What is The Robloxian Christians?
An online community focused on sharing the love and word of God with young people.
This is our story.
In 2011, Daniel Herron was in the sixth grade. After school, Daniel would come home and play online flash games on his computer. One day, he clicked on a banner ad for a site called Roblox (/ˈroʊblɒks/). He created an account, and after just a few hours on the site was hooked.
To Daniel, Roblox was an incredible site. There were hundreds of fun games that were all user-created. There was a virtual economy where users could create avatar clothing and sell it to other players. Users could make friends, chat, discuss on forums, join social groups, or war with one another in clans. But most importantly, everything on Roblox was user-centric.
After some time passed, Daniel, who really cared about his faith, began looking for a Christian community on Roblox. Luckily, there were several social groups devoted to Christians. After engaging with a few of them, he realized that these groups were more like Jesus fan clubs where users could join the group to show on their profile that they were Christian, as opposed to active faith communities that were actually living out their faith.
Flash forward to Christmas, Daniel begged his parents to get him a Roblox gift card so that he could get Builders Club (Roblox’s premium membership) and create a group of his own. Though his parents were skeptical of Roblox, they got him one for Christmas.
With ten dollars of Roblox credit in-hand, Daniel created his own group on Roblox on December 26, 2011.
The Robloxian Christians was born.
2012 - 2014
The Early Years
Initially, The Robloxian Christians was not meant to be a church, rather a space for a few friends to talk about faith and pray for one another. In the start of 2012, they did just that. They created a rudimentary Roblox game with a few couches and a cross, and would gather after school to talk with one another.
Over time, more and more people started to attend these get-togethers. Friends invited friends, and organically the group began to grow. As the gatherings got bigger, Daniel began to model the gatherings off of what he experienced at his local church in Tacoma, WA. The gatherings began to incorporate reading scripture and talking about it, as well as listening to music and typing praise and worship into the Roblox chat. Daniel, all of twelve, began giving short sermons on how scripture could apply to his friends' lives.
All of this happened in The Robloxian Christian’s game. All the communication was typed-out, appearing in chat bubbles over member’s avatars. While no one knew each other in real life, authentic community was being formed. This led to one of TRC’s early slogans “every avatar on-screen is a real person behind the screen.”
It was in 2012, that The Robloxian Christians began realizing its identity as a real — albeit virtual — church. Daniel began working to design a Roblox game that looked more like a “church,” while it was pretty rough, there were pews for members to sit in, a pulpit, and microphones for the leaders to speak from.
At the end of 2012, The Robloxian Christians ran its first banner advertisement on the Roblox website to promote the group. In 2013, the church began collecting donations in “robux,” Roblox’s virtual currency to fund running ads for the group. The church believed that each time one of these ads, which featured scripture and messages of hope, were seen, they would plant a seed of faith.
In August of 2013, the church served more than 1,400 members with more than twenty volunteer leaders. Then the unthinkable happened. One night a volunteer accidentally gave administrator permission levels to someone that had malice intent. Overnight, they removed everyone but staff from the Roblox group. It was a really difficult loss. Some of the members joined back, but many did not.
Discouraged and faced with uncertainty, but knowing that the church was important to many people, Daniel and the church’s leadership decided to continue on and begin rebuilding.
2015 - 2018
Making Disciples of All Nations