Catie Dexter is a different kind of evangelist. “The gaming community is definitely a community that’s got some lost people that need Christ,” she says.
Millions of people log onto Twitch every month to broadcast live video — most of them streaming games like League of Legends or Rocket League. Some use it to organize sporting events or political discussions. But a small and growing community of creators is using Twitch to reach gamers on behalf of Jesus Christ. Dexter is the chief operating officer of God Mode Activated (GMA), a group dedicated to “activating gamers in faith.”
Initially founded in 2018, GMA’s stated goal is to create a community for both believers and nonbelievers to experience Christianity in the context of gaming. Dexter, also known by her Twitch handle Catastrophic, described the ministry’s approach to OneZero as a “network” of GMA affiliates, each of whom is offered free rein to stream whatever games they like — as long as they use their Twitch platform to share Christian content and encourage their audiences to join the GMA Discord server. Sometimes, affiliates hold Bible studies on their streams. In other instances, gamers gather impromptu on the GMA Discord server to chat about personal life while playing games together.
Pastors and evangelists, some of them genuine gamers themselves, are taking to the video game streaming platform because it represents a new mission field for approaching people with the Gospel. It’s also well suited to fellowshipping — a Christian term for hanging out — with Fortniters and Fall Guys streamers alike. And there are a lot of people hanging out: In 2019, an estimated 2.5 billion gamers worldwide spent around six hours a week playing games, and Covid-19 has significantly increased that number. To Christians looking to evangelize others online, that degree of lifestyle dedication makes…