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What the Church Can Learn From Fortnite

13 August, 2018
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I’m sure you’ve heard of the video game called Fortnite. If you haven’t, definitely keep reading. This game has exploded in popularity worldwide among youth and adults alike, and I strongly believe there are some great takeaways for the Church from it.

Here are the facts: while this game has only been around for a little more than a year, it boasts over 125 million players. Additionally, researchers estimate that Epic Games (the creator of Fortnite) is making somewhere around $300 million every month from the game.

Needless to say, this game is a big deal. And as we watch it continue to grow, it’s valuable to consider what insights we can learn from the success of Fortnite that could apply directly to the mission of our churches.  

Here are the top three takeaways:

1) There are no barriers to play.

Anyone can download and play Fortnite completely free. You can certainly purchase various items once you start playing (they’ve got to make $300 million every month somehow), but players can enjoy the game at no cost for as long as they want.

Application for Churches:

The Church has the greatest message of salvation to share. As Ephesians 2:8 reminds us, this gift comes completely free. However, our churches often create barriers to the spread of this message by utilizing outdated methods, using unclear language, or fostering an exclusive and unwelcoming culture.

Questions to Ask:

  • What barriers currently exist for new people who attend our church?
  • How can we make the message of Jesus as accessible as possible?

2) A clear path exists for players.

Every single week, Fortnite players receive new “challenges” that give them tasks to accomplish and direct how they play the game. These challenges keep players engaged, offer clear next steps, and help players progress on their mission to level up and unlock better items.

Application for Churches:

This is such a great example of the importance of a discipleship path. To be honest, most people probably don’t understand that there can be more to attending a church than just showing up on Sunday. The power of a discipleship path comes in the clarity people experience as they understand which steps to take and when.

Questions to Ask:

  • Do we currently have a clear discipleship path?
  • How can we intentionally keep people engaged and progressing in their relationship with Christ?
  • Do we communicate next steps clearly for new believers?

3) Community drives everything.

Fortnite is much more than just a video game; it is an online, communal experience. Through the various game modes offered and the ability to play with friends across most platforms (i.e. people playing on their phone can play with people playing on Xbox), the developers of Fortnite have made it incredibly easy to play with others and use the game as a platform for building community.

Application for Churches:

I hope you can already see where we’re headed here. But it all comes down to this: people are craving community. And, quite frankly, if they can’t find community at your church, they’ll find it somewhere else. We believe that relationships are the best way to consistently grow deeper in our relationship with Christ. So, whatever form this takes at our churches, we need to emphasize and prioritize opportunities for people to build strong relationships.  

Questions to Ask:

  • If we’re honest, is our current culture welcoming to new people?
  • How can we create opportunities for people to build deeper relationships with one another?
  • Do we overly prioritize internal relationships and miss out on reaching the community?

Whether you’ve played the game or not, Fortnite has truly become a cultural phenomenon as it consistently gains popularity. And it's valuable for us to simply ask "Why?"

Though I believe there are many more, I hope these takeaways are strong reminders to develop a welcoming culture, offer clear next steps for new believers, and prioritize community.

And hey, maybe give the game a shot. (It is free after all.)


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Austin Savage

From Normal, IL, Austin gets that ministry can sometimes feel anything but “normal.” He grew up leading in the small church his dad pastored, and has since served on the launch teams for two church plants. He holds a Communications degree from Moody Bible Institute and is passionate about seeing churches grow healthier and make a difference in their communities.

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