How a Trivia Team Taught Me Something Not So Trivial

I’ve been learning lately that trivia isn’t so trivial. Let me explain. The congregation I serve has organized our inreach and outreach around groups of people that we call JCC (Joy/Community/Christ) Teams. Joy Teams are centered around having fun and fellowship with people both inside and outside our church. Community Teams are centered around serving the community or serving the church in one way or another. Christ Teams are all the various Bible studies that we have on a weekly basis.

Trivia Time

The Joy Team that I have been leading is called “Trivia Time with pastor T.” We’ve been meeting every Wednesday at a local Irish Pub where sometimes as many as twenty teams gather to play the game. Teams are not limited in any way, even by size. It’s a good thing, because we’ve had as many as thirteen people on our team, which has been to our advantage. Some are members of our church. Others are not. The staff at the restaurant are getting to know us as members of Ascension Lutheran Church.

The last time we played our team bested seventeen other teams and took away the trophy with a perfect score (see picture above). The really cool thing about the way our team worked together was that we had such a diversity of age, we had both men and women, and we had people who obviously have various and sundry interests. The final question of the game had us put in chronological order these four things:

  • The movie Saving Private Ryan
  • Britney Spears’ hit single, Baby One More Time
  • Super Bowl XXIX
  • Justin Bieber’s birth

Our team scrambled to work together. Some remembered these events from their ‘tween years. Others of us remembered things from the memory of our more advanced years. The whole group gathered around me and argued the position of each event. I was able to hear in each person’s voice the certainty of their tone. Within the allotted three minutes we finally put the four things together in this order:

  • Justin Bieber’s birth
  • Super Bowl XXIX
  • The movie Saving Private Ryan
  • Britney Spears’ hit single, Baby One More Time

It was correct! That’s what we needed to complete a perfect game and take the prize.

More importantly, here’s what I’ve learned about playing team trivia that’s not so trivial:

  1. The camaraderie of the team has come from working toward a common goal. Everyone wants to win. The more competitive amongst us need to win (….don’t look at ME!). So everyone works together to reach that goal.
  2. Striving toward a common goal brings people together. Some of the people on the team had never met each other ever before. Now they are beginning to consider themselves friends. They look forward to being together each week.
  3. Diversity is our strength. It’s a blast to see people of various ages and backgrounds come together  and really enjoy each other’s company. The diversity has also helped us succeed.
  4. Outsiders are welcome. An informal and fun environment has allowed members of our church invite others to the game who are not members of our church. Every person has felt welcomed and has desired to come join us again.
  5. A non-threatening atmosphere outside of church has made people more apt to join us for worship. Some non-church members of the trivia team have not yet joined us for church, but have indicated some willingness to do so in the future. In their own time.

A game of trivia isn’t always so trivial. It can most certainly have lasting implications…maybe even eternal implications.

Where have you seen something fun have a not-so-trivial impact?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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