By playing video games for 662 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds during a 30-day period, Joshua and Daniel Greening have become world record holders.
Joshua, 20, and Daniel, 17, are on the Twitch video gaming platform where they host the “TheWay_TV” channel.
They play the latest titles in the video game world and interact via chat with those watching in real time. But they’re not in it just to zone out for hours of mindless entertainment.
The Greenings use their Twitch channel and their infectious personalities as a ministry to “hype” Jesus and weave the gospel into their gameplay.
They strive to keep their online community clean and positive, giving God the glory and showing their peers that Jesus loves them. If they ever play a game that crosses beyond family-friendly, they put a warning on the screen.
Twitch may not seem like a big crowd to the uninitiated, but it is the 26th most popular website in the world – and 13th most popular in the U.S. More than 15 million people watch Twitch each day with an average of 54,500 Twitch channels live at any time.
Although TheWay_TV is just one of those channels, and the Greenings have only been at it a little over a year, they tag-teamed to surpass – by 121 hours – the previous one-month record of 541 hours during their 30-day run from July 8 to Aug. 8, averaging more than 22 hours of gaming every day. On the last day alone, they spent 9.2 hours playing Warframe, 4.7 hours on League of Legends, 3.9 hours on Mega Man and more.
During the one-month run, the Greenings’ viewers at any given moment tripled, logging a total of nearly 56,000 hours watching the duo play and share the gospel.
“We love to talk to people, and we love to play games,” Joshua said in a 2018 feature story. “Twitch allows us to do the things we love and honor Christ at the same time.”
Joshua is enthusiastic, welcoming every new follower or viewer with a shout-out. Daniel is a bit quieter, but the two together create a team reflected in their channel’s tagline – “all the love and hype you can handle.”
When one of their regular viewers says in the chat they’re going through a hard time, Joshua and Daniel will pause the game to pray for them. When one of their viewers had a birthday, the brothers threw her a surprise virtual birthday party complete with party hats, streamers and a large cookie cake with her username on it. In their St. Louis-area church, First Baptist in Wentzville, they take Kenpo Karate and work with their youth group.
The name of the channel – TheWay_TV – is a reference to John 14:6, the favorite Bible verse of Joshua and Daniel’s grandfather, the late Ken Greening.
Greening and his wife Mary Sue ran a youth center in the 1970s also called The Way. That center is no more, but it lives on through Joshua and Daniel’s outreach.
The Twitch channel, Joshua noted, is “like an online virtual youth center where kids can spend time, have fun and hear about Jesus while they are watching games being played.”
The brothers started their world record run during a season when their parents had lost their jobs. The brothers also have had their share of problems.
Joshua battled crippling dizzy spells every few months that would last for several days. For Daniel, it was a diagnosis of high-functioning autism.
“We have both come a long way and you would never know about these struggles when you meet us,” Joshua wrote earlier this year.
“Like most of you, we have suffered loss. We were both very close to our grandfather, and it was devastating when he passed away a few years ago. We now have a friend who was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. We also have other friends whose family members have recently been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. What is happening? … It seems like we are adrift in a tiny lifeboat on the ocean and a storm is raging all around us.”
People may think “we are just kids so we may not know much or that life has not really touched us yet, no matter what we may think or feel,” Joshua reflected. “However, what we do know is this: We all need to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. We personally hold on tight to Joshua 1:9 where God tells us, ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
“Please pray for us,” he wrote, “as we do our best to share all the ‘love and hype of Jesus’ with the entire world no matter what our circumstances are presently.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Brian Koonce is assistant editor of The Pathway, news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press.)