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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12 thoughts on “Untangled: Christian Panel at an Anime Con”
That sounds both exciting and awesome!!! Much blessings on it my friend!!!
The advice I would give brother Michael is this…be ready for MULTIPLE thoughts and opinions to come at you! Be ready for some to challenge the analysis and thoughts and ultimately the truth. But, don’t take it personally. Remember to be open, have a good time sharing and be excited and happy to share in front of other fellow otaku’s.
That’s really great advice – no surprise coming from a frequent con-goer and speaker as yourself. Thanks, Kendall!
Hi Charles, just an update on the panel as of yesterday (May 8th, 2014).
Here are your approved panels and their corresponding Event ID. Scheduling information will be sent out in the near future.
FSC40 Spirituality in Video Games and Anime
Anime Department Director
Congratulations! What a big hurdle you’ve overcome! I’m very happy for you. 🙂
Now I’m nervous!! 🙂 Do you happen to have your panel recorded, or maybe slides or something that I can see to give me a better idea? Thanks
Haha, that’s to be expected. If you’d like, FB me or tweet me once you get closer to the con, and I can share whatever tips I might have based on my experience that could help you out.
I don’t have a recording, but I do have a PowerPoint. It probably won’t be helpful, but I’ll certainly share it with you – tweet me your email address and I’ll send it along.
Oh, here’s the official SuperCon info. for my panel on their site. If anyone is in the Miami Beach (South Florida area), come by! Any support or prayers is most appreciated, I’m stepping into unknown territory, and am praying that God will do something powerful during the con. I will be asking if anyone needs prayer at the end of the panel (after it’s all done) before they leave, so hopefully someone will come to Christ or at least be touched by God’s presence 🙂
So soon! I’ll be praying for you! I’m out of town this weekend, so I’ll try to look over the email you sent me before the con happens, but I can’t guarantee I will. Regardless, I’ll be praying for your panel and eagerly waiting to hear how it went!
Thanks a lot man, I appreciate it. Sorry I went all over your blog leaving comments last night lol. I was working on the panel and getting info. for it and I like leaving comments when I find something good haha
Haha, no, comments are ALWAYS welcome, even in batches!