Minecraft, Rubik’s Cubes, And Endgame Theories

By Zach Zienka | July 2, 2020

When our strongest connections are with our WiFi routers, finding meaningful relationships seems impossible. When the 5th and 6th Grade Ministry had to stop meeting in person, we immediately opted for Zoom hangouts. I started hosting a hangout with the guys each Tuesday at lunch. I never knew who or how many would show up.

Being a shepherd over a ministry of 60+ students often means that I spend more time connecting with my leaders as they are the ones leading the small groups. I end up knowing a good majority of the student’s names but, by not being a small group leader, I do not always know the students personally. So when only three guys consistently logged on, I was both disappointed by the lack of engagement but simultaneously excited to connect with three guys I would not normally get a chance to do so.

Each Tuesday we hop on Zoom during lunch, munching on whatever our moms (or in my case, myself) made us. We chat about our week, the highs and lows, and what in our lives needs to be surrounded with prayer. One student would show what they were building in Minecraft and one showed just how fast he could solve a Rubik’s Cube. Soon a tradition formed where each week we talked about theories for how Avengers: Endgame could have ended and how wrong I am for hating the new Star Wars movie (I’m definitely right on that, by the way).

So while I lament the loss of gathering together, playing silly games, teaching sermons and worshiping with these students, I celebrate the opportunity to truly be a part of these guys’ lives. I get to be (virtually) in their space, seeing and celebrating the things they love to do and getting to talk about whatever is on their mind. Ministry is not limited to the Sunday gathering. It can happen on a Tuesday at lunch during the most absurd circumstances in our lives.

Zach Zienka