It's 10:12 AM on a summer day in the imaginary seaside town of West Hunter USA. There are over 3,100 characters in town in 260+ locations. You will find people to minister to in private homes, in the park, in college dorms, in retail stores, in office buildings, in the hospital, and in restaurants. You will find characters working in manufacturing. You will find characters climbing rocks, walking in the woods, playing golf at the golf club, laying on the beach, or sailing on boats in the harbor.
"I am anxious about everything, and it is so hard living this way. I am behind on my bills. I am behind on my car payment. I am behind on my mortgage. I am behind on my rent. I am being evicted. I am being foreclosed. I am being physically abused by someone close to me. I am certain the world will soon end. I am continuously emotionally abused by someone close to me. I am dealing with intense guilt. I am depressed. Nothing interests me. I have no hope for the future. I am estranged from someone dear to me. My heart is broken. I am exhausted caring for a loved one who has disabilities..." and so on.
The core engine of 72Stories is what we have called the "16 Mindsets". Draw a plus sign with a box around it on a piece of paper. The vertical line (Y axis) represents the degree of self-reliance that a character has. At the bottom of that line is 100% and at the top is 0%. The horizontal line (X axis) represents the degree of trust the character has in God. At the far left is 0% and at the far right is 100%. Therefore, the character who is least likely to accept Jesus Christ as their savior is at the bottom left corner (100% self-reliance, 0% trust in God). Conversely, the character who is most likely to walk humbly with Jesus Christ is the character in the top right corner (0% self-reliance, 100% trust in God).
Now divide each of the four sections into an additional four sections, totalling sixteen (16) sections. Each section represents a "Mindset". For example, Mindset #1 is in the top left corner. This includes characters who have low self-reliance and low trust-in-God. They are highly anxious and insecure people. What is the ideal Mindset? Mindset #4 in the top right corner, consisting of people who have surrendered their life to Jesus Christ. 72Stories has been programmed so that each of the sixteen mindsets has a unique set of beliefs and attitudes. Every fictitious character on 72Stories has two numbers assigned to them - a self-reliance score and a trust-in-God score. Their scores are determined by the life history we have designed for each character that users can explore. The two scores position each character in one of the 16 Mindsets. How do you discover which mindset a character has? Ask them questions and consider their answers to the questions and look for trends.
The goal of ministry with a character is to move them to Mindset #4. How do you do that? You pray for each of the critical things they reveal about their lives. This decreases their self-reliance. You demonstrate the love of Christ, and build their trust-in-God, through acts of compassion. The more devoted you are to transform a character, the faster you will see the character's answers to critical questions change. The most effective time to share the gospel with a character is when they are in Mindsets 3, 5, and 7.
A church, a school, a ministry, or a consortium of the same purchase an annual license for a team of players. Users of 72Stories must be associated with a ministry in order to access the website.
There are a variety of license packages, each package giving access to the characters in specific locations in the community.
While the user can login 24/7/365 to engage our characters in ministry, ministry teams can meet in a classroom, at a restaurant, in someone's home, or during a retreat to experience 72Stories.com together.
The user registers an account using the license code given to them by the ministry who purchased the license.
Before the user can begin ministry, they must complete a ministry survey and finish the setup of their account.
User answers a moral challenge question each time they login, building their reputation with characters.
The user may belong to multiple ministry teams, experiencing a simulation with more than one team at a time. Lord willing, 72Stories will offer a variety of fictitious communities to choose from.
Every X number of logins by your ministry team, a character in the simulation will die. This is to simulate real-life and to create urgency ministering to a character.
72Stories.com requires users to confirm they have prayed for real-life local ministry before proceeding in simulation.
The user visits locations in the community by clicking on a map, by browsing a listing of streets, or by reading the Community Talk, the social media channel used by the ficititous characters.
The user gains quick access to the characters they have already established a relationship with. The ministry team can also select a maximum of 72 characters (stories) for the team to concentrate on.
Each time a user accesses a community, 72Stories will gift them an established relationship with one fictitious character they didn't know before.
Before the user can gain access to the characters in any location in the community, they must confirm they have shared their testimony at least once in their real life.
The user can gain access to a character because a teammate has established relationship with the character. Access to a character can also be gained by a relationship the character has with a character you already know.
A user can build a relationship with a "stranger" in the community by introducing themself to the character. However, 72Stories has been designed to make this difficult, just like in real-life. Users may encounter the character being unapproachable for various reasons.
The user can join with other teammates and simulate a "street evangelism" event. This will enable each team member to gain access to a character in the community who would be otherwise unapproachable.
Every action a user takes with a fictitious character will cost "Ministry Strength". When Ministry Strength has been consumed, a user can no longer minister to the characters. Initial Ministry Strength is determined by the user's Ministry Survey completed during setup. Ministry Strength can be replenished through simulated prayer.
Once a user has established a relationship with a character, the user schedules meetings to interact with them. If the user forgets to login on the scheduled date and engage the character, the character will trust the user less.
Using a scheduled meeting, the user asks a character how they are doing. Depending upon the character's reply, the user either asks the character questions to get to know them better or they minister to the character's needs. This process builds trust with the character over time. The user must simulate sharing from their own experience for this process to work.
Just like you wouldn't ask someone you just met in real-life a deeply personal question, you also have to be careful what you ask of a character on 72Stories. There are six levels of trust and each question you ask a character is intended for a particular "trust level". If the user asks an inappropriate question of a character, there will be a significant reduction in trust.
Each character's answer to a user's question is recorded in the database. This enables the user to review what they've already learned about a character.
The user can simulate prayer for either a location (each character in the location) or for individual characters. Prayer overcomes obstacles in the simulation. A prayer is temporarily held until it is used, on behalf of the character, by the user or by a teammate.
After listening to the concerns on a character's heart, the user does something for them. A good work of some kind. An act of compassion. A kind deed.
As the user prays, and shows kindness, in response to the concerns shared by the character, the character's mindset is changed. The more prayers and acts of compassion gifted to a character by your ministry team, the more a character's mindset moves towards accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Every action a user takes in ministry to a character on 72Stories is recorded in the database. Click on a teammate's profile in the Team Directory to view what your teammate has done in the simulation to minister to characters and locations.
The chat function is arguably the most important feature of 72Stories.com. This enables a ministry team to brainstorm about how to minister to real-life people and locations that are similar to those encountered on 72Stories. Your team can chat about each character and each location.
How many locations have been visited by the team? How many characters have been engaged? What is the average level of trust the team has with the characters in the simulation? How deep in knowledge of the characters has been achieved by the team? Which user-character relationships are at trust-level 4? Etc.,.
Is there a character in the community who loves motorcycling? Is there a character in the community who is transgender? What characters in the community have been divorced? Ask the question and 72Stories will identify the location where such a character can be found.
Believe it or not, 72Stories has been programmed so that a user will be suspended from access to the website if the user does not report at least one act of ministry in their real-life community every three months.
72Stories has been programmed so that each character you, or one of your teammates, is ministering to will experience "temptation". Depending upon available prayers for them, and their current mindset, they may or may not regress in their spiritual growth. This has been programmed to simulate real-life ministry.