Part of the reason we don’t play much Risk and Monopoly as adults is that those are actually poorly designed games, at least in the German sense. Derk Solko, a garrulous former Wall Streeter who cofounded the Web site BoardGameGeek.com in 2000 after discovering Settlers, explains it this way: “Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It’s a very negative experience. It’s all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money.” . . . Monopoly also fails with many adults because it requires almost no strategy.
German-style games, on the other hand, avoid direct conflict. Violence in particular is taboo in Germany’s gaming culture, a holdover from decades of post-World War II soul-searching. In fact, when Parker Brothers tried to introduce Risk there in 1982, the government threatened to ban it on the grounds that it might encourage imperialist and militaristic impulses in the nation’s youth. (The German rules for Risk were hastily rewritten so players could “liberate” their opponents’ territories, and censors let it slide.)
Instead of direct conflict, German-style games tend to let players win without having to undercut or destroy their friends. . . . Designed with busy parents in mind, German games also tend to be fast, requiring anywhere from 15 minutes to a little more than an hour to complete. They are balanced, preventing one person from running away with the game while the others painfully play out their eventual defeat.
A church with 100 adults would be considered truly remarkable if 40 members each give 5 hours per week of leisure time to the institution’s mission. That would be double what most churches experience, and many pastors would be thrilled to see similar stats in their congregation. But even this would represent less than 2 percent of the church members’ total available time. Is this being missional (however you define the word)? Is that loving God will all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength? . . .
Pastors should be asking what would happen if we built our mission on people’s core time rather than leisure time. What if we could tap into the 80+ hours people spend every week on the job, with their families, and engaging in life’s ordinary responsibilities? Of course, this would require a fundamental shift in the way we think about mission and institution. Here are a few implications:
1. It would mean helping people see the missional dignity of ordinary work; communicating that their jobs matter to Christ and his kingdom, not just what happens within the walls of the church.
2. It would mean elevating the role of family and household relationships as vehicles for spiritual growth and missional engagement. Yes, raising children and caring for aging parents honors God and advances his kingdom just as, if not more, than institutional church programs.
3. It would mean not extracting people from their lives and communities to engage in church programming or committees unless absolutely necessary, but equipping them to live in communion with Christ within the context he has placed them.
4. It would shift the focus of Sunday worship away from mission and outreach to a time of celebration and encouragement for Christians who are engaged in mission the other six days of the week.
5. It would mean deploying church leaders outside the institution to engage members in their native contexts; mentoring and coaching on their turf rather than ours.
6. It would mean a radical adjustment in what the church celebrates—not institutional expansion or programmatic growth, but stories of ordinary people incarnating Christ at home, at work, at school . . . everywhere life happens.
However, not all daydreams seem to inspire creativity. In his experiments, Schooler distinguishes between two types of daydreaming. The first type consists of people who notice they are daydreaming only when asked by the researcher. Even though they are told to press a button as soon as they realize their mind has started to wander, these people fail to press the button. The second type, in contrast, occurs when subjects catch themselves daydreaming during the experiment, without needing to be questioned. Schooler and colleagues found that individuals who are unaware of their own daydreaming while it’s happening don’t seem to exhibit increased creativity.
“The point is that it’s not enough to just daydream,” Schooler says. “Letting your mind drift off is the easy part. The hard part is maintaining enough awareness so that even when you start to daydream you can interrupt yourself and notice a creative insight.”