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Virtual Easter for Sheringham church youth

The young people at Lighthouse Community Church in Sheringham have been celebrating Easter virtually this year, using on-line gaming to tell the Easter story. Tony Rothe reports.

Minecraft is an online game that allows you to explore an open world and build whatever you can think of in it. The boys in the youth group decided they would use the game to describe aspects of the Easter story, and portray what it meant to them.
minecraft temple 750ATConnor Winston, an intern at Lighthouse, who is currently helping to run the group from his home in Essex, explains: “The boys are all really into playing Minecraft, and it was something they all spoke about a lot during our sessions. Tim (one of the leaders) had the idea that we could use their love of Minecraft and tie it into our youth work as a way of meeting the boys where they're at. So, this Easter, we decided to make an online server on the game and set the boys the challenge of building something that makes them think of Easter.
“This meant that the boys were able to play a game that they find fun while thinking about what Easter really meant to them. As a church at Lighthouse we are trying to really encourage creativity, so using this game seemed like a good way to do this with the youth. Even though we haven't been able to meet in person, this game allowed us to really build a sense of community with the boys and gave them the opportunity to grow in their relationships with one another.
minecraft beeston 750AT“I was really inspired to see how creative the boys were, and to see a visual representation of what made them think of Easter. The builds ranged from the crucifixion and empty tomb scenes to the tearing of the veil and even Easter eggs! One boy, in particular, built his representation of the cross at the top of Beeston Hill, which adjoins Sheringham. (Pictured, right)
“It's been really encouraging to hear that they have been playing online together and growing in their friendships even after the sessions. Without us being forced to go online, we may have never looked into this as an idea, and it has proved to be a big success amongst the young people, for building a fun community while also focussing on the gospel and the story of Easter.”
To view a video of the Minecraft creations, click here.
The photos and video are courtesy of Connor Winston.


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