Pokémon Go going viral at the moment. Never heard of it? That’s okay. Until this weekend I hadn’t heard about it either.
I live in the world of communications and I’m always looking for effective communication channels to reach out into our community. A global game company just built one that churches can connect into. For free.
What Is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an game app that gamers download from all app stores. The game is essentially a geocaching game where you move around from location to location to collect rewards.
Why should your church care?
Many churches are being listed as a place called a ‘Pokéstop’ or ‘gym’ is where gamers can come and collect their virtual reward.
It was launched last week and has more active users than Twitter. Incredible.
Yes. A game is bringing people to the front door of your church. What are you going to do about it? Many of them are young people too.
Your local community is already talking about trepidation they are feeling about coming to churches. See what they are saying here. Imagine if you could change that perception about your church?
My point is simple. Your community is already talking about your church. What are you going to do to engage with them? Some of the conversation will be positive, much of it will be a perception of who they think you are which may be wrong. When people meet face to face perceptions (usually) change.
14 Ways Your Church Should Use Pokémon Go Right Now
#1 Share that you are a Pokéstop on your social feeds and sponsor those posts geographically on for your Facebook page (with extra nice things like drinks/food etc). More people will come to your stop.
#2 Be present and welcoming at the Pokéstop. Tell your first impression/welcome teams and youth or young adult pastoral teams to be there as welcoming presence. Practice hospitality!
#3 Tell your church community about it so that they can be positive and welcoming if they come across people focussed on their devices.
#4-12 Read the 8 ways that Aaron thinks your church can use Pokémon Go here.
#13 Create a prominent sign (that you can put out and take down) at the stop inviting people to stay for a cool drink if it is summer. It if it winter like it is in Australia then offer a hot drink or food. Or you may want to bless them by washing their car if they turn up in one. Or fill their tank full of gas.
#14 Create over-whelminging over the top positive ministry presence like in idea #1, then write a press release and give it your local media. They love these kinds of stories.
Important note: If you are going to use your social media platform for Pokéstop please read these twenty-one very useful social media tips for churches, especially tips #8 and #15.
Have you started using Pokémon Go yet? Do you ideas about how to use it for your church? Got questions? Comment below.