So my 17 year old son introduces me to Pokemon Go and how to start playing (currently unavailable in the Uk unless you fiddle with your ID on the iphone)
We’d just been out to celebrate my birthday with a few lime and sodas and quickly downloaded the app and started playing in the car whilst my good lady wife was driving. Straight away I caught Charmander…whatever that is, and started to see that this could become a whole new sad chapter in my life. It wasn’t until I got home after we had stopped to find some power balls that my son all of a sudden wanted to take the dog for a walk, so I decided to go along, I could do with the exercise! Let’s just say we had some fun, father and son bonding whilst catching Pokemon. I’ve even taken the dog out for a walk today and caught a pidgey. Actually this is my dog Boycie, more like a Rattata!
This has got me thinking today about how we interact with young people as an older generation, especially as an older youth worker of 43 like me. So I searched social media and soon found stories of young people and adults congregating in strange places to battle it out at the gym with their Pokemon. It’s then that I stumble across Dr Bex Lewis (@drbexl) tweet about a Methodist Church being a Pokémon gym.
Pokemon gym at church
In the article it talks about people coming to their church, even if it isn’t to worship God, but to congregate and battle it out with their Pokémon and how they are trying to interact with them. I don’t know how long this craze will last but I believe we have a great missional opportunity here as Christians and youth workers. Engaging with the youth of today is so key to what we do as youth workers and we are always trying to play catch up with them especially with the latest craze or fad.
As I observe this trend, I’m seeing people come together, to chat, to laugh, to battle it out in a virtual world and we as Christian youth workers kind of have an audience on a plate here. Yes there have been a few nasty incidences regarding this trend but mostly it seems to be good natured.
So if you are a youth worker, may I suggest you get going with Pokemon and get out on the streets of your town and get some detached Youthwork going?! As with all trends, time is short!
Now then, does the dog need another walk….?