Game Players

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I love playing games; board games, card games, computer games, Wii Games, Facebook games, IPhone games. In the last month alone I have played Texas Hold’em, Settlers of Catan, Dora snakes and Ladders, Operation, Kids Monopoly, Wii Fit Plus, Jewel Mania, Bingo and Carcassonne. John and I fell in love while playing chess together and we have always shared a deep passion for both God and games. It is a rare moment indeed when I will knock back the playing of any game, even hide and seek. For a big woman I can fit into some very small spaces.

For about two months now I have been having this conversation with God that goes something like this. “If I am made in your image and I love to play games – where in the bible do I find the game player?”  I give the ‘playing of games’ so much time and energy in my life I need to understand for myself where it fits in with God and building His Kingdom. At one point I said to God ‘if I could use the skills I have around playing games for your kingdom then we’d be cooking with gas’.  As a society we love our games. Just a few months ago we all watched the London Olympics and right now the cricket is upon us. When the weather turns cold again the football will come on again and I will be tormented by constant replays. Any given weekend you can watch or play golf, motor racing, equestrian, rugby league and soccer. Most kids play a team game such as basketball, softball, tennis and or gymnastics. The world loves games – any way, shape or form.

What makes someone a really good player of games as opposed to just a player? I think there are a number of elements but the key element across all games would be the ability to be strategic. That is the ability to be able to develop a ‘plan, method, or series of manoeuvrers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.’ Most games are easy to learn such as chess but to be really good you need to be absolutely strategic – planning a five or six moves ahead.

The definition of the word ‘strategy’ it is used often to describe ‘military battle campaigns’. That makes sense, when you think about it.  People in the military spend their whole careers training to face life and death situations.  It’s vital in those kinds of situations to have a plan and know what the plan is. When I plugged into Google ‘Was Jesus a good strategist’ I got lots of responses. I read in part a research paper by a teacher at a US Army College, Lieutenant Colonel Gregg F Martin,  titled Jesus the Strategic leader.  He says ‘Jesus was a great strategic leader who changed the world in many ways. Close study of what he did and how he did it reveals a pattern of behaviour that is extremely useful and relevant to the modern strategic leader. The bottom line is that Jesus was a superb strategic leader who offers a timeless and incomparable example of how to lead.’

I recognize that I don’t see a lot of hand to hand combat in the affluent suburb of Ivanhoe but as a Christian I am always in the midst of a ‘spiritual battle’ against the supernatural forces of evil. The Lieutenant Colonel outlines in his paper the seven strategies Jesus used to achieve His goals by being: loving and caring for others, a teacher and mentor, a servant leader, a personal example, applying self development and care and being committed and purposeful. Jesus fought to establish God’s kingdom here on Earth through the planting of the very first church. Jesus is and was the ultimate strategic church planter and probably would have loved a good game of The Settlers of Catan.

I’m not saying that everyone who is a brilliant game player should become a church planter but certainly everyone who plants churches needs to be a good strategist and you can develop your strategic mind by playing games.

Hmmm….planting churches……what a good idea….

Over and Out,

Catherine xooxo

2 Comments to “Game Players”

  1. Love this post – makes so much sense! We use game playing in training to teach leadership and strategy – I’ve even used Legos to train it! But I never linked mine or your love of games for a gift of church planting! Love your wisdom!!

    • We met this church plant master and he’s going on and on about how him and his wife play games with all there ‘church plant pastors’ and I start thinking as we are playing Carassone with them till midnight – there just might be something in the church planter that is every bit hte game player…..the birth of a blog post!

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