A 50 STATES MISSION TRIP TO THE INTERNET
“Try your best to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you'll ever be given. Those of us in television are chosen to be servants.” – Mr. Rogers
Fred Rogers, a personal hero of mine and inspiration for much of this project, understood during the earliest days of television how media could be used for good. He saw the potential of television as a means of promoting virtues, love, and spiritual wellbeing. This is essentially the goal of the MonteCarbo project. We hope to make goodness attractive by creating entertaining content while demonstrating our dedication to loving God and our neighbors.
Why Live Stream?
Although we simply appreciate live stream as a media outlet, we chose the medium because it fits perfectly with our goal of making goodness attractive. We've noticed that entertainment, particularly on the internet, has become much more personal in the past decade. People want relationships and entertainment reflects that. Live stream is especially intimate because there's no editing and the chat feature enables users to talk directly to the streamer in real time. The tools of Twitch.tv are perfectly tuned for making real connections with our audience.
We also chose to live stream based on the belief that we can make some of the best content on the platform. Because live stream is still a relatively young form of media, the bar is set pretty low for what passes as quality content. No one has done anything as ambitious as our plan on Twitch, which will really help us build an audience. I mean... 50 states in 50 days? Who wouldn't want to see if we have what it takes to make it! Simply put, live streaming as opposed to other more established forms of media gives us the best chance of success in gaining a following to positively influence.
Lastly and most importantly, we chose Twitch because we saw a massive need for God's goodness on the website. A God-centered personality simply doesn't exist on Twitch (as far as we've seen in 15 years). These are people that we love dearly, relate to, and care for. This sort of ministry is our calling as we feel the utmost compassion in knowing that there is no godly influence in the lives of thousands (likely even millions) of viewers. We're calling the MonteCarbo project a mission trip because that's how we're treating it.
Why 50 States in 50 Days?
Practical Answer: A goal of this magnitude draws a lot of attention. In fact, we get this question a lot, which is how we know that we'll be successful if everything goes according to plan. The average IRL (In Real Life) stream is, in my opinion, very boring. Streamers will usually go to restaurants, watch YouTube videos, cook, or talk. Occasionally someone will do something genuinely interesting, but the category is named "Just Chatting" for a reason. The goal of visiting all 50 states in 50 days is crazy enough to go far beyond the status quo while remaining manageable within our diligent preparation.
Personal answer: It seems like a ton of fun! I have a passion for travel and road tripping in particular. We believe that excitement and personal enjoyment really come across in entertainment and can't be faked for long. Doing something that we're this excited for will be good for us as well as the people we're reaching.
The tagline we've kept in mind while creating this project is "Come for the entertainment, stay for the encouragement." Each day of streaming will be considered a success if the audience is minimally told outright that they have inherent value and are consequently worth loving. This message is central to the gospel as we are made in the image of God and thus will be central to our message as entertainers/evangelists.
We also plan on loving our audience by fighting against what we're calling "religious fog." Denominations, the church, cults, other religions, simple misunderstanding, and many other things can make Christianity a foggy concept when really it's as simple as having a relationship with Christ. We have found that many viewers on Twitch have a negative understanding of God and Christianity, which makes our most important goal to showcase the beauty of grace through Jesus Christ. We hope to visit and speak in a wide variety of Christ following churches and everything we say will point to a personal relationship and understanding of God as revealed through Jesus Christ in the Bible. All parts of our message will tie directly to the Bible and our foundation verses: John 3:16, John 14:6 and Matthew 22:36-40.
Love is at the root of everything: either love or the lack of it. What we see on the screen is a part of who we become.
This Sounds Awesome! How can I help?
Great question! We absolutely cannot do this project well without the help of lots of awesome people like yourself. You can go back up to the top of this website and hit those links to donate or contact us about a destination we can be a part of. We've also created this section to clarify what we're wanting and needing for our project. That said, although we have lots of ideas for this trip, you're special and interesting in your own way! If you know of an amazing opportunity, have a unique talent/hobby/job, or know someone who does and it's not listed below, please tell us! It would be such a pleasure to make you a part of this project while we're in your area.
1) Finances - $10,000
2) Transportation - We're looking to borrow an RV or a van/bus that we can sleep in while someone drives.
3) A third and/or fourth member to come with us - If you or someone you know would be interested in coming, please feel free to use the contact page below to tell us about yourself and why you think you'd be a great fit for the project.
Note: Many of the things on this list can be paid for, but we want to spend our money on logistics rather than content . Our goal is to keep our overall costs as low as possible, so we would appreciate any recommendations to be free based on your connections or at least extremely discounted. Just like for finances, treat this like a donation.
These are ideas for activities that we think would make for good entertainment. Some are... I'll just say it, crazy. That's what we want! If you have connections to any of these or something like them, please let us know.
1) Firing range
3) Professional fireworks
4) Race track driving experiences
5) Theme parks
6) Rally racing
7) Behind the scenes of concerts
9) Wingsuit diving
11) Boating/tubing/water skiing
12) Airsoft/ paintball
13) Downhill longboarding
14) Deep sea fishing
15) Long range drone/plane flying
16) Private planes/cropdusters
18) Farms (there's always fun things to do on ranches and farms)
19) Big hobby rockets
20) Emergency service ride alongs
22) Working as a repo man (doesn't that sound interesting?)
23) Skiing (it will be July/August)
24) Biking on ski mountains
25) Dirt bike stunts
26) Extremely fancy restaurants
27) "How it's made" style tours of factories
28) Dealerships for exotic cars
29) Space programs
30) News/media features
31) Celebrity friends
32) Crazy relatives with fun hobbies (everyone has these)
33) LAN parties
34) Rock climbing
35) Riding with a garbage man (this just sounds neat)
37) Tank driving
38) Exotic/classic/kit cars
39) Potato cannons
40) Special forces training
If you have connections to any of the categories below, we would like to discuss with you how we can be a part of your ministry. Our highest priority for a partnership will always be to bless you, your community, and our viewers.
1) Churches - We hope to speak in a church every Sunday of our trip, so seven in total. We will list the states we plan to visit on Sundays soon.
2) Youth groups - I am a high school teacher and we both love kids.
3) Church camps - Camps are high up on the list of things we want to feature on our stream because of how fun and encouraging they are.
4) Community service projects - Local outreaches, cleanup crews, kitchen ministries, etc. Basically any program with a fun team that helps others.
5) Prison ministries - I feel special compassion for prisoners because they're often some of the most unloved people in a society.
6) Missions bases - I did YWAM for two years and love missionaries dearly. I also know how encouraging and fun they are, which makes them and their culture a great thing to feature on our stream.
7) Pastors - There are a lot of tough questions that our viewers will likely have about life, the world, and God. We would love to connect with wise Christians to discuss a wide variety of pressing topics.
8) Christian professors - While I initially had theology professors in mind for this, I know that God can be incorporated into any field of study. We would love to discuss how a Christian worldview prevails in the highest levels of education in America.
9) Orphanages/foster homes - Some of my favorite memories ever are working with orphanages in Indonesia. It would be wise to consider the potential issues of filming children, but I think it would be absolutely wonderful to be a part of helping orphans in any way we can.
10) Anything else! We know that God works in so many ways, with so many people, in so many areas. If you have a destination in which we can practically love others while encouraging our viewers, we would love to discuss it with you.