Inter-Generational Discipleship through Gaming

September 28, 2021 | 2 minute read
Kristen Parker

Dice from the game Dungeons and Dragons

A father, son, and pastor are building relationships and enjoying inter-generational discipleship through spending time together playing the tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (DND).

The father, son (11), and Joshua Nightingale who is the Pastor to the Parish at Exchange Church in Winnipeg, have been playing DND together online and in-person for over a year. It has been a way to build community with one another.

Through the game, the three have built friendships and memories. Joshua said, “You can see sides of someone you may not necessarily see and the way that our lives can be so compartmentalized, you don’t normally get to see heroics or compassion that someone may have in situations and all these situations create shared stories and experiences outside. That’s where the conversations come out. The game becomes a backdrop. I don’t set it out as a moral lesson and adventure, it’s the nature of stories that they carry meaning and that they carry things that we investigate together.”

He continued on the subject of discipleship, “There’s the relationship building which opens up the opportunity for deeper conversations in a real and robust way. In terms of relationship building this is a unique opportunity to build trust and people are invested and in ‘life and death situations,’ the father and son have to learn they have each other’s backs.”

Joshua described the way role-playing games can develop a helpful skill and mindset, “What’s important is the opportunity for imagination – our imagination is the landscape of what we think is possible and the potentiality in the world around us. DND is an opportunity for collaborative storytelling where there aren’t strict rules – it’s creative problem solving where truly new things can be possible and when I think about the situation that we’re in globally – it’s the type of problem-solving and collaboration that will be needed in this younger generation.”

The three intend to continue playing the game and are excited for the new adventures and conversations that await them.

How could you turn a hobby into a ministry?



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Kristen Parker

Kristen is the Copywriter/ Copy Editor at the National Ministry Centre for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. She has a passion for words and creativity. Kristen and her husband, Chris, enjoy board games and taking care of their house plants.

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