Just this week, we saw the release of Pokemon Go. For those of you that don’t know what Pokemon Go is, don’t worry… I had no idea either. Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality mobile game where people use their phones to find tiny little creatures and capture them by throwing red and white spheres at them. Sound interesting? I didn’t think it was at all, but still it has been one of the single greatest cultural trends that we have seen in a decade. And it’s only been a week.
I didn’t get it at first. Why would people be so captivated by this? But the more I tried to understand it, the more this truth reigned true: this is a generational experience that is now breaking through the barriers of time to reach even more people. One simple idea has the possibility to change culture. As church leaders, we have the same power to shape our culture.
One simple idea can change the culture around you. At Next Level Church, we have many core values we live by and many phrases that help shape the way we think as leaders. One such phrase is Doing things that people aren’t doing to reach people that aren’t being reached. Jesus had this same mentality. He ministered to people where they were at, traveling great distances to reach people. He told stories and parables and used words that people could understand and relate to. He performed miracles, turned over tables, and sacrificed himself for others. He did things no one else was doing and a revival started.
If there’s anything I can say to challenge you as leaders, it would be this one simple word: try. Try something, anything! Lead with a sense of urgency. Try something completely new and different that no one else in your region is doing. See what culture is commanding people to pay attention to and combat that with the same effort, uniqueness, and creativity in the church. Try a new song or series, do an event in your community, bless people with gift cards. Let them know there is a church in their community that is real and relevant. As a church, we have seen God do the miraculous through things like the Easter Helicopter Egg Drop, our “At The Movies” series, and going multi-site as a whole. You will never know the boundless capabilities of our God unless you are willing to step out on the water. Do things that people aren’t doing to reach people that aren’t being reached. It could just be one of the greatest cultural trends in history.
Chris Boardman serves dual roles at Next Level Church's Epping, NH location as both the location pastor and worship leader. Chris spends much of his time meeting with volunteers and others who attend his location, developing leaders under him, and brainstorming ways to make his location the best it can be to reach people far from God. Chris and his wife live in Raymond, NH with their four children, Jordyn, Madelyn, Riker, and Willow.