The Wookiee Project: Tapping into Nerd Culture

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We all have a little bit of nerd in us. Luckily, nerd culture has become pretty cool over the past couple of years due to shows like the Big Bang Theory. So we put on a special event to reach out to this unique crowd of students that doesn’t connect to the more sporty outreaches youth ministries tend to fall back on. We called it the Wookiee Project.

Tapping the Three Levels of Nerd Culture

For the Wookiee project we tried to tap into all the different levels of the nerd culture. We had a huge Smash Brothers tournament on 4 different Wii’s, a Ps4 with Star Wars Battlefront, a Xbox One with Just Dance, board games (like Settlers of Catan), a cosplay competition, nerd themed food, and blared techno video game soundtracks and other nerdy type music. I have a pretty good bit of nerd in me but I didn’t know anything about Cosplay or how to run a smash brothers tournament. So I Recruit some of my fellow nerds, my very own Avengers if you will, to help with me plan and run this event.  

Smash Brothers

My team of Avengers decided that there needed to be a singles Smash Brothers Tournament (1 Player vs 1 Player) and a team Smash Brothers Tournament (2 Players vs 2 Players).  


For the Cosplay competition we did different categories such as Best overall, Most creative, Best Group (they had to plan to be in a group together ahead of time), and Most Original. We had students dressed up as everything from having a black shirt that said muggle on it, Doctor Who, Undertales Characters, Disney Princesses, and Superheroes. It was pretty amazing to see what these students came up with, and they were really good too! We also gave away some crazy awesome prizes like Beats headphones or nerd prize packs.

Nerd Charities

What a better way to do a huge nerd event than to partner with a nerdy charity. So we did research on a bunch of charities and we decided to partner with a charity called Child’s Play. Child’s play realized that being a kid in a hospital is very boring and could be a very miserable experience. As a result, they partner with hospitals around the country to help get video game systems in the hospitals to help make what could be a miserable experience just a little less miserable.

Whether you do all of this or some of it, you are sure to reach see students you have never seen before and minister to a group who will absolutely love the chance to gather and let their nerd out!


Mike has been working in student ministry for around 10 years now. He got his start in student ministry as an intern at St. James United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL, and after a few years he was hired as an associate over the middle school. He is currently serving in Mobile, AL as a youth minister at Christ United Methodist Church. Mike has a passion for building relationships with students and to teach them about God’s love and grace. You can follow Mike on Twitter: @mikeyrollins and on Instagram: @mrollins83