Leicester Church Uses Minecraft To Teach Bible To Teens

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Leicester Church Uses Minecraft To Teach Bible To Teens
June 2, 2020
JOSH YOUNG/MICROSOFT/MOJANG
It took Josh Young about four hours to rebuild the Anglican church, which follows the real-life one's blue prints

 

A church has turned to Minecraft to teach its youngsters about Christianity during the lockdown.

 

Leicester's St John the Baptist Church has been recreated on a server so the youth club have somewhere for Bible lessons.

 

Josh Young, the organiser, said it was a way of meeting younger people "where they are" and engaging with them in a world they are used to.

 

Virtual reality means they have also been able to get creative with lessons.

 

For example Mr Young made an underwater whale so they could learn about the story of Jonah and challenged the teenagers to make boats to learn about when Jesus calmed a storm.

JOSH YOUNG/MICROSOFT/MOJANG
Inside the church there are messages explaining the significance of Christian practices, such as baptism and giving to the poor

 

The 27-year-old youth worker added: "Having a community for these young people is really important and I wanted to carry that on in the lockdown.

 

"They can't hang out with friends and some of them are really struggling at the moment. On Minecraft they can meet, talk and play games without physically being there. It is a tool for engagement and building community.

 

"Young people live in this online world and the Bible teaches us to meet people where they are, in their community.

 

"Jesus pushed the boundaries of what people thought was typical worship, he would be happy with the idea that the church is moving forwards."

JOSH YOUNG/MICROSOFT/MOJANG
In real life there is a field and some houses around the church - on Minecraft, there's a sea with the whale from the story of Jonah
JOSH YOUNG/MICROSOFT/MOJANG
Josh said the numbers showing up to take part were growing every week

 

About 20 youngsters, aged between 11 and 17, spend two-and-a-half hours on the server every Wednesday.

 

In that time they're free to explore the world or pursue their own projects, but for 30 minutes they are teleported to a communal area to complete a Bible-themed challenge.

 

Mr Young said they had made sure the adults could prevent bad language, control who joined and had permission from the parents for their children to join.

JOSH YOUNG/MICROSOFT/MOJANG
Parents have said they are "blown away" but it was good to meet the teenagers "in their territory"

 

Rosie, 15, is one of the teenagers who joins regularly. "I love it because I can talk to my friends whilst playing, I enjoy it just the same as meeting up for our normal youth club," she said.

 

"I thought it was good when Josh teleported everyone to the same place and we had a competition to build the best boat from Matthew, Chapter 8, when Jesus stopped the storm. My team won it because we built little lightning storm clouds."

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