Become A Master! — A Gamecell Night

by M. Joshua

“Wait, you mean I can become like Jesus?” Hively asked. Vince responded, “You’re getting it!”

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When Jesus said “Come, follow me,’ it was a very rabbinical way of saying, “I believe you have what it takes to become what I am.” I wanted our gamecell to discover Jesus’ invitation to that “become a master” training process, so we talked through the following questions:

What would make you want to become a master at something?

Yoshi said that if it’s something he knows he’s good at, he’d put in the time to get even better at it. Greg said that he’d be all about it if somebody believed in him. Vince nodded and said he’s in that same place, like that he needs a good bit of encouragement sometimes.

Why do you think most Christians suck at being like Jesus?

There was no short list of answers on this one, but most of the guys just gave examples of Christians sucking. They didn’t really have any idea why people suck.

I shared: I don’t think people realize how Jesus invites us to master-training. Like Jesus’ calling to people is that they’re saved from crushing guilt over sin, and the compulsion to commit it, but that’s only an entrance into his gracious vision of the world and the beginning of his training. Simply put, I don’t think Christians go through the training that Jesus calls them to.

Story Time: Jesus picks terrible people to become like him.

Matthew stole money from his neighbors while wearing the clothes of his nation’s occupiers. All of his friends and neighbors hated him, with due cause. Jesus essentially said, “You’ve got what it takes to become like me, come train with me!” Jesus also went up to the blue collar workers who dropped out of High Hebrew School to become fishermen. “Come with me, I’ll make you a fisher of men!” I told our crew, “Think of Jesus like a Master Jedi, looking for padawan learners.” Then I told them, “Did you know that Jesus disciples were your age? He didn’t pick wise old men. He picked scraggly teenagers with as much facial hair as you guys got — if you can even call it facial hair.” They seemed shocked.

Why do you think Jesus chose thieves, traitors, and a-holes to be his disciples?

Yoshi caught up with this the quickest. He said he thought that it’s because they are most ready to take up a new way of life. I elaborated: I think Jesus wanted to show that the simplest and most outcast of us has what it takes. More precisely: he believes in all of us—that we can become like him.

This was the part where Alex Hively seemed to really get things. He’s like, “Wait, you mean I can be like Jesus?” Now I like my gamecell to learn through questions more than straight-up teaching, but I needed to take point and make things as clear as possible, because I don’t think most people have it in their imagination that Jesus actually is inviting us to become just like he was in his earthly ministry.

Hively volunteered to pray. It was only the second time he prayed in our group, and he panicked a little bit because he didn’t know what to say. We told him, “Just be honest and express your thoughts to God.” He expressed some gratitude and that he was intrigued by the discussion, but didn’t really have words for it yet. Then we had snack.

Game Time

Since mastery requires honing and discipline, I figured it would be good to look at the opposite of that: a generalist activity where there’s too many things on the table to ever master anything. So, we played Move or Die.

In Move or Die, the path to victory changes every round. One time you have to grab a hat and hold onto it. Next time you have to wipe paint off a all. Then you’re suddenly doing backflips with sniper rifles that only fire while you’re in the air. There’s no time to get good at anything. Once our crew tried each of the match variations, they were ready to switch games.

Our main game for the evening was Punch Club, a training simulator where your main goal is to train-up for a championship (master-level) boxing match. You have to be thoughtful of every action you choose. Do you work, or work out? Do you spend your money on food, travel, or gym access? Everything has a cost and there’s only so many hours in the day, so you have to work with clear intent. Yoshi took the controls, but almost every decision in the game was made as a group. It gelled amazingly well for our crew, and we could have easily spent the whole night with the game. This punched the message home: train hard if you want to be a master!

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We also played Demons With Shotguns, but that didn’t tie directly into the message. I just wanted our crew to enjoy fighting each other as a Nun, Preacher, an Angel, and a Demon. It’s a fun little game for parties.

We had a brilliant night. Our crew got to hear about how Jesus invites them into his mastery through training (discipleship). And they learned that he believes we can become like him. We had a good time playing games about mastery, and had a lot of fun together!

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Consider a Master Night! 

All you really need is a copy of Punch Club (or any other game about training and mastery) and these questions:

  1. What would make you want to become a master at something?
  2. Why do you think most Christians suck at being like Jesus?
    Story Time: Talk about how Jesus picked outcasts to become like him. (Matthew 4:19, 9:9)
  3. Why do you think Jesus chose thieves, traitors, and a-holes to be his disciples?

That’s it! You may have to go into teaching-mode and elaborate on exactly how Jesus has called us to become his disciples; and to train under his mastery to become like him. But I think that it’s a pretty simple thing. The best part is that it’s an extension in his love for us and his radical reconciliation plan! We get to be a part of it! And he believes we can follow his training and become like him!