Speaking of Life 5027 | Cooperative Games
Have you ever played a cooperative board game? Cooperative games have become a popular alternative to the common competitive board games like Monopoly, Clue, or Risk. Competitive games have multiple players, but everyone competes against one another to be the sole winner at the end.
A cooperative board game works differently. Cooperative games also have multiple players, but instead of competing against one another, everyone works together to achieve a common goal or to survive a shared crisis. Games like solving a Murder Mystery, beating the clock in an Escape Room, or completing a big puzzle. Everyone either wins together or loses together. Players must work together and strategize by using the different tools, skills, or powers that are assigned to each player. Each participant is vital, and their distinct role is necessary to complete the mission. Even if you lose in the end, the shared experience is usually more rewarding than being the sole winner of a competitive game.
If the church were a board game, it would be a cooperative board game.
Here is a passage in 1 Corinthians that leads me to that conclusion:
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (ESV)
According to the apostle Paul, each member of the church, like players in a cooperative game, are given unique gifts by the Spirit that add up for the good of all. The common good of the church, which will contribute to its worship and witness, is impeded when lone competitors try to come out on top. In a healthy church, everyone works together, in community, sharing with one another their gifts, in order to participate in what Jesus is doing as the head of his church. No one is considered dispensable or interchangeable. Each plays a vital role as a member of the body of Christ.
The gifts of the Spirit all come from the same source and are given to accomplish the same ends—to grow up into Christ, participating in what he is doing in the church for the sake of the world.
Imagine how healthy a church can be when we all bring our gifts together for the common good. Our journey together will be far more rewarding and far more productive. Who’s ready to play?
I’m Jeff Broadnax, Speaking of Life.