Foursquare Check-In Special: Church Edition

I continue to dabble with Foursquare.  I don’t use it every day, but it is growing on me and I see increased value, especially as many businesses are now offering check-in specials for regular users.  These specials work like this, you open the Foursquare app on your smartphone and it determines your location.  You can then check-in at your current location or view a list of nearby specials.  Specials I have seen recently range from 50% off your order for the mayor (the one person who has checked in the most at a particular location) to 10% off for your 1st check-in.  You check in on your smartphone, show your server or the cashier that you have done so and they ring up your discount.

So here’s what I’m thinking, what if local churches set up Foursquare check-in specials?  When a Foursquare user in the community opened the app and checked specials in their area they could see “Your United Methodist Church” listed as one of the specials.  Details could read something like this, “Free Bible: Check-in for the first time and receive a free Bible.  Come by the Connection Point on Sunday Morning or the office during the week, show your check-in and receive a free Bible.”

For relatively little investment, I think this idea could see great returns:

  • People in your community who know nothing about your church will see your church’s name in an arena where they live (social media)
  • The curiosity factor of a church giving away Bibles via Foursquare could be a great conversation starter in the community
  • People who are hurting and struggling will know your church as a place interested in meeting them where they are and serving their needs
  • People who have never before owned or read a Bible will have an opportunity to do so thanks to your church’s ingenuity and generosity.
  • People who might not have otherwise may come into your church to see what is happening there and may ultimately come to know God through their interactions with you.

What are your thoughts on this idea?  What other benefits might exist?  What drawbacks might there be to using Foursquare in this way?  Are you or do you know someone who is already offering something like this?




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4 responses to “Foursquare Check-In Special: Church Edition

  1. I think that is awesome!

    Another idea would be to have a “special” that says something like “free hot dog between 11:30-12:30, just for showing up” on a day when you’re doing a hot dog meal for the congregation and community. Or free stack of pancakes for a pancake breakfast. It’s a bit of a gimmicky way to get people in the door, but it does advertise events that you may already be doing. Or an Easter egg hunt, or fall festival, that sort of thing. If it’s free for the church to do, then why not?

    • Jeff Clinger

      Thanks for the comment, Andrea. Another idea I had is that for churches with paid coffee and treat options on Sunday mornings (or during the week) a free drink or treat could be offered.

      I really think the possibilities are endless here…

  2. Andy

    Love love love this creative thinking! Thanks!

    • Jeff Clinger

      Thank you! Do you have experience with Foursquare (or other social media products) being used in creative ways for ministry?

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