Every Friday I post a frustration of living in a small town having grown up in a big city. Usually it has nothing to do with ministry, but rather is just an annoyance about small town culture.
I’m very blessed to own a smart phone. I realize that not all Youth Pastors can afford one, and really im not sure that I can afford one either, but I have made sacrifices to allow myself to have an iPhone. A few weeks ago I was getting ready to write Friday’s Frustration about living in a small town on the fact that we didnt have 3G, so my iphone was practically useless. Then that same day AT&T flipped the switch and expanded the 3G network, which included Trenton. I was ecstatic.
But one thing they can’t fix with the flip of the switch is the lack of locations to check in. I’m talking about Gowalla, foursquare, yelp!, etc. I love the idea behind these location based games, and I do play them, but I can only check in at like 3 places a week because there is nothing to check in to in Trenton. Sure, I can check in at IGA or the corner store if I add them to the database, but the whole Idea behind these things that I love is the ability for businesses to know who comes to their places the most often, and reward brand loyalty. Granted, that doesnt always happen and isn’t really a driving force, but it’s there, and I would love to use it in ministry.
See, in a small town, not only is there a lack of places to check in, there is a lack of people who even could check in. I feel like I am one of the only people in this town who is interested in new technology (they will tell you they are too, but their technology is not my technology. They are talking about what new specifications are on the new Tractors this year), and people really just don’t understand technology.
But what I am getting at is that I would love it if more of my students had smart phones. This location based gaming seems like it could be awesome for Youth Ministry, and I would love to harness its capabilities. And I dont know if it would be any easier in a big town, I think it would depend on the town, because I don’t think a million students have smart phones yet. But I do know, its nearly impossible here right now to even think about incorporating this into my youth ministry, and that frustrates me.