Would You Ignore 78,000 People?

by Paul on June 9, 2009

Talking with Christians in Second Life about Online Ministry

Talking with Christians in Second Life about Online Ministry

Every time I log into Second Life there are anywhere from 52,000 to 78,000 people logged-in. In terms of total numbers of people online at any given time, the number may seem small. But in terms of human life, the number is huge and impossible to ignore.

I encountered Second Life within the month after God called me to online ministry. I knew then that I didn’t have the time to learn the intricate culture of Second Life or become a meaningful member of the various communities and sub-populations. So I took a page from David’s (http://www.davidlwatson.org) book and prayed God would bring several potential partners my way who already understood Second Life and could move about in that world much better than I.

So every once in a while I’d write about Second Life. Periodically I’d wander the forests, halls, and skies of that fascinating world. I’d talk with people, but nothing significant. I prayed for God to help me find people to partner with in Second Life. I’d write about my experiences, hoping to find those partners.

Then I got a random Skype call from a guy in Belgium. I didn’t have any idea of who he was, just that he seemed interested in talking about online ministry and, particularly, Second Life. We talked for about an hour and a half about online ministry and Second Life.

That conversation led to several others and ultimately meeting (via Skype) with other leaders active in Second Life to pray for God’s direction for ministry and reaching lost communities of people in SL.

They felt it would be good for me to talk a bit about my ideas for online ministry to a group in Second Life. I took them at their word, for they knew the community better than I. So we set up a talk for one Sunday a couple of weeks ago.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I arrived in Second Life. I didn’t know how I’d talk to the group. I didn’t even know if anyone would show up or be interested in anything I’d have to say.

I was surprised.

Apparently my friends went all out to market the conversation with several leaders of Christian SIMS in Second Life. Several of these leaders where there with people from their SIMS. I believe the count was 19 or so, but I had difficulty keeping up with all the people and navigating the controls so I could talk with everyone present. (I was a bit worried that I’d do something counter to the SL culture and completely embarrass my friends. As far as I know I didn’t do anything horrid, but I was worried!)

I didn’t want to cover the usual hype about the internet and the Gospel, so I went through Luke 10 and talked about how it outlines a simple strategy for engaging communities of lost people that has worked all over the world. People seemed to respond to it positively, but the proof will be in the fruit.

I’m asking the Lord to send out workers to the harvest in Second Life.

I’m praying we see 1000 Discovery Bible Studies among lost people in Second Life in the next year.

Next Step for Second Life

I believe we will not see a significant move of the Holy Spirit within Second Life until we see a significant movement of prayer in Second Life.  I am completely convinced that Christian SIM owners must lay aside all doctrinal and theological differences and begin praying intensely for each other and for the lost.  We are going to have to coordinate and schedule regular prayerwalks through the toughest SIMs and in the toughest areas imaginable in Second Life.  We are going to have to approach non-Christian SIM owners and ask permission to pray blessings over their land and the people who call that space home.

Like My Cape?

Like My Cape?

I’m talking to a few about developing a small prayer center – not more than a small house, really – to coordinate prayer efforts.  This wasn’t my idea, but my friend’s, and I believe his vision lines up with what needs to happen to prepare the soil in Second Life for a Gospel Planting Movement.  I hope we can get it underway pretty soon.

As we get a good prayer base underway, I’d like to move toward finding persons of peace in Second Life and starting Discovery Bible Studies.

Additional Thoughts

One of the things I love about what is happening in Second Life is that it isn’t about me or my ideas.  God has been working there for some time among Christians, giving them a passion for the lost and a desire to see Second Life as a wonderful opportunity to connect with people around the world.  There is good Christian work in Second Life and many Christians who want to have a Kingdom impact in this online community.  The coolest thing ever is that God is bringing us together.  I am certain that this is a sign that He has a plan, that He wants us to work together, and that this plan existed from the dawn of creation!  I am very excited to see how God is going to use all of us for His Glory in Second Life!

As always, we would all appreciate your prayers.

(Most of my contacts in Second Life have come from the Anglican Ecumenical Society, a group committed to ministry in Second Life before I even knew Second Life existed.  I really appreciate my friendship with them and the way they seek partnerships within Second Life to further the Kingdom.  Thank you for all you are doing.  I hope we continue to make a Kingdom impact together.)

Thanks to My Dear SL Friends for Putting A Ton of Work Into this Event

Thanks to My Dear SL Friends for Putting A Ton of Work Into this Event

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • E-mail this story to a friend!

This website uses IntenseDebate comments, but they are not currently loaded because either your browser doesn't support JavaScript, or they didn't load fast enough.

{ 1 trackback }

Paul Watson discusses his talk, and the way forward: prayer « Anglican Ecumenical Society
June 9, 2009 at 8:50 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Wilfired Ansome June 9, 2009 at 8:35 am

There were 35 present that I counted. And you did an awesome job – there was an amazing level of enthusiasm about your talk.

Thanks so much for this article regarding the way forward. I really look forward to that prayer center!

Sufia Shepherd June 9, 2009 at 11:51 am

Thanks, having done ministry in second life for nearly 3 years, it was good to hear the focus again on mission.
I reflected on how I need to find myself becoming uncomfortable, and there are plenty of spaces in cyber culture that I do.
As partners, Vidz and I support each other in are different approaches to virtual reality.
The most important thing is not to take anything too seriously.
I would be happy to pray, to support and feel supported. I have a little house at San Andreas needing to be used, there is the garden also :) ))

Wilfried Ansome June 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm

You can keep informed of initiatives around prayer and the prayer center at our facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anglican-Ecumenical-Society/120676243272?ref=mf

Dana Byers June 10, 2009 at 3:10 am

This is exciting! I’m hoping to learn more about Second Life and engage in that community as well. Thanks for encouraging me to give it a go, Paul.

Paul June 9, 2009 at 8:42 am

Wow! 35! That’s great! I hope we see a lot of fruit from the talk. I hope it turns into discussion and action quite soon! Thanks, Wilf, for all the work you put into this and for your heart for the lost in SL.

Leave a Comment

Previous post: Quick Video Update from DFW Airport

Next post: Top Ten Lists from Online Summer Missionary Training