June 14, 2020: Speaking of Participation Awards
The message that sparked the conversation ... What You're Getting Into.
What do you think of participation awards? Do they bred mediocrity or teach sportsmanship? See what our guests had to say about that, baseball, and the Sermon on the Mount.
- What was a memorable "participation award" or "door prize" you received (of any kind, in a sports competition, family reunion, wedding guest gift, office party, etc.)?
- People criticize participation awards these days. For example, one cartoon quips, "Participation Trophy: Creating Entitlement Minded Whiners Since the 1980s." Is this criticism justified?
- What are some unintended consequences of participation awards?
- What might be the good intentions behind them?
- Participation awards may be bad for competition, but leaders still seek ways to increase participation among more people. Jesus' Sermon recorded on Matthew 5-7 is similar. The "reward" Jesus mentions (5:12) is not about earning a place on Jesus' team, neither is it about entitlement. It's about participation in God's grace. As you listen to Matthew 5:17-20 (keeping 5:1-16 in mind), what interests you, puzzles you, challenges or otherwise gets your attention?
- Matthew's gospel uses the term "reward" (also translated as "wage") 10 times. How does Jesus' story in Matthew 20:1-16 color the meaning of this "award" or "wage" (20:8)?
- How is this good news for you?
- Reflecting on this, what do you want to say to people in your household, church, or neighborhood?