Friday, January 15, 2010

A handful of you have been to Family Fun Night at the church. But I want to take this opportunity to talk not just about that evening, but about playing games in general. Friendly competition is a great way to build relationships and strengthen community.
First and foremost, games are fun. Most of them, at least the ones we play at family fun night are just silly. They make you giggle, and who couldn’t use that now and again. But they are also fun for the challenge. Whether its Candy Land or Chess each game and each time you play is like a little adventure that you take with your fellow travelers. You never know what obstacles or opportunities are around the corner. Without paying a dime you can journey into another world.
There is also something to be said for friendly competition. I imagine some readers disagree with this point, and want everyone to be a winner. Of course, no one is better than another person because of her or his ability to play a game. But the simple reality is that some people are more talented at some skills. (We have a Boggle player in our midst that you would not believe.) Playing friendly competitive games gives us the opportunity to gracefully win and lose, acknowledging that every player is a valued person. What great practice that is for the real world, where we can sometimes forget that everyone who plays the game is of equal worth.
Games also point to a key of real friendship; friends help each other to be better people. Obviously some of the games are games of luck. There is not getting better at Candy Land. But some games develop as a hard earned skill. They develop slowly and they develop in concert with your opponent. By playing games together, we practice helping each other learn and grow. We practice being in supportive relationships.
I never thought I could get so serious about board games. I guess that makes my point even stronger though. Family Fun Night is loads of fun. We share a meal and laugh and the kids run a muck. But having fun together is serious business. It’s part of what we do as a church, its building relationships and learning and growing. So weather it is to do all that serious stuff, or just to giggle, stop by Family Fun Night sometime. The next one is scheduled for February 13th 6:00-9:00 pm


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