Did you know there are geeks in the pews? Being a Christian is hard enough (yes, I know we’re saved by grace not by works, but still, it can be hard) and then put on top of it that you’re a geek? Dude. Hard.
But, wait, what is a geek you ask? Good question (and not because I asked it).
Here’s a quick test:
Do you know the meaning of and even origin for the words: frak, smeg, frel, nerf hearder? Do you know the difference between a megabit and a terabit? Have you heard of Schrödinger's cat? Do you have the NASA website bookmarked on your laptop, desktop and phone’s web browser? Do you understand the awesome that is the Heisenberg Compensators? Have you ever had a fight with a friend over two guys named Kirk and Picard? You cried when Superman died? WOW for you is an acronym not an expression? When someone mentions the Battle of Yavin IV you know the importance of that war? You know who Jar Jar Binks is and you know why you don’t like him?
If you answered yes to any of these then you know what’s going on. If you don’t I’d like to tell you the importance of ministering to the Geek in the Pew.
For the longest time, many of us kept our geekiness a secret lest we be found out. We’d speak in code and if you understood what we were saying, then we knew it was safe to reveal our geekiness. There’s a fear in revealing our excitement about sci-fi, fantasy, computer, science and comic books. Yet this is how we relate to this world, how we see things. A real fear is that if we reveal our membership in geekdom, we might be called childish, immature, frivolous and even have our very faith in Christ challenged (no joke). And so we keep quiet about it.
There has been a rise in Geekdom as of late from The Big Bang Theory on CBS to the recent crowned Miss America coming out and saying she’s a huge history geek and loves Star Wars. More than that, the things we’ve “geeked” out about over the years have now become the foundation which is driving science, philosophy, literature and, hopefully, even ministry.
Star Wars and Star Trek are no longer in the column of pop culture, they have become part of our North American DNA and even the DNA of the world. It is a common language I’ve been able to speak with people across all races, genders, and religions.
There is a need to minister to the geek in the pew. They are Doctors, scientists, music teachers, housewives, farmers, dentists, nurses, and even (gasp) pastors.
You’d be amazed what Biblical truths can be geekily applied for someone struggling with fear and grieving the loss of a family member. Or using Star Trek when explaining how the Holy Spirit works. Or X-men when discussing grace.
The geek is on the rise and will be and most likely already is the next leader in your congregation. Accept the geek. How? Maybe toss out a reference here or there (knowing that you might face the wrath of fanboy if you get it wrong but also the grace of the geeks for trying), or even asking to watch the first three non-1997 versions of Star Wars with them will begin to help.
How might you reach the geek in the pew?