A church planting network has received a spike in attention after Google announced that it was launching a gaming platform of the same name.
“We don’t do cloud gaming (yet?)” the group quipped on Twitter shortly after Google’s announcement. “But we do plant churches. So if you’re into that, hit us up!”
We don't do cloud gaming (yet?)
But we do plant churches. So if you're into that, hit us up! https://t.co/HZ47Dro4ef
— Stadia Church Planting (@stadia) March 19, 2019
After Google’s slick unveiling of “Stadia” at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the term quickly rose to stratospheric heights across the ever-changing digital search trends. Yesterday, it was the second-most searched for word, with over 500,000 people plugging it into Google to find out what all the fuss was about.
This granted Stadia Church Planting a fantastic opportunity to reach people with their message.
“In the first three hours after Google’s announcement, we had nearly 60,000 more impressions on Twitter than we have in any average day,” Stadia’s Strategic Services and Marketing Executive, Matt Murphy, told Faithwire. “We saw similar trends on other social media platforms and our website.”
Murphy added that the ministry organization was “grateful that thousands of people who don’t know about Stadia Church Planting are getting exposed to our mission of planting churches, so that more and more people know the hope and love of Jesus Christ.”
“We are praying that God uses our organization to highlight the beauty and impact of the local church to this new and unexpected audience,” he added. “Church planting remains the most effective way to reach people with the Good News of the Gospel, and we won’t stop until every child has a church!”
What is Stadia?
Google broke into the multi-billion dollar gaming industry yesterday with its high-profile launch of an ambitious new digital gaming platform. According to the BBC, “Stadia” will be equipped to “stream better-than-console-quality games that have traditionally had to be either downloaded or purchased on disc,” and hopes to do battle against big-league industry giants such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation.
Google is also tapping into the enormous YouTube gaming market — some 50 billion hours’ worth of gaming content was watched in 2018. So, as the video-sharing site’s parent company, Google is making it easy for Stadia gamers to seamlessly upload recordings of their gameplay to its sister site. It’s a clever strategy.
The Church planting group “Stadia,” however, has a much bigger goal — namely, to bring the good news of Jesus to all the nations of the Earth. And, by all accounts, it is on the right track.
Emphasis on missions
While many churches attempt to finance mission work, very few are able to sustain this support as administrative pressures build at home. Stadia, however, is committed to building churches that are devoted to mission work, foreign church planting, and all that is instructed in the famous scripture, Matthew 28:19:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Some “90% of Stadia churches are still actively engaged in their mission five years after launch and at year four,” Murphy explained, noting that the orgnazation has “planted 231 churches outside the US in the last five years, and we have facilitated the sponsorship of more than 40,000 children through Compassion International.”
Why the name ‘Stadia’?
According to an article penned by Stadia’s North East Regional director, Toney Salva, the name “Stadia” comes directly from a Biblical text and refers to “an ancient Greek form of measurement” related to the area in which John of Patmos, the writer of Revelation, lived.
“In Revelation John describes the New Jerusalem as being 12,000 Stadia (1400 miles) in length, width and height,” Salva explained. “John lived in the Near East. And although there was some vague awareness of more distant lands, the world that John knew stretched from Media and Persia (present day western Iran) in the east to Egypt and Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in the west. It stretched from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea in the south up to the Black Sea in the north.”
This area stretched across “1,400 miles across from east to west, and about 1,400 miles from south to north,” Salva added.
— Toney Salva (@rigatoneys) March 19, 2019
“So when John, in his vision, saw the New Jerusalem as 12,000 stadia (1,400 miles) long and wide, I think what he meant was that the New Jerusalem fills the whole world and includes all people, all nations, all races of people. The Kingdom of God includes everyone on earth who is willing to be a part of it!”
— Will Maule (@WillAMaule) March 20, 2019
“When Stadia was formed in 2003, we knew church planting was the best way to reach people far from God with the Good News of Jesus Christ,” Murphy added. “We wanted to fill heaven with people who came to know Jesus as their savior, and through prayer and discernment came to Stadia as our name as that was the measurement of heaven.”
Amen! I wonder if Google itself knows much about the meaning behind the name of its shiny new gaming platform?