One Phoenix church has taken a cultural phenomenon and turned it into an evangelistic opportunity.
When Hillside Baptist Church, Phoenix, realized that their property housed two PokéStops and a Gym in the Pokémon Go game, that explained why more than 60 cars a day were stopping in the parking lot. Joshua Tompkins, associate pastor of community ministry and youth, saw it as an open door to share Christ’s love.
The church sign was changed to read, “We’ve got 2 PokéStops! Find Pokémon outside, find Jesus inside.”
When church youth were on campus, they went car to car, inviting people to church and sharing water, church information cards designed to look like Poké Balls and copies of The Life Book, a product of The Gideons International that contains the Gospel of John and other resources. At other times, the items were left outside with a sign-in sheet and a poster advertising the water and sharing “We also have living water!”
Church members were told about the game and encouraged to be friendly and invite the visitors to attend services. Tompkins said some have accepted the invitation, and good conversations have taken place because of the game.