When I began the outreach in mid-2020 to establish a Christian-based STO fleet, I was motivated by the singular God-given purpose in the Great Commission - and my failure to fulfill it while locked down at home. Through this Fleet, I remind all of us - myself included - of our purpose.
A Return to Star Trek Online during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Star Trek Online began for me as a fun pick-up-and-leave-it sort of game several years ago. As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed more of us into our homes, Star Trek Online became an escape from the inundation of opinions on social media and ideological conflicts arising from the pandemic in an election year. Upon reflection, I discovered that my time on Star Trek Online was eclipsing my time with family, my time in prayer, and my time in the Word. The Spirit convicted me that I was not fulfilling the Great Commission as the "lockdown" continued.
Let me pause and say that having hobbies or other activities is not sinful; however, they can take away from the purpose to which we have been called to share the Gospel. I knew the time God had given me was being squandered, and my activities were becoming more self-centered to avoid the angst produced by the events of 2020. I was not honoring God with my time.
How to connect with other believers in the absence of Bible study groups though? How to share the Gospel with non-believers when so many folks were staying at home during the pandemic?
By establishing a Christian-based fleet, I believed that Star Trek Online is a platform for connecting believers and sharing the Gospel. Hence arose the three purposes of the Ancient Trinity Disciples Fleet:
1) Fellowship among Believers - Providing disciples of Christ, regardless of denomination, a welcome fellowship while exploring the galaxy in their service to Starfleet or affiliated faction on Star Trek Online;
2) In-Game Resource Sharing - Joining resources and efforts to strengthen their crews and ships through the development of Fleet holdings and projects; and
3) Evangelism - Sharing the Gospel through the recruitment of believers and non-believers who may be exposed to Scriptural truths through our stories and experiences.
How have we done in fulfilling the Fleet's Purposes?
Fellowship. The founding members and those who have interacted with us have enjoyed the fellowship we share through in-game chat, through encouragement and prayer on Discord, and regular meetings that include devotionals that reinforce our common beliefs and encourage us to share the Gospel.
Resource Sharing. The Fleet has grown quickly to being a Level 9 Fleet within six months of its foundation. Comparing notes, some fleets remain at low levels for years. Our members have selflessly devoted resources to the Fleet's growth.
Evangelism. However, I encourage all of our members to begin focusing on and developing creative ideas to fulfill our third purpose as a fleet, that is sharing the Gospel.
I recently shared in a devotional how the apostle Paul prayed for, took advantage of, and made opportunities for evangelism. While we ought to continue in prayer, I encourage our members to identify creative ideas for sharing the Gospel in-game. For instance:
As Paul went into markets and temples to debate the Gospel, could we do the same in social zones in a civil and encouraging manner?
As Paul established a presence in a particular town as a tradesman and used that to establish relationships, could we do the same by offering Q&A support in-game?
As Paul met the physical needs of those around him before leveraging those relationships for sharing the Gospel, could we establish regular vodcasts or other publications regarding STO that conclude with the Gospel's message of love, forgiveness, and hope?
Where do we go from here?
As we enter into the summer months of 2021 when the Fleet's activities may slow down, generate other ideas and engage your fellow Fleet members in in-game activities that fulfill ALL of the Fleet's purposes - especially the God-given purpose of sharing the Gospel about His son Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers from death and God's wrath we all deserve because of our sin.
The last two years demonstrated how many people no longer turn to God in the face of difficulty; rather our society seemingly turned inward depending on self-sufficiency and to political leaders for guidance and support.
Now more than ever, disciples of Christ should keep and remain steadfast in their faith in Jesus Christ - and share that faith as the foundation all may depend on in times of triumph and times of trial.
You are more than disciples; you are ambassadors for Christ. Represent Him well.