Is It Wrong for Church to be Fun?

This post is not about game theory which I don’t understand.  But it’s about games and fun and church.

Classic Games Collage

Me (to the new pastor of my home church):  So how’s it going?

New Pastor:  I’m having a blast.  This is so much fun.

Me:  ?!

It’s embarrassing to say this, but – until that moment – I had not considered that church life could be fun.  I was in my 30s.

Honestly, my life in the church had occasionally been fun but my Calvinist upbringing swiftly stuffed that response, reminding me that Following Jesus Is Totally Serious Or It Doesn’t Count.

My generation generalization tends to be this:

  • Younger generations want spiritual activities to be both meaningful and fun.
  • Older generations expect spiritual activities to be meaningful.  Fun = a lack of seriousness

I am all for serious fun with a spiritual twist.  And I’m kind of old.  But I find that some wonderful people don’t realize that following Jesus can involve great joy.  And fun.

Maybe it’s a cheap ploy for ecclesiastical gain, but I’ve found it both meaningful and joyous to make a game out of certain moments in ministry:

  • To encourage attendance at a congregational meeting, I once invited  10 people to pledge $100 each if we could get 100 people at our small church’s annual meeting.  If 100 people attended, the $1000 would be contributed to a favorite mission project in our neighborhood.  Counting babies and toddlers, we got the 100.  And it was fun.
  • A group of church people once love-bombed a local playground on a really hot day handing out free Popcicles on a random Saturday afternoon.  Really fun.
  • When we heard that the local high school had an emergency fire drill on a cold day (the chemistry lab was on fire) a couple of us from the church staff took huge coffee urns to the school and handed out free hot chocolate to everybody.  They loved it and gave us “thank you” poinsettias.  Fun.

What fun things are you doing in church these days?  It’s okay if you believe that monitoring meeting minutes is fun.

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3 responses to “Is It Wrong for Church to be Fun?

  1. I have fun every Sunday morning leading a discussion group filled with people who share their ideas joyfully and with humor. I have fun at pot luck lunches, at our weekly craft workshops where we laugh and tell stories, and even at some meetings where we honor each other by caring, sharing and enjoying each other’s company while honoring our time commitment. I think churches have had fun for years – they just call it fellowship. If we do things with lightness and joy, almost everything in the church will be “fun.”

  2. We had a meeting last weekend that began with a round of Apples to Apples. It was fun, funny, and a great way to start us making associations beyond the usual expectations. Good times!

    Love the idea of an attendance challenge for the annual meeting. 🙂

  3. Had a blast teaching confirmation about the Lord’s Supper last Sunday, and delighted in introducing the class to 1) agape meal 2) King Hawaiian bread.

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