When I first started developing a church for nerds, geeks, and gamers, I thought what I was creating was novel. It didn't take long to discover that, while it was undoubtedly niche, the nerd church was not a new thought by a long shot. So I pivoted and took several months to learn from groups like Love Thy Nerd, God Squad Church, and GameChurch. I met some extraordinary leaders, innovators, and like-minded nerds who wanted to do the work of connecting the world of faith and fandom.
I realized what the community was missing: the glue that holds it all together. I launched the Nerds of Pray podcast (which will eventually leave hiatus, I promise) and determined that I would be as active in the chats of these communities as possible. The truth of the church planting world is that there is a bizarre sense of territoriality. I've even seen it rear its ugly head in the online sphere.
But the truth is this: the Internet is bigger than our wildest dreams.
Every nerdy church combined doesn't touch the size of the top 1% of online streamers on Twitch. It's tempting to get a bit big for our britches and try to become the next big thing, but the way Jesus wants to work in the online community is the same as ever: through the connected Body of Christ. If we want to flaunt our hind ends and stake claims, we will continue to divide and do our own thing. But if we're going to shift the mission field online radically, then we must work together.
For this reason, I am an avid supporter of the others who came before Checkpoint Church and those who have formed after our entrance into the online ministry world. So, I am shouting out the upcoming event LTNCon - a nerd convention hosted by Love Thy Nerd - coming up this October. Checkpoint Church will be there... not an invasion of territory, but an expression of compassionate support for the geeky Body of Christ.