Whether you care personally about the latest phenomenon in the #PokemonGO app or not, this is a pretty big deal. Churches are beginning to see random passersby show up on their doorsteps because of this app! The popular video game app mixes augmented reality with a form of geocaching and has literally swept the nation. In fact, nearly 35 million people are using the app now… surpassing popular platforms like Twitter.
In our latest podcast, This Week in Youth Ministry, I interviewed Nils Smith, VP of Social Media and Innovation for the Dunham Company (TX) about how to leverage this game to reach students for Christ. [Click here] to launch and listen in iTunes now.
During the show I shared 8 ways churches can capitalize on PokemonGO. I referenced an article [here], which includes all 8, but I’ll share a few here with you.
5 Ways Churches Can Reach Students with PokemonGO:
1. Check Your Church on the Game – The first thing you want to do is download PokemonGo to your smartphone. Begin to familiarize yourself with the app and check to see if your church is a “Pokestop” or “gym!” If you are in a larger city you might have more foot traffic, but knowing if your church is a stop or gym will give you a better idea of how to engage people who come by your church!
2. Create a Welcome Area for Players – Churches who are intentional about reaching people will take this opportunity to interact with the public. Check out what Kyle’s church did. Kyle shared [this] with our Facebook group. It’s a welcome area for players where they offer free snacks and prizes too – brilliant.
3. Post About it on Social Media – There’s already a buzz about #PokemonGo online, so why not join the conversation? If your church is doing something unique (or really anything at all!) share it on your social media. This will create more interests in your ministry.
4. Bring Pokemon to Your Church – You can actually lure people to your church or ministry by creating a “Lure Module” that will draw in Pokemon to Pokestops for 30+ minutes! Check out this article in Forbes that I just read about how to lure more people your way!
5. Let Your Students Shine! – One thing Nils & I talked about on the podcast is this is a great opportunity to let your students lead. Your students will know more about this app\game than you. Why not host a night soon where you allow a couple of students to teach everyone how to play and equip them to reach their friends! Giving your teens a chance to share will create a buzz in itself and create interests in your ministry.