What is one activity every young person is interested in today?

If you said, “math,” you are probably in for a surprise!

Last week, I attended an evangelism conference and had a great time discussing evangelistic opportunities with individuals from all over the world. On the last evening, I was seated at a table with a boy who was about 8 years old. I leaned over to him and started a conversation. At one point I asked him, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

His answer: a video game designer.

Kids in America love video games. They love them so much that almost every kids alive today wants to get paid to play video games. They are devoting huge amounts of time to become skilled at a variety of games. In fact, if the pesky authorities in their lives didn’t intervene, some would probably play games day in and day out.

Thus: a ministry idea.

What is 1-Up?

1-Up is a (potential) weekly after-school program that features age-appropriate video games on the best consoles available, high-definition big screen tvs, food, and Bible studies, regular gospel presentations, and mentoring opportunities.

(Where did the name come from? In case you didn’t know, video game players have created their own short-hand language. They use words like “noob” to identify inexperienced players. “Leet” means “elite.” I discovered recently that “1-Up” means “an extra life.”[1] How cool is that? Gamers have their own way of pointing to what the Bible calls being “born again.” By calling this ministry 1-Up, I have the opportunity of being “relevant” among gamers while creating opportunities of sharing the truth of new life that can be found in Jesus Christ.)


With the obvious interest that young people have in playing video games, I believe that it would be valuable to our society to create a safe environment in which students can spend time, socialize, play video games, complete their homework, hear about Jesus, eat a meal, and receive mentoring from caring adults.


Students ages 13-17, with parent/ guardian permission.


1-Up will meet on each Friday of the school year from 3-7pm. (Parkrose Middle School ends most school day at 3pm.)

3:00pm – Open Doors
5:00pm – Start Bible Study
5:30pm – Serve Dinner
7:00pm – Close Doors


There are still many details that need to be worked out in order to make this ministry a success. Details like funding, volunteers, a facility, the definition of “age-appropriate,” etc. So, I’m looking for feedback!

If you have any comments, ideas, or concerns, please take a minute to write them in a comment below! Is this a good idea? A great idea? A terrible idea? Let me know.

[1] https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/computers/tips-and-solutions/gaming-week-gamers-glossary