Odd Ministries

Halloween is this weekend! My favorite holiday. I love the creativity and artistry that goes into costume design. I find that the costume-wearing community (often known as cosplayers, for costume play) are a friendly and enthusiastic bunch.

In the past, I’ve made a variety of my own costumes — Cap’n Crunch, Cyborg Pirate Ninja Jesus, Mini-Me, and others.

Some people consider it odd that as born-again Christian like me is into Halloween and similar events. But I don’t see it as a problem at all — costumes are sometimes a part of my ministry. Science ficiton, games, costumes, technology, cartoons, and other “geeky” activities are celebrated by thousands of enthusiasts in cities all over the world. Wearing a costume sometimes opens metaphorical doors for me that would sometimes be hard to get into. It allows me to have conversations that may be hard to arrange otherwise.

Here are some of the Christian geeky groups that I’m involved in:
Christian Gamers Guild, focused on tabletop games such as board games, card games, and roleplaying games
Game Church, focused on electronic games
Fans for Christ, encompassing all of fandom, from costumes to comics to games to anime
Grave Robbers, focusing on Christian goths and punks
CrossCon, focusing on information security professionals, aka “hackers”

And some great people / groups / media that I keep up with:
Geek Preacher, a Methodist Minister from Tennessee, and all-around nerd
MJ Young, gamer, author, and chaplain
Steve Racer, actor, author, and cosplayer
Hackers for Charity, security experts who support and train Uganda street kids
Geekdom House, Kyle Rudge’s outreach from his church to the geeks
The Dice Steeple podcast about board games and card games
Saving the Game, a podcast about roleplaying
Game Store Prophets and InnRoads Ministries, a podcast about Jesus and gaming
Christ and Pop Culture, examining overlaps and conflicts
Strangers and Aliens, a podcast reminding us of our true home
Geek Orthodox podcast
Hacking Christianity, extracting truth nuggets from the Word
Geeks Under Grace, uniting in differences

In a week, I’ll be preaching at Wizard World’s Louisville Comic Con. This is my first time preaching at this particular event (only in its second year here, although Wizard World has been running events in other cities for a long time).

This sermon will be Ghostbusters-themed, as a tribute to my friend Ryan Kemp.

Here are some fun costumes I’ve come across over the years:
The Joker, with his amazing boxing glove gun (complete with its own sound effect) Captain America, punching out Dave Mattingly Squirrel Girl, defeater of Doom, Thanos, and Galactus Steampunk Oz, I don't think we're grokking Kansas anymore Willy Wonka, master of Oompa Loompas Klingon Elvis, because the King sounds better in the original Klingon Tusken Raider, riding single file to hide its numbers Gumby and Pokey, reliving their childhoods Ace Ventura, Pet Detective The Last Crusader, he chose wisely