One of the most popular card games in our household is a game called Fluxx. In this game players collect – and lay down in front of them – what are called Keeper cards. One wins the game by displaying a particular winning combination of different Keeper cards, as determined by a card in the center of the table called a Goal card. But at various times throughout the game the Goal card that is in play ends up being changed. So suddenly – just as victory is within your grasp – the Goal changes! And all of the strategy and effort that you have put towards reaching the previous goal gets tossed out the window. A new goal is set, and you have to pivot your strategy and start all over again.
If you are any kind of a leader in a church, this “game” probably sounds familiar to you, because it likely describes your reality over the last 14 months or so. If you have been struggling to find a metaphor that describes how thrilling and exasperating the last year has been for you, have everyone in your congregation play a round or two of this game!
In many versions of Fluxx, there is a card that can be played which compels everyone to throw all of their Keeper cards into a pile, to be shuffled and then dealt out again at random. The effect is a complete reset of the game. No one can predict where the cards will fall when this happens. The only certainty is that the game going forward will not look like the game that had been played up to that point.
We don’t know what the church is going to look like when the pandemic is “over.” Leading the church isn’t a game, but if it was it would be a game like Fluxx. One that teaches us that our task is to play the cards that are on the table in front of us, not to worry overmuch about what cards are going to be dealt out to us on the next turn.
A (very) wise man once said: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34
Lead Associate Pastor, Sevenoaks Alliance Church