Feb 9, 2022

Metaverse Explained

Metaverse.  You've probably heard or seen this word in the last few months.  But what is it?  It's important to know about this as you talk with kids.  They will be the catalyst for metaverse in the years ahead.

Metaverse is a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users "live" within a digital universe. Supporters of the metaverse envision its users working, playing and staying connected with friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual trips around to the world.

Here is a two minute video from Microsoft that explains what metaverse is. If you are reading this in an email and can't see the video, you can watch it at this link.

 

The next generation is ready to jump on board this new technology.  They are already living online. They spend their time watching videos, playing games and using social media and learning.

Here's an example - 50% of 9-to-12 year olds play Roblox at least weekly.  While Roboblox isn't a fully true metaverse, it is the best example of what it is.  

  • Users have an identity.
  • A place where real-world and in-game friends can connect. 
  • Immersion into an alternative world.
  • Easy on-boarding.
  • An internal economy.
  • Sense of trust and civility.

Another example is Minecraft. It is a place where friends can collaborate with friends.  It has evolved to include formal and informal learning.  

Fortnite has a creative mode in its Battle Royal.  It lets users customize an inland where kids can hang out and play with friends. 

Metaverse will continue to evolve and grow as technology improves.

Here are a few tips for using this upcoming technology. 

Understand that the metaverse isn’t just about games.  The top destinations for tweens and teens—Minecraft, Fortnite (Creative), Roblox, Animal Crossing - are less focused on competition, and more on social connection. 

Kids are looking for connection.  They want to be part of a group they can relate to.  As ministries, we can step up and provide practical ways kids can connect and be part of a group in our ministry.  Whether it's a small group, Sunday School class, mid-week discipleship or serving team, it gives them the opportunity to be part of a small group so they can be known and belong.

Will children's ministries use the metaverse in the future I believe the answer is "yes."  There are so many ways it could be used to reach and disciple kids and parents.  

Life Church, with Pastor Craig Groeschel, recently started a campus in Metaverse.  Over 200 attended the virtual service  and almost 100 were there for the second-ever service a week earlier. And the church reports three participants so far have said they decided to follow Jesus.

While there are a few critics of this new Metaverse approach to ministry, I believe it will allow us to reach kids and parents who would never set foot inside a regular church. 

Would enjoy hearing your thoughts about Metaverse.  Is it a legitimate way to reach people?  How would you use it in your ministry?  What does this mean for the next generation?  Can the Gospel be clearly shared in Metaverse?  Can you disciple kids and families in Metaverse?

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.