THE SEEDS OF GAME NIGHT BROS
Game Night Bros. is a great name for a group of guys who like to get together and play games, but there is so much more to this name.
Prior to our legendary night on February 1, 2004 when we played the first competitive RISK game we were gathering together in a young couple’s small group Bible Study.
At the time we were all young men married for less than 10 years with children in diapers. Our primary desire was to follow God’s Will in our lives.
None of us knew each other more than being acquaintances at the same church. We all went to different colleges, we grew up hundreds of miles apart, and we worked in very different professions.
However, we did have common ground – wanting to be men of integrity for our wives and our children.
Our small group was amazing. We had tremendous participation by all members. We were committed to the group and challenged weekly from God’s Word.
The truth is we could have easily maintained this small group Bible study until it would have slowly dissolved as the seasons of life changed. And we would have been able to look back fondly and consider this period of our lives to be a great success.
GOING DEEPER IN SMALL GROUP
After gathering together every Sunday night for a couple of months we have developed some comfort with each other.
We always started our meeting time with ice breaker games. Some of these games included Happy Family, 3 Men on a Couch, and 2 Truths and a Lie.
We have allowed humor to enter our midst and we laughed with each other. We became vulnerable and shared with each other during times of joy and sadness.
Everyone in our group was perceived as special by all the other members. No one was an outcast. We spent time during the initial stages of our meetings making this a point of emphasis.
An exercise that we used to build connection was to have one member sit on a chair in the middle of the group and all other members would share what they like about that person. There is nothing better for an introvert with self-esteem issues than hearing other people sincerely share what they find special about you.
Our prayer time was special also. All prayer requests would be lifted by another to the LORD.
Connections were being made, especially by our wives. They were connecting like women do – talking about motherhood, scrap booking, and getting together for coffee.
THE BIRTH OF GAME NIGHT
The Big Game was coming up on Sunday February 1, 2004. Our small group routinely met on Sunday nights so we thought that we would make this night an event.
We gathered at one of our couple’s homes and had great sit down dinner. Five young couples (with 7 children) sitting around a table partaking in a meal together.
After we ate the guys went to the basement to watch the football game. We also set up the Risk board and started to play. This would be our very first game night
I can’t even tell you who played in the football game, but I do remember the half-time show (Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake – enough said).
I do remember the Risk game too. I lost but I quickly reflected on my mistakes and I needed to play again as soon as possible to right my wrongs.
I also remember Don “The Extreme” helping me learn the game. As he was “helping” me he was also helping himself win the game by implementing what I call Game Play Psychology.
WHY WAS GAME NIGHT IMPORTANT
Game night did for the guys what the women were able to do naturally. We became more vulnerable with each other. We talked about more than just sports and weather.
We were no longer acquaintances, and we were more than friends, we were GOOD friends.
We looked forward to getting together and challenging each other’s intellect, integrity, and manhood at our next game night.
Yes – we no longer played one game per night. We played a round of games – 3, 4, or 5 games per night. And our game nights would often extent until the next morning.
Our wives were very supportive as they allowed us young men to pursue our boyish fun.
HOW GAME NIGHT POSITIVELY INFLUENCED OUR SMALL GROUP
As they guys grew closer together through this shared passion of game nights our families grew closer together too.
We no longer just had Sunday night small group. We also had regular gatherings together.
We started an annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch, we had Christmas parties and exchanged gifts by way of Greed, we even went on a camping trip – we were 5 families with small children tenting in the rain.
So, to answer the question, “How did game night positively influence our small group?…..
……WE WERE BECOMING FAMILY!
Yes, of course we were always family in the sense that we had common ground and we are all children of the King. But this was more.
What does it mean when someone says, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”? To me it means that you will have disputes with your family, while you can maintain your friendships at a more superficial level, thus avoiding any conflict.
We didn’t do that though. We had disputes.
We worked through our disputes, we asked for and provided forgiveness, and continued to love each other.
HOW DID WE KNOW WE WE’RE FAMILY
Over time we have all gone our different ways. We now no longer live in the same towns. We no longer go to the same church. We no longer get together for Sunday night small groups.
But we do continue to get together for our annual Christmas parties, the trips to the Pumpkin Patch, Valentine’s Day dinners, and other special events.
We still share our struggles, and joys, and pray for each other.
We don’t see each other as often as we use to, but when we are together we cherish our time.
So when I decided to share this passions with the world I knew that this site had to represent more than Game Night Dudes or Game Night Guys. Our faith and our bond made us family – we were brothers, so this site had to be Game Night Bros.