Louisville—Kentucky pastors are discovering creative ways to turn the “Gotta catch ’em all” game into “Gotta tell ’em all” opportunities.
Junction City First Baptist is not a Pokémon Go “gym,” but Pastor Choe Sergent has some ideas he would implement if it were.
According to his Facebook account, he suggested:
1. Promote that it is (a pokéstop or gym) on social media.
2. Put it in the bulletin so grandparents can share with grandchildren to invite them to church.
3. Offer free donuts and coffee to millennials that play.
4. Put welcome Pokémon Go players signs out front.
5. Giveaway a church t-shirt to the daily gym champion.
6. Have key people mingling with the players that will share the gospel, invite to church, and invite to small group Bible studies.
“Remember, it doesn’t matter how they come to the church; what matters is how they leave the church,” Sergent continued. “Let them come looking for Pokémon; let them leave having found Jesus.”
Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington has a Pokémon Go gym located right in front of their church sign. They have “harnessed social media” to spread the word to the community, Matt Anderkin, director of communications, said.
“We will hopefully expand that soon, with offering specials in our recreation outreach center, and café there, as well as maybe at the sign having a place where they could get water or just some sort of hospitality to those people to know that they’re welcome but we can also have a good time,” he continued.
Anderkin added that although the app itself is bringing people to the sidewalk and parking lot, they are also looking into ways to use features within the app to get millennials inside the building itself.
“I think it’s really important to do something sooner rather than later. Just in case this is a phenomenon of sorts, I want to make sure that we are there for it,” he concluded. (WR)