What Laser Tag Has Taught Me About Ministry

Last year, when I was an intern minister, I suggested that the church staff offer laser tag in the church auction. We did, and it was a big hit. And i won a prize…for lowest score. The P.A.C.E. award – Point-blank Ain’t Close Enough.  We had a training session for something at the church before the laser tag party, and I didn’t think about dressing for laser tag, so I was wearing khaki pants. I was a big target.

This year, I offered another laser tag  party at another church auction. And this year I was more prepared. I dressed in black. In fact, at one point, I was in the lead, and I had to back off a bit, because I really couldn’t win the high score prize at the party I was hosting. And that brings me to the lessons I’ve learned from laser tag.

1. Most of the time it seems like you’re in the dark. That’s ok. you can navigate in the dark. Eyes adjust. Look for the lights. Don’t run.

2. You’ve got to have people’s backs, and trust that tee’s have yours.  Sometimes, you might have to remind them, especially if you’re the minister (that’s kind of the job), but you don’t have to do this alone. It’s better if you do it with a team.

3. Have a plan. Just running around and shooting willy-nilly might make you look busy, but it doesn’t accomplish much. Having a strategy is better.

4. Be flexible. Having a plan is important, but it’s also important to be able to adapt as things change.

5. Sometimes you can accomplish more by staying in one place. If everyone else is moving around, you might be better off just staying in one place. You’ll see what’s happening around you, you’ll learn patterns, and you’ll be able to see what’s coming.

6. If you turn yourself into a big target, you’re going to get hit. A lot. Sometimes you need to do that. Sometimes it’s important to be the one who doesn’t win. But sometimes you need to do well so that your team can do well.

7. Sometimes you need to be the one to shield others.

8. Know what you’re shooting at and pay attention to your aim. You don’t want to hit your own team!

9. Don’t just look at what’s right in front of you, although that’s going to be the most immediate threat – pay attention to what’s far-off, as well. You can manage things more easily if you keep them under control from a distance.

10. Watch out for the children. Help them, but don’t discount them. Some of them are probably better shots than you are. And some of them are relentless. They’re full-fledged team members, and everything they do counts the same as everything the adults do.

11. Be a good sport. Always.

That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.

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