Project: The Robloxian Christians
Leader:
Daniel Herron
Website: www.therobloxianchristians.org

Purpose

TRC Ministries’ goal is to equip and resource youth-led ministries on Roblox and Discord.

Project Categories

  • Other – Innovative, unique projects that may not fit in an identified category but still fulfill our mission of church multiplication

Big Idea and Overview

The Robloxian Christians was founded in 2011 as a place for kids on the Roblox gaming platform to pray for one another and talk about their faith online. Over the course of a decade, it transformed into a youth-led virtual church ministry serving upwards of 40,000 young people from over 85 countries. Daniel Herron, 21, pastored TRC for ten years before passing on the mantle of leadership to Taylah Littleton, 18.

When TRC was founded, it was the first “online church” on Roblox, and one of the first totally virtual churches in the world. In the time since, for different reasons, many young people have split off to form their own churches and worshipping communities. Today, there are over 120 youth-led online churches on Roblox spanning the theological/political/denominational spectrum.

In 2019, Daniel founded TRC Ministries as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a broad mission to support churches on Roblox. The non-profit also serves as parent organization and fiscal sponsor of The Robloxian Christians Online Church.

With funding from Exponential, we plan to accomplish two goals. First, build an updated virtual space for The Robloxian Christians to meet that will be easily editable for future updates without needed experience in the Roblox builder. Second, create a set of resources to help small and growing Roblox churches overcome the obstacles that TRC faced when it was a burgeoning ministry.

Customer / Mission Field Context

TRC Ministries and The Robloxian Christians serve in the online gaming platform, Roblox. It is a massively popular site based upon user-generated content. Users can use the tools provided by the Roblox engine to create immersive 3D games, create social experiences, online groups, and participate in the platform’s virtual economy.

The audience on Roblox is young people. TRC has completed several representative studies of our congregation and learned that the average age of our members is 14-15 or just around the middle-school/high-school age. The majority of Roblox users do not actively attend church or proclaim faith in Christ. Depression, anxiety, bullying, loneliness, are major issues within the Roblox community and Gen-Z as a whole. TRC’s goal is to reach kids and teens where they are at, on the Roblox platform.

We also use Discord as a communication platform. Much of our ministry throughout the week happens here since it allows voice and video chat. Discord servers are more conducive to strengthened relationships and more personal engagement 24/7, between members as well as with our volunteers.

On Discord and Roblox, church is no longer an hour on Sundays, it is when you log on after school, or before you go to bed, or even in the middle of the night with your friends halfway around the world.

Goals and Desired Outcomes

  1. Our project is first going to build a new virtual space for The Robloxian Christians Church that is up-to-date with Roblox technology, easy to use and update for seasonal events, has strong run-performance for mobile, tablet, console, and pc-users, and is functional for different types of virtual events.

  2. The new virtual space will have API-integrations between our roblox group hub and our community Discord server. Creating a new space for TRC is important not only because the current space is several years behind, but also because as we look towards future leadership transitions, having a steady virtual space will smooth it out.

Results and
Impact

For a long time, the measurements that the church has used to gauge success has been butts in seats attendance numbers. Baptisms, confirmations, etc. For us online, attendance is okay, but it is not a good indicator of engagement or how involved a person is in the life of the church. What is more important to us is the qualitative results, people sharing their stories of how God is working and transforming their life, how our church and our family have been alongside them in that. This is something that is very difficult to measure, but one can tell when it is happening by attending TRC’s events.

When you can have conversations with young people, hurting people that are experiencing the love of God for the very first time, that is probably the most significant result. In terms of measurability, the church leadership is probably the best indicator of a church’s health. Are the pastor(s) committed to this church, are they going the extra mile to care for the life and needs of the congregation? Are people actively getting involved on the teams and ministries of the church? Are people attending events and serving at them? Is there healthy communication at all levels of the organization, these qualities are more measurable. From an external view, trying to support many churches on Roblox, is probably one of the best indicators of success.

Media Assets

The Robloxian Christians

Exponential's Future Church Podcast

Love Clan

Outreach Magazine Article