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Science fiction and comic book conventions bring in nerds by the swarm. Hundreds of thousands of devoted fans beamed, transported and bamfed their way into the 2013 comic con. There's your sign.
As a major Star Trek geek, I'm like a mosquito at a bovine flesh feast (or McDonald's) when it comes to sci-fi conventions. There's a tangible electricity, a giddy rush of excitement that surfaces in me. I can't deny a tangible sense of community I feel - strutting up to a brooding Klingon with an amiable pat on the back - "ThlingonmaH!" ("WE are Klingon, brother.")
For many aghast nontrekkies - Trekkies are inhuman. "Like, really? Costumes, heavy makeup, and learning a crazy language? Sounds like the editorial lead to a Stix concert review. That's ridiculous." They're disgusted by the level of fanaticism that some fans put forth: they study the shows relentlessly, spend months putting costumes together with dogmatic accuracy - mine was a Seven of Nine optical mask with a downplayed Starfleet uniform (translation: full Christian coverage), by the way - plus, ugh, some trekkies actually communicate with each other in a faux language.
Sound familiar? Sorry, I meant play-by-plays, blue beer bellies and "quarterback", "touchdown" and "fumble". Ask any hard football fan what the most oft-quoted numbers are in football fandom: John 3:16. There's a small chain in the gospel link. Maybe we need to post a 3:16 at a sci-fi convention. In Na'vi. Or maybe we just need to accept passion, even in it's strangest forms, and work within it to bring people to Christ.
Let's put this unusual group of gussied groupies on our radar - and get creative. Imagine filming a gospel promo video entirely in Klingon and displaying it on screens on merch tables. It would certainly spark a conversation. What about presenting a street skit about Vulcans coming to Christ? Offering prophetic ministry in the form of a "mindmeld" attraction? Open a forum for debate about the religions in star trek - all to a final segway into a message on a personal relationship with Christ over empty forms of religion?
If my suggestions seem mocking to the fundamental Gospel, I'm open to exhortation. But I'm just as open to meeting people where they're at, and appealing to their needs. What do trekkies need? Acceptance, peace, relationship - same as all of us. How would Jesus minister to a Trekkie? Meeting him on the playing field - I believe, in his disarming gentleness as an interested observer, hungry to validate people. Of course, "living long and prospering" is optional.
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