his arms are wide open for anyone else looking for a safe place, a strong place, or a place to simply hang out.” ~ RazzyRu
It’s not only the rapid numerical growth that has been exciting, but the many opportunities I’ve had to mentor Christian Content Creators, share the gospel, do pastoral counselling, build a loving community, and teach the scriptures to people who have never been to church.
(Click here for a video called, “I Stream for Moments Like This”)
Another surprise has been becoming an important part of up-and-coming Christian streaming organizations and being an online “safe haven” for believers who are looking for family-friendly, Christian streamers (something not very easy to find).
(Click here for my 1st Anniversary Reflection Video)
The reason for this page is that I need your help to keep the momentum going. As you can imagine, there are a lot of costs associated with this sort of pioneer ministry – and like any traditional missionary, committing one’s life to serving and reaching a distinct people group requires a huge commitment of time, energy, and resources. I believe with all my heart that God has called me to make this my full-time ministry (60+ hours per week) so I’ve thrown myself “all-in” with my only sources of income being a small Etsy store, my Twitch income, and supporter donations. I’m still pretty far from my goal of $5000 per month, but I know that there are more people out there who see what I’m doing, recognize the need, and have a heart for the lost, but know that neither they nor their church are equipped to do what I’m doing and want to help.
To learn more about me, my qualifications, and read a short bio, check out the “About Me” page on my website. If you have questions or want to learn more, I would love to talk to you about my vision, hopes, and tell you some wonderful stories about experiences I’ve had with people all around the world. Contact me here.
I found the Covid pandemic very hard to deal with – the death of a parent, the lockdowns, working from home, the closure of my church and the restrictions still in place when it did reopen. All of this made it very difficult to reconnect and have fellowship with other Christians. I found it hard to concentrate and even something as simple as watching the TV was hard to focus on and it did not make up for the isolation. Around the time I first began to follow Xtianninja on Twitch, I was at a very low point and badly in need of fellowship and connections with like minded people. I found a community of people full of warmth, encouragement and people who loved Jesus. Xtianninja unwittingly spoke about a number of things over the first few weeks of me joining his stream which I so identified with. He explained the bible in a very down to earth way which was easy to relate to. Since joining the steam I feel as though I have woken up from a year long spiritual and mental slumber. ~ SisPineapple
The Vision: Going Where They Are
In Jesus’ Parable of the Great Banquet the master of the house, upon hearing that his invited guests wouldn’t come, told his servants to “go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Lk 14:12-24) When the Apostle Paul was describing his perspective on missions he said, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel…” (1Cor 9:19–23) Those verses encapsulate the heart behind XtianNinja Online Missions. My mission is to couple my theological education and ministry experience with my love of technology to purposefully join online communities for the sake of bringing the light of the gospel to people that would never be reached by traditional missions.
Gaming is HUGE:
– 1.2 Billion Gamers in the World Today
– 40 Million Active Gaming Channels
– Millions Watch Online Gaming Every day
– Among People Aged 18-35, Watching Gaming is More Popular Than Watching Sports
The Mission Field: A Dark Place with Millions of People
Watching livestream gaming is popular, but the content is overwhelmingly dark. Most streamers (the people being watched) are profane, overtly sexual, demonic, or simply inane. If you search for “family friendly” streamers on Twitch.tv (the largest streaming site in the world) you will immediately eliminate 99% of the content. And, when it comes to the amount of purposeful, educated, passionate, online missionaries who are dedicated and equipped to serve these lost people, the number dwindles to mere dozens.
Consider that! Hundreds of millions of lost people struggling with loneliness, depression, addiction, social anxiety, and more, sitting in their homes watching hundreds of hours of dark content, desperately searching for love, hope and meaning in their lives – and only a handful of trained missionaries to reach them. These people are not in coffee shops, parks, on sports teams, or local churches. They don’t come to events and simply cannot be reached by traditional missions.
So, how do we get the gospel to people who won’t leave their homes and come to us?
We go to them through their computer.
How do we inspire these people who are so used to dark content to seek God?
Make excellent and enjoyable content that is not only interesting and entertaining to watch but demonstrates kindness and creates trust – coupled with purposeful, gospel oriented content that introduces them to Jesus and a safe, online community.
That’s what XtianNinja Online Ministries is all about!
Something To Read: “The Next Mission Field is a Game” Christianity Today
Something To Visit: https://www.varsityesportsfoundation.org/
The Path: From Virtual Life to Eternal Life
There are already a few dedicated online missionaries that are seeing lives changed through their ministry to the gaming and streaming community – and I’m happy to include myself among them. Love Thy Nerd, Godsquad Gaming, Higher Score Gaming, & God Mode Activated have already seen hundreds of meaningful connections, salvations, and faith renewals in the past 10 years. And that faith doesn’t just live online! For example, GodSquad Gaming is the outreach arm of Godsquad Church, a brick-and-mortar “church for gamers” that has seen an a steady increase in attendance since they were planted in 2015.
How an Unreached Online Stranger Becomes a Dedicated Disciple Through XtianNinja OM:
- Discover my Content: Through Twitch Streams, YouTube Videos, Podcast, or Social Media
- Become Part of my Online Community: Chat during streams, join an XtianNinja dedicated conversation server, and meet the existing follower group.
- Connect With Me Personally: Through Chat, Discord Video & Text, or E-mail
- Share Needs and Receive Care: I, through direct contact and on stream, and online community I’ve built shows them love and helps with their struggles.
- Present the Gospel: Once trust is built and love is demonstrated, I present the gospel through a regular stream or directly over the community server.
- Guide them In the First Steps of Discipleship: Through regular Livestream Bible Chats, Dedicated Devotional/Teaching Streams, and Direct Contact (Some at this point have started calling me their “pastor”.)
- Introduce them to a Local Congregation: Move them from Virtual Life to Eternal life with a faith community by working with them to contact the pastor and find a gospel church.
- Continue to be their online mentor and friend.
What does a Typical streaming week Look like?
- Minecraft Mondays: Devo & Discussion (30mins-1hr) – Minecraft (1hr-1.5hrs)
- Gaming Tuesdays: Devo & Discussion (30mins-1hr) – Play Game of the Week (2hrs)
- Weird Wednesdays: Devo & Discussion (30mins-1hr) – Silly Internet Stuff (1hr-1.5hrs) – Game (1hr)
- Theseus Thursdays: Devo & Discussion (30mins-1hr) – Fun Quizzes and Two-Player Games with my Daughter (2hrs)
- Real Talk Friday: Devo & Discussion (30mins-1hr) – Question of the Day, Q&A, Advice, etc. (1-2hrs) – Giveaways & Game of the Week (1hr)
While I can’t think of a particular instance in which the XtianNinja Community/stream impacted my life in particular, what I will say is, I believe in what Ninja is doing. I believe there is a void in the online space that needs to be filled and Ninja is attempting to fill that void. I can tell you is that I moved to a town where I didn’t know anyone. And during that time, online friends, online Christians, online gamers, helped keep me sane and from feeling lonely. And it was extra special when someone could fill all three of those roles. Ninja and his community are trying to do that and then some. ~ HunterGameDev
From Global to Local: How This Reaches Your Community
Though most of the energy of this ministry will be focused on global outreach, I also have a passion to help local churches and ministries to grow and flourish. Therefore, along with the online content, I have also been working on ways to consult with churches to help them improve their technology, join the online missions community, and be a place for the people in their congregations to watch family friendly, Christian led, gaming.
Also, one thing that’s amazing about the gaming community is that they, like any other fan group, will come out to gaming related conventions and competitive events. With a little work, a church with access to a big room, projector, and a decent internet connection could actually host all manner of gaming related activities. This would not only open their doors to the gamers around them, but also take their online contacts and turn them into to active participants in their own in-house ministries. Another option is to start up a dedicated “e-sports” ministry where people can gain the benefits of traditional “sports ministries” but focused on competitive gaming instead.
How It’s Going: Successes So Far
XtianNinja Channel is Exploding
This site has a lot of numbers, so I won’t overwhelm you with them here. Instead, I’ll tell you how exciting it is that five times per week, for four hours straight, I get to lead teach, connect, encourage, counsel, practice apologetics, and present the gospel to a group the size of a small church (with more stopping by every day). It’s such a wonderful challenge to wake up every day not knowing where the conversations will go or what questions will be asked, but knowing that the Spirit of God is leading each stream in a special direction to help and encourage more and more people. And then, to have those conversations continue hours later on the private Discord server is such an incredible blessing!
Stream Dream Team
Another incredible blessing is my “Stream Dream Team“, a collection of volunteers who are passionately dedicated to using their God-given gifts and talents to equip, elevate, and inspire each other while helping me improve my content and reach more people. I knew that with the ever-expanding vision God is giving me that I was going to need help, but I never thought there would be so much! I put together an incredibly ambitious list of roles, asked God to bring the right people, and once I launched the website it was only mere hours before most of them were filled! I really couldn’t do this without the SDT!
Mentorship Program & Creator Network
Two huge, ongoing projects I’ve been working on are the Creator Mentorship Program and the “Creator Tribe” and they are both showing amazing results and bursting with potential.
The Mentorship Program already has a bunch of people attending and being trained in Biblical leadership, character development, people and streamer skills, while doing peer-reviews of their creative content and holding each other accountable to their own goals.
The people in the Mentorship Program have also been helping me to formulate and launch a very ambitious Christian Streamer Network. It’s still in the planning stages, but we’ve already got a lot of people excited about it, are writing custom training curriculum, and meeting about how it will be structured. I expect it to launch sometime in Fall 2022.
Specialized Nerd / E-Sports Content for Churches
I’ve been working with ministry leaders around the globe to create a specialized training program to help churches (and Christian ministries in general) do a better job of reaching, evangelizing, and disciple-making the nerds, gamers, and geeks in their lives. It’s a specialized group with its own culture and language, and I’m excited to be part of a team that will be helping to bring this often neglected group closer to Jesus and His church. Along with this is the development of curriculum to help streamers and gaming ministries around the world to launch ministries faster and easier than ever before.
I recently left my church because I got tired of feeling laughed at and doubted. I ran into XtianNinja on Etsy, where he printed me a cute little baby robot, and then let slip he was a pastor. A PASTOR who makes beautiful geek toys! And then I looked at his YouTube videos, and dude, it was somebody who spoke my language, who gamed and stunk at it, who gave God talks that didn’t pull punches, who geeked over weirdness. I’m nearly fifty years old, and I have very rarely found a community, even a Christian one, that I felt accepted in. ~ Tam_I_Am
Supporting Online Missions: How You Can Help
I would love it if you would become a Patreon Partner. There are a lot of exciting incentives and different tiers to make it affordable for anyone! But, if you can’t contribute financially by becoming a patron, here are some other great ways to help:
- Be Part of My Offline Community: I need prayer support, loving accountability, supportive friends, encouraging notes, and folks who are as excited about online mission as I am sharing this ministry with others. This ministry won’t thrive and impact the world without a family of believers in my corner.
- Tell Your Friends, Churches, & Denominations About Me: With all the noise on the internet, it’s incredibly hard to grow as a new creator, so every view and share is very helpful! Plus, being on the forefront of a pioneer mission that is still in the development stages means that existing and traditional missionary organizations and churches aren’t able to send me “official support”, so word-of-mouth sharing is key to building a grass-roots support system.
- Watch & Share the Streams: One of the easiest ways you can support the stream is simply to tune in when I’m live. Even if you don’t listen to the whole thing Twitch counts you as a viewer and it helps my statistics and puts me higher up on the discovery page (they call it “lurking”). If I can get 75 people watching concurrently – even as background radio noise – I can reach “Partner” – which is a pretty big deal.
Thank you and God Bless,