The Impact Game
Make an Impact
Welcome to your first turn. The world is your oyster. Your current salary is $1000 and your expenses are $900. That leaves you with $100 of financial margin to use as you see fit. What’s it going to be?
5% to 10% returns per turn
-5% to 20% returns per turn
15% return per turn x3 turns
Impacts 10 lives per donated dollar
Impacts 1 life per donated dollar
Hold SHIFT to increase/decrease selections by 100
Long press to increase/decrease selections by 100
This is the impact game. After reading the instructions below, you should be ready to begin. Have someone read the instructions out loud to the rest of your group each turn as you go. You’ll each be playing individually, but will go through the game together.
This game consists of somewhere between 9 and 11 turns. Your goal is to impact the greatest number of people over the course of your “life” as possible. On each turn, you can use your income for different purposes.
Giving: For every dollar you give to Mercy International, you will impact 1 life. Regardless of how much you have saved or earned, you can only give 10% of your total savings on any given turn.
Investing: For every dollar you invest in Investment 123, you will get a return ranging from 5-10%.
End of the road
All good things must come to an end. Your life will end after somewhere between 9 and 11 turns. At the end of your life, your will includes giving a maximum of 10% of any savings away.
It may be tempting to discuss how you are using your money each turn, but try to save any discussion for the end. You will find a few discussion questions at the end to help you reflect on the experience. Let’s begin.
Click Start when everyone is ready.
Time to Reflect
If you are going through this module with a group, stop here and wait for your group. When everyone is caught up, continue below.
Whew! That was a lot to keep track of. If you remember, the main point of this game was to impact as many lives as possible in the time you were given. How did you do?
TOTAL: 0 LIVES IMPACTED
Like most giving in life, it’s often hard to know if we’re having an impact or not. Rarely do we get a grade or stamp of approval to know if we’re on the right track.
Discuss as a group. How do you feel about your results? Do you think you did well?
Unlike real life, everyone begins this game with the same resources. But the events and results of the game depend significantly on the decisions you make along the way.
Discuss as a group. How do your results compare to everyone else? Don’t worry, this is just a game. It’s safe to share!
Time to Reflect
Below, you will find the percentage of your disposable margin that you allocated towards ministries at different points in the game. Don’t worry, the goal wasn’t to give 100% every turn. The goal was to impact as many people as possible.
Discuss as a group. What was your strategy? Do you think it was effective? How did your investing and giving change over the course of the game, and why?
Time to Reflect
There were a number of events during the game that affected your income, expenses, investing, and giving. It may seem like these events happened at random times, but they were largely based on your decisions throughout the game. In a similar way, the decisions we make in real life have similar consequences.
Discuss as a group. What events do you remember throughout the game? How did they change the decisions you made?
Time to Reflect
The rules in the beginning of the game stated that you can only give 10% of your total savings on any one turn. It might seem like an arbitrary rule, but guess what? Most people don’t start out their careers with the capacity to give 50% of their income or savings away. Generosity like that comes with time spent trusting God over time.
As you may or may not have come to realize, some players gain the capacity to give more than 10% over the course of the game, just like they do in real life. And it is not random when that capacity increases, but quite intentional.
Discuss as a group. Were you ever able to give more than 10% during the game? What factors influence our total capacity to give, both in the game and in life?
The rules also stated that you can only give 10% of your estate, or leftover savings, on your final turn (the ultimate turn you might say). Most of us would naturally plan to leave most of our life savings to our heirs, unless the Spirit shifts something in our hearts.
It is rare for someone to spend most of their life giving away a marginal amount, and easily be able to give their entire life savings away at their death. It takes time to build up that capacity for generosity.
Discuss as a group. Were you able to give more than 10% on your last turn? What factors influence our capacity to give at the end, both in the game and in life?
Time to Reflect
God’s economy doesn’t work like ours. Looking through the lens of personal finance and economics, it would logically make sense that the most impactful strategy you could choose would be to invest all of your excess margin every turn and leave it all to Ascent Life on your final turn. Indeed, many people choose this strategy in life.
But there are some critical considerations that flip this strategy upside down. And they are often overlooked.
If your were to invest maximally on every turn, giving only on your last turn, you would have impacted somewhere between 250 and 500 people in total. However, it is not difficult to impact over 20,000 people reliably in this game with a different strategy.
Capacity for Generosity
Nobody starts off in life with the capacity for incredible feats of generosity. As broken beings, we are born with a greater desire for self-sufficiency, control, and security.
Generosity is a muscle that must be exercised. And it’s not something that can be learned with a well placed sermon, book, or testimony. Generosity can only grow through practice. It is precisely by trusting God with a little and finding him faithful that we grow in our ability to trust him with more.
Not only that, but what may begin motivated by obligation or curiosity quickly becomes an adventure of unexpected blessings as we watch God multiply our impact.
Learning how to give
Not only do we grow in our capacity to give, but also in our knowledge of how to give well. There are often multiple paths to any given goal, and giving well involves knowing how to achieve those goals effectively.
Many people think the simple act of giving is all that matters. But the fact is that giving is hard sometimes! There are infinite opportunities for you to invest in, and it takes years of practice to develop discernment and wisdom in how you give.
Like capacity for generosity, our wisdom in generosity is only learned through tangible practice. If you wait until the end of your life to do most of your giving, you are waiting to make some of your most important decisions with minimal experience.
As you give, you will become more aware of what your giving actually accomplishes. And you will also begin to become aware of other opportunities. The effort we put in now unlocks much greater potential in the future.