Four Strategies Your Ministry Can Learn from Fortnite

Posted on Posted in Personal Development, Strategy

I couldn’t believe it when I read the headline.

Maybe you were like me when I was growing up. My parents kept telling me to stop playing video games and do something productive with my time. After all, video games would never get me anywhere!

That was then, and this is now.

The headline on said:
“A 16-year-old just won $3M playing in the Fortnite World Cup”

That’s right, Kyle Giersdorf, a 16-year-old, won the 2019 Fortnite World Cup and went home with $3 million! And, as the champion, he’s now considered the best Fortnite player in the world.

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf

That’s incredible.

Apparently, more than 40 million players from around the world entered the contest. One by one, they lost, including Tyler Blevins (that “Ninja” guy from YouTube). And a 16-year-old won the whole thing.

Crazy, right?

I was curious about Fortnite strategies, so I did a search on Google about it. I found that it’s not a good idea to just jump in and play without a strategy. Beyond that, I found a few helpful strategies that might be helpful for you in youth ministry.

Here’s what I found…

Strategy #1: Remember who’s around you.

In Fortnite, you want to stay aware of where the players are so you don’t get ambushed by a surprise attack. In your youth ministry, it’s a little bit different. You want to say aware of (and connected with) your students. What are they interested in? What are they up to? Reggie Joiner from Orange says, “When kids are known and they know they are known, they face life in a different kind of way.” Remember who’s around you.

Strategy #2: Focus on one challenge at a time.

In Fortnite, you can’t take down an army of enemies all at one time. You have to go after one after another. In your youth ministry, you might have a lot of work to do. But you can’t fix everything in one week. Think about the 5 P’s: place, program, preaching, people, and promotion. You can’t them all at the same time. Pick one to work on. Get it to where it needs to be, and then move on to the next one. Focus on one challenge at a time.

Strategy #3: Be ready to adapt your strategy.

In Fortnite, you might start the game thinking you’re going to stay back in the fortress. But things happen quickly and the game might not unfold that way. In your youth ministry, you might have thought the same old messages or music or games or summer camp would work for the next five years. But you have to recognize when they’re getting stale and switch them up. You have to be willing to change, improve, and grow. Be ready to adapt your strategy.

Strategy #4: Keep practicing.

No one gets good at Fortnite without playing the game, trying different tactics, and making adjustments. That’s how we improve at anything we do. Youth ministry is no different. You’ll get better at hosting or leading games the more you do it. You’ll get better at preaching the more you do it. Malcolm Gladwell called this the 10,000-hour rule. He said, “Ten thousand hours [of practice] is the magic number of greatness” (Outliers, 41). Keep practicing.

Your Move

This isn’t really a post about Fortnite; it’s a post about your ministry and the strategies you’re using to reach students and make a difference in their lives.

But there are some lessons that we can learn from a game like Fortnite. Don’t let a 16-year-old be more strategic about a video game than you are about your youth ministry.

• Remember who’s around.
• Focus on one challenge at a time.
• Be ready to adapt your strategy.
• Keep practicing.

You can do it!

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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