It was bound to happen. Someone in the church hears the words Pokemon Go and has a minor freak out because they don’t know how to burn the internet. Welcome to the church Pokemon Go.
My Pastor is very cool about things and doesn’t jump to conclusions but asks questions instead, which I am happy to help out with and honored that he would ask my opinion. Here’s how I explained it to him and my thoughts on why we should address the disease not the symptom of a culture obsessed with killing time.
The current craze is called Pokemon Go. This is based on the card game but is is a game of a different kind in app form This is not the traditional card game. Kids do not play Pokemon in card form any more since the company quit publishing them.
This is a video about what Pokemon Go is
Here is an article my friend Ken wrote. He’s closer to your age than mine and shares the potential benefits of Pokemon Go.
Here’s how some churches are using the app game as an outreach
And another example
Pastor sent me an article that was written about Pokemon in 2007 and I addressed that here:
The article you sent me was written pre-social media and even pre-smart phones (the iPhone came out a week after this article) The world is a much different place now obviously.
The article takes, what I think, is a hard line and strikes out at yet another symptom of our society rather than the cause.
Pokemon Go is just another distraction in a long line of distractions.
In my opinion, the real issue with Pokemon Go is time. How do you spend/invest your time?
This is just another time waster like SnapChat, Netflix, Facebook, Video Games, and smart phone games.
If any church wants to address Pokemon Go I recommend asking two questions
1. How could we (If appropriate) use this as an evangelist tool? (Articles above address this)
2. How do we address this without creating an abnormal fixation on another symptom?
Pokemon Go should be a parenting issue and a time issue not something we directly address theologically.
Added Thought: I mean, do you really want to talk about about the dangers of Pikachu from the pulpit? On with the e-mail,
We should be asking:
How do your kids spend their time?
How much time on phones and iPads do you allow?
How much time do they spend on tech in general?
Do you have any systems in place to help them manage their time?
Have you tight your kids to discern between what is good and evil?
Have you spiritually equipped your kids to fend off harmful distractions?
For other believers it’s about time management and wasting time. Anything that consumes our time/lives is bad for us. Redeem the time for the days are evil.
Pokemon Go is no different than people who spend too much time on Facebook, cars, work, video games, movies, or anything else.
In my opinion, Pokemon is only a straw man, and while we spend time beating it to death, the devil is off creating real havoc in our world. I think distraction is one of the devil’s greatest ways he tricks the church into not dealing with the real issues.
Just some thoughts.
Feel free to use any of this with your Pastors.