I have never been a fan of cheezy Christian T-shirts that are a spin off of some current trend. One from the past I most despised was, “A bread crumb and fish,” which was ripping off “Abercrombie and Fitch.” Yes, I worked there and had some of their clothes, but that wasn’t the reason I disliked it.
I say all this because I am cautious about ripping off current cultural ideas for a sermon series. If I do barrow the trend, I want to make sure we are not making fun of the idea, but seeing the positive in it. If we can connect what is positive and see how it fits with our desire to share the faith, it can be a great idea.
So, this month’s theme is Discipleship GO taken from the Pokémon GO trend right now. Forgive my explanation if you are familiar with it, but for those who aren’t, Pokémon GO is an app for your phone or tablet that has you going all around the city looking for different Pokémon characters. It has led many Pokémon GO players to church parking lots because they are open spaces, which are good for finding characters and holding virtual battles. The main thing this app did was reignite the passion of the Pokémon community. Pokémon came back on the radar after many years of silence. This type of product revival is not a new concept. I learned about it in marketing class, and it happens all the time. Sometimes products have a good season, but then you have to dream up a new concept or way to use the product to help them come back on the radar.
We know the church and the Word of God will always be alive and relevant. At the same time, we know culture will continue to go in a direction that may take it off peoples’ radar. As we fight to make sure people are aware of God and know who Jesus is, we really want them to see their need for Jesus. This is very fitting with the concept of the Pokémon GO trend. We want people to be passionate about seeking out Jesus! We want them to come alive again and reignite their desire for a closer relationship with their Savior! This is why this series is called Discipleship GO!
Personally, what are the areas you continue to work on everyday to grow as a disciple of Christ? As a church, we have been talking about four specific areas to grow in for several years now: Worship 1, Love 1, Read 1, and Pray 1. We begin with Worship 1 and ask ourselves, “In this current world, how do we make Worship 1 a priority again & reignite that passion?” This week our Romans passage emphasizes that it is a blessing to worship Jesus. It is easy to lose the importance of worship in our crazy world, but worship provides a place to receive forgiveness, grow with others as the body of Christ, and to receive rest as we hear the Word and receive His sacraments. This week we take time to see how worship begins our Discipleship GO journey.