This is an adaption of a community building game adapted to a church community. The set up for the game is this. Participants are placed in groups of four – perhaps around card tables. Each group is assigned a number for their group.
Explain that they are going to be asked a series of questions and that there is not a right answer. The best answer is the answer of the majority of the groups. All of the groups will be asked a question with four possible answers. Each group will discuss the question and determine the best answer for their group. That answer will be placed on their ballot with the group number identified and sent to the chief judge who will count the ballots and determine which answer has the majority of votes.
The groups who answered with the majority will score a point for their group. The process will continue until all of the questions have been voted upon. The winning groups will be identified and the rest of the groups will rise, bow to the winners and say, “We hail you o wise ones of our church and salute you for your wisdom.”
The judge will share a compilation of the decisions and invite the whole group’s response to the picture of the church that has been painted.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
The following questions are suggested for the decision of the majority.
- To nurture a warm, welcoming church, each member should commit to:
- Speaking to a least seven people before they leave the sanctuary.
- Take notice of and speak to people they can’t call by name.
- Always sit in the same place so people around them are familiar.
- Pray by name for members who seem lonely.
- To lessen conflict and create harmony, pastors should:
- Avoid preaching on Scriptures that might be controversial.
- Only preach on subjects about which everyone agrees.
- Acknowledge potential disagreements about points made and encourage further conversation.
- Allow people to vote on which parts of the Gospel they like and preach accordingly.
- To build transparency with respect to church finances, the leadership should:
- Always report on and invite feedback on major expenditures.
- List by name and amount all pledges to the church.
- Identify the faith principles you want to proclaim by your budget.
- Encourage open conversation about church expenditures as a faith issue.
- Identify the biggest contributor to distrust among church members.
- Inadequate communication.
- Feeling that only a few people make all the decisions.
- Failure to understand how decisions are made in the church.
- Failure to hold a shared vision about the nature and mission of the church.
- Characteristics of a successful preacher
- Ability to popular sermons that inspire but don’t offend.
- Preaches sermons clearly grounded in the Bible.
- Preaches with integrity even when it offends but is open to feedback.
- Preaches sermons that address personal issues but avoids commenting on social issues.
- Cynicism and distrust are reduced in a congregation when:
- Diverse opinions are heard and respected.
- Controversial issues are not discussed.
- People accept that none of their opinions are perfect in God’s eyes and continually seek to grow in understanding.
- People are committed to a shared vision about the church’s mission.
- The major reason churches split is:
- Refuse to accept that we are all sinners and need to continually forgive each other.
- Choose to emphasize right beliefs over loving behavior.
- Refuse to accept Jesus command that we be one has priority.
- Allow personal beliefs to take precedence over being faithful to the church.
- Loving your enemy is most difficult when:
- Your enemy is from a different culture.
- Your enemy belongs to your church but has different beliefs.
- Your enemy treats you with contempt.
- Your enemy affirms a different faith.
- You know you can trust your pastor if:
- S/he totally agrees with your opinions.
- S/he is committed to interpreting Scripture and the faith with integrity.
- S/he prays daily to be a faithful pastor and obedient to God.
- S/he is unafraid to preach with integrity but also to listen sensitively to those who disagree.
- The hardest part of the Lord’s Prayer to accept is:
- That God’s will will be done on earth.
- That God will provide our daily bread and we need not succumb to greed.
- That God’s forgiving us of our sins is affected by our willingness to forgive the sins of our neighbor.
- That praying that God will lead us not into temptation will contribute to God’s delivering us from evil.
Encourage people to have fun at their tables and not take their answers too seriously. At the same time, you are naming some of the demons that often plague churches. The discussion at the end should be of value for the whole congreegation.