*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Church Mission Society card game comes up trumps

04 August 2017

CHURCH TIMES

Deciphering mission: the deputy news editor, Madeleine Davies, the digital editor, Tim Wyatt (centre), and the editor, Paul Handley, get stuck into the Mission Is card game at a pub around the corner from the Church Times offices

Deciphering mission: the deputy news editor, Madeleine Davies, the digital editor, Tim Wyatt (centre), and the editor, Paul Handley, get stuck into th...

TWO-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD Anglican mission agencies do not post their own card games to the Church Times office very often.

So when the Church Mission Society’s (CMS’s) “Mission Is . . . The Big Question?” landed in the post bag, three reporters and the editor decided that the only way to respond was to play a round in their lunch hour.

After considerable confusion over how exactly the rules worked, we set to playing the game over pizza in a local pub.

The aim was to create statements which begin “Mission is. . .” by adding in cards containing fragments such as “Praying with . . .”, “Making a . . .”, or “A school”.

The intention of the game — created by CMS as just one part of a wider advertising campaign, Mission Is — was to get the Church thinking more broadly about what mission might look like today, the charity said.

CMS’s executive leader, Philip Mounstephen, explained: “All of God’s people are called to join in God’s mission; yet we suspect many people’s narrow definition of what ‘mission’ really means is a major contributor to their hesitation about getting involved.”

With his words ringing in her ears, one reporter completed two such statements fairly quickly, which put her within touching distance of victory. To win the round she had to persuade the rest of the team that the statements were indeed accurate depictions of two kinds of mission.

“Mission is . . . living with . . . people you don’t like”. After some debate, the others concluded that this was indeed a type of mission. But it was the second statement that caused hackles to rise: “Mission is . . . giving . . . a cake.” Despite protestations, the rest of the table, after heated discussion, voted that this was overly vague and could not count as a type of missionary activity. The round continued.

CHURCH TIMESDeciphering mission: some of the cards from the CMS gamePerhaps the most engaging, if least Christian, part of the card game was action cards, which could be deployed to attack other players, interrupt the flow of the game, and even steal cards from other people’s hands.

The editor, in particular, showed no compunction in playing such cards, especially targeting one reporter who seemed to be making early headway.

Many of these action cards featured groan-inducing punning slogans, including “Go fishin’ for mission,” and “Don’t ask for per-mission”. The most concerning one, however, teetered on the brink of spiritual abuse by forcing a selected player to miss the next go because “God had called them to make everyone some tea.”

The game reached its conclusion when another reporter constructed two new statements, unimpeachable in their missionary zeal: “Mission is . . . praying . . . everyday” and “Mission is . . . visiting . . . prisoners”.

Feedback from the group on the experience was mixed. One said the game could lead to helpful conversations about what counted as mission; others criticised the poorly worded instructions, which took more than ten minutes to decipher.

“It’s just one opinion, isn’t it,” one reporter said. “Mission for each person might be different from one place to another.” Another felt as if the game veered towards becoming too accusatory, and reflected on how, at one point, she had been required to tell the group “what might be keeping them from being more involved in mission”.

“It would only work in certain contexts,” a third concluded, before quietly damning with faint praise: “It’s more of a deanery synod away-day kind of game, isn’t it?”

The seriousness of CMS’s intentions could be called into question, however. On the back of the box of cards is this quotation: “This is the best mission-themed card game I’ve ever played.” Its author? “Some guy who may or may not work at Church Mission Society”.

To order the game Mission Is, or to find out more about the wider campaign, visit www.churchmissionsociety.org/missionis.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)