What's Next is partnering with Chi Alpha in the launch of the next national Xbox tournament tour. The first tournament will be hosted live at Virginia Tech and Ohio State University April 9th, and more venues are expected to be added. Gamers from across the country will compete at the end of the 2005 tour in a head-to-head playoff. All this to raise awareness for the Gospel and to fundraise for a project called Speak the Language.
Youth ministries continue to reach out to this generation's youth in more and more creative ways. This creativity has expanded to reach the gaming arena. Christians have denounced the violence and sexual content in these games, but instead of fighting the gaming movement, one group has utilized it to promote the gospel.
"Rather than fight it, religious folks are now trying to offer alternative venues for both content and technology," said David Batstone, a theology and ethics professor at the University of San Francisco in a previous Christian Post article.
Already there are 415 million people playing electronic games and it is projected to grow to reach 2.6 billion worldwide in 5 years according to a press release from Deloitte & Touche LLP based in the UK.
What's Next is piggyback riding on this movement to help fundraise for other missions-based projects, including Speak The Language, and at the same time, raising awareness of the Gospel.
Speak the Language took shape when funds were needed to produce new Christian based childrens' programming in Bangladesh. The programs reached 110 million children under the age of sixteen when 26 episodes of "Ponu Dada - Adventurer" and "The World of Johnathan Singh" were made, and each episode was broadcasted twice in the past year. What's Next took the opportunity to raise funds for Speak The Language using the Xbox Tournament.
However, while Xbox is a "key strategy to building strong relationships with other believers," their forum states, "the singular overriding element would be to build a community of believers who share a common faith and common values." Above all, it's their wish to see activity that would promote the Gospel to the world.
"No more one offs. We're in this for the long haul - committed to reaching souls until Jesus returns. Sustained action comes out of strong communities. We are building one here," states the forum's moderator.