Recently, I read an article on 2013 Prediction: Educational Games Trump the Gamification of Education by Mindsnacks. The premise essentially was gamifying education i.e. creating external rewards to “learn” actually did more harm than good. As Mindsnacks suggests,

Most attempts to gamify education stem from a belief that learning is something unpleasant, something people don’t want to do unless they’re forced to do so. In gamified classrooms, students typically slog through traditional (some students would say boring) assignments in order to receive such rewards as validation, special privileges and peer recognition.

What struck me is how many churches essentially used gamification in evangelism. I’ve heard numerous times how an evangelistic event involved a prize for someone who brought the most friends. I’ve always been hesitant with such strategies because the purpose of evangelism isn’t to get as many people into the door as possible, but to demonstrate the person and message of Jesus. Gamifying evangelism really is just using people i.e. “I’m just inviting you here because I want that new iPad” instead of “I invited you here because I believe Jesus is that important.”

Perhaps we need to step back a moment sometimes and really ask, “Do I really believe Jesus is the most important part of my life?” (And why I share him will exemplify that answer.)

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