Last time I suggested that the “game” you’re in determines how you play in life. At the end, we considered two married couples. To shift the nature and quality of their relationship, both spouses need to examine the game they’re in, in the marriage as they’ve designed it.

There are moments when we have little idea why we do what we do—particularly when we regret our actions…or their impact on those we love. It’s helpful to drill down to identify what’s at the core—below the surface, to uncover the beliefs that define the “game” you’re in.

Here’s an example. Many evangelical pastors will say they’re in the “go-and-make-disciples game”. [Mt 28]  Yet, they keep score by counting the people who sit and listen and the money they give. And these days—five years into a recession and decades into a societal drift away from church—the scoreboard looks bleak.

Many are wondering what’s wrong. Invariably we discover they’re in the wrong game!

While imagining they’re in the “go-and-make-disciples game”, most pastors and churches are in religious education and entertainment.

How can you tell?  See how they keep score.

Last night, Annie and I attended War Horse – a spectacular stage play at the Ahmanson Theatre. It is wonderful entertainment.  Beautifully, creatively, and spectacularly artistic. The house was packed—as it always is. In all the ways that theatres and theatre companies keep score, I’m certain it’s a success.

But theatre companies don’t think they’re in the “go-and-make-disciples game”. They are clear about the game they’re in, and this one is good at it.

To be good at the “go-and-make-disciples game”, you’d be paying attention to at least a couple things:

1) are we going?


2) are disciples being made?

The sad reality that can explain much of the malaise of the Church in the West is that we aren’t going to those who don’t follow Christ, and people aren’t growing to spiritual maturity. However, we are educating religious people and we are providing loads of entertainment options for religious types.

The ministries that do this best are running up the “score” —at least in terms of spectators and revenues—and may or may not be making any disciples at all.

So, whether you are a minister or a married person: What game are you in?

Coaching Distinctions #31