One of my favorite parts of administering this blog is occasionally receiving emails from our readers. A week or two ago, we received a request from Michael. Here’s how he began:
Hi, I am so blessed to have found your blog, and here’s why. To keep it short, I am a Christian in Miami, FL and just went to my first anime con (Animate! Miami) in January and felt from Holy Spirit to bring Gods Kingdom to our otaku/video game culture[…]I submitted to do a panel at the biggest con in FL, Supercon. I want to do a panel about spirituality and anime but focusing totally on our Father God and Christ, and the impact God has on anime in general…
A lot of times, I don’t have a good answer for our readers. But thankfully, I now have a little insight into this request after recently conducting a panel at IKKiCON, the anime convention in my local Austin community.
Michael went on to write the following:
I am making my presentation and wanted to get your much needed advice. I want to connect with the Christian otaku community and get ideas as to how to make this presentation great and an opportunity to bring souls to Christ. Any advice or suggestions as to which amines I should focus on, or maybe just topics I should stick to? I have to present for an hour, and will throw in some games too to keep it interesting.
Michael, thanks for coming to us with your question – I’ll help you as best I can!
I think you first need to consider who your audience is, if you haven’t already. It seems like you may be wanting to focus on Christian otaku. In that case, you might consider that your audience will be unique – you may have a mix of those of different religious backgrounds who attend, not only within the Christian tradition, but possibly others who have an interest in religion. I also found that a number of young people, attending with parents, came to my panel.
If you intend to make the panel evangelistic in nature, aimed at non-Christians, I would definitely think about what it is I can offer my audience in terms of my topic. As with Paul and his teaching on being everything to everyone, your panel should appeal to anime fans, offering them something about anime that they can learn from and/or be entertained by. Otherwise, they may feel they’re getting the old bait and switch, which might accomplish the opposite of what you intend. Even if you carefully weave a gospel presentation into your panel, some will be offended and most may not be open to it. In that case, I might suggest passing them to another resource they could consult, whether it’s your own or another, when they get home from the con and think back on your panel.
And I’ll mention one more consideration – this one on a more general level. Others who visit our blog (and even a couple of other writers) have more to offer in the way of tips, but I’ll offer just this one – time flies when you’re doing your panel, so if you’ve packed your 60 minutes to the brim, you probably won’t be able to cover all that you’ve wanted. Adjust accordingly.
Good luck on your panel, and please let us know how it goes! And for all those reading this post, what advice might you also offer Michael?
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