Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jesus Versus Video Games

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

My primary ministry is to help coordinate church planting in the area where I live. In that role I get to spend time with a lot of fine young couples who have a passion for changing their corner of the world. One of the things I assist those couples in doing is to find some partners who will stand with them in prayer, giving and volunteering. Those partners come from other area churches as well as from churches outside our area. It is a lot of work to find partners willing to sacrifice their time, their treasure and their talents to help a church they are not even part of. But the Lord touches the hearts of partners and they join the cause.

Once one of our church planters sent a Facebook message to me. He had been working the social media angle pretty hard trying to find partners. Though some people had responded, many had not. In a pointed moment of realization it occurred to him that many of the people he was contacting about partnering with him in church planting were ignoring his messages about partnering but sending him countless messages inviting him to play games on Facebook. He found it ironic that they would talk to him a lot about video games but not about sharing Jesus with others. His message pondered what it would be like if he could get people as excited about partnering with him in ministry as they were about playing games on Facebook. I wonder the same thing.

People who tell me they do not have time to volunteer seem to have the time to play on both softball and basketball leagues. People who tell me they do not have money to donate somehow have the money to drive the latest model car with all the upgrades. Pastors who tell me their church is too stretched to help plant another church find money for another round of renovations in a sanctuary that already looks pristine. Church youth groups and senior adult groups go on amazing sight-seeing trips on fully equipped buses, but seem unable to take those same people on a mission trip. Once I got a letter from a mega-church asking me for money. They wanted to build a $120,000 playground for the children in their already well-funded private school. I sent them a letter back suggesting they tithe off their playground fund to a church plant in New England. I never got a response.

The point I am trying to make is that we have somehow gotten our priorities all messed up. Now Christians play games and have fun instead of being about the business of winning others to Jesus. I am not suggesting that we should never have fun or play games, but somewhere along the line we must stop playing games with our faith and start doing whatever it takes to win our nation to Jesus.

Lord, help us be serious about the business of sharing Christ with those around us. Amen.

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is a church planter in New England. He is a happy husband, proud father, thankful cancer survivor, and the author of numerous books aimed at helping small churches become healthier and individual Christians grow in their faith. You can find his books at:



  1. Pastor. Sometimes i feel i fit the description of people of whom Jesus said " They gave out of their abundance". That is why i strive to "please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," ( col 1:10.)
    What a strange coincidence pastor. Pastor Paul Nandakumar also wrote of "Seek ye frist...." in the may issue of his "Glory to Jesus".

  2. good article! I dont have any time for games really. resting is one thing, slacking off is another

  3. "somehow gotten our priorities all messed up" - it's called prosperity, and anytime the Lord blesses a nation 'Somehow' they forget their God. It is heart wrenching for sure. Life is too short, but then the question is how many people who are playing video games are deceived and are they really believers? I am not one to say they are or they're not but how many in the church can play around and watch people going to hell...

  4. Amen to both of you, brothers. I'm appalled at how many Christians, even pastors, spend so much time, energy, and money on things of no eternal value . . . and even moreso, incredibly grieved over how much of the same is spent on supposed "ministry" activities and practices that bear absolutely no fruit. In both cases, I think it may be that "form of godliness but denying the power thereof" of which Paul wrote. We desperately need revival!

  5. Sounds a lot like, self-centered church members . . . They have left their first love . . . If . . . This is what is wrong with the organized church today.

    1. Johnnie, I so wish I could disagree with your assessment. But I am unable to.

  6. Terry, as you know Life Passage Ministries Is a 501 (c) (3). I do church consulting, church, health and assist with church revitalization in the Northwest, for very small churches in pioneer areas. While also pastoring a small rural church in Southeast Oregon. We do this at no charge, although we do ask for a love offering, if we come up short we pick up the cost ourselves. It is almost impossible to get anyone to donate to this type of ministry. Another idea I have promoted is the adopt a rural pastor going back to 2008.People seem to have no idea how much $12,000 dollars a year can change a rural pastors life. At this point we have had a limited number of contributions to LPM. Yet in six years we have not had one church or one person who would be willing to help support a rural pastor in the Northwest.