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Lessons from a Board Game

Today I'm working from a coffee shop. There is a couple sitting at a table in front of me playing the board game "Sorry!". This couple is in their late-40's or early 50's. Their game-play has given me something to think about.

From their body language and game-play I get the sense that they both genuinely want to be together at a coffee shop playing the game. That part is great. The problem is how they are using the game. The husband appears to be very serious and into the rules of the game. I've observed him checking the rules various times and correcting his wife when he feels there may be an infraction. He's all business.

The wife on the other hand seems like she's valuing the time over the game. She smiles several times, jokes about her play and stares off into the distance each time he picks up the box to read the rules.

They're "doing" what couples should do. Spending time together is valuable and beneficial for the marriage. I wonder however if their activity is beneficial. As long as he focuses on the logistics of game-play and she focuses on the atmosphere of the coffee shop they will walk away with two seperate experiences neither of which being of one another. He will be glad the game was fair and that he won. She will comment on the taste of the coffee and the new art hanging on the walls.

I wonder how often I'm like the man playing the game and our congregation is like the woman looking at the walls. It's vital that as communicators and leaders we work to meet people somewhere in the middle. We should bring them to the "lesson" for sure... but we can't do so at the expense of meeting them on their level first. Emotion is something I won't naturally gravitate towards. I have a tendency to be more like a Paul or Peter.

Jesus modeled a great blend of both information and emotion. His parables met people where they were and gave them a new perspective on life. I wonder in the age of "content is King" if we miss out on the emotional side of things. There is a place for color, imagery, experience and emotion. I hope I continue to apply this understanding in my relationships and ministry. You should too or else you'll end up being "Sorry!"

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, December 08, 2007


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