MissionalTrails.app: Pokémon GO Into All The Nations

June 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18a (KJV)

In our breakout session at the “hope” Kingdom Networking event, Tim Svboda of YWAM SF taught us that “Information creates Vision creates Mobilization creates Transformation.”  In particular, it is incredibly helpful to know the the ratio and distribution of:

  •  ethne: people groups, cultural touch points
  • evangel: churches, seminaries, ministries, etc.

Both at the aggregate “macro” city level for strategic planning, and at the “micro” street level for personal presence and ministry.

Right now, the only way to collect that information is through heroic personal efforts, such as when he mapped the ~400 churches and other religious buildings in San Francisco — which is about half that needed to serve the city’s 800,000 residents.

We came up with the idea of crowdsourcing that information using the idea of “missional trails,” such as when Perspectives students map the ethnic and religious makeup of their neighborhoods (what Sean Benesh calls “exegeting the city“). We could build an app that makes it easy for anyone to geotag and label relevant cultural and religious touchpoints (e.g., the various ethnic worship services happening at a church building).  The metaphor we used was Pokemon Go (though it is more like the Ingress Portals Submissions used to create new Pokestops  and Gyms).

One  critical issue that came up is ensuring each individual or sponsoring organization be able to control access to its own data, especially those working among sensitive populations.  This may require using some sort of federated database, where only trusted users (and not the central service) are allowed to access a particular organization’s information.  The primarily role of the central service would be to establish standards for how organizations can establish trust to share data and updates.

The next step is to identify key sponsors to help define and distribute a Minimum Viable Product (which we could start building as Open Source during the fall 2018 Code for the Kingdom).  Potential sponsors include:

Please contact ernest.prabhakar@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more or helping out!

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