Football is arguably the most popular sport in America today. The NFL alone generated $13 billion in revenue last year. The 32 NFL teams are worth about $45 billion, which is more than every MLB and NFL team combined! This doesn’t even take into consideration the popularity of college football as well. Football is America’s sport and there is no doubt that there are many football fans in your congregation. With football season fast approaching, how do churches embrace this priority in people’s lives and at the same time keep them engaged in church ministry?
There is balance that can be achieved, without sports taking over your church. The Gospel should always be the purpose of all that that we do as a church, but we can make an effort to incorporate football in small ways that can make a huge difference during the season.
Here are a few ideas your church leadership should consider to engage your church community this fall:
1) Be smart in scheduling services or activities that conflict directly with prime time games where people will stay home watching the game.
2) There are some tremendous athletes that are Christ-followers. Russell Wilson and Tim Tebow are great examples of guys that the love the Lord and play at such a high level. Inspire your members with video testimonies of athletes who walk by faith in God.
3) Incorporate sports into your events. Here are a couple of examples to consider:
– Turn a game into a church event by showing the game on the big screen and eating dinner together.
– Have a “favorite sports team day” by asking your congregation wear their favorite team’s jersey to church that day.
– Create a charity bucket for your favorite team: for every touchdown they make, the congregation commits to contributing a certain amount of money to the bucket which can be given to a charity of your choice at the end of the football season.
– Fantasy leagues are super popular. Perhaps consider having a church league for your congregation to join.
– Keep your congregation updated on special events football related or otherwise on your ChMS.
Some of your members might not be sports fans, so try not to force it, but this effort will communicate that you are trying as church to engage your members and community. Hopefully, this intentional focus will be well received by your church and leadership. Kick-off this football season with excitement and plan on a great fall for your church as you channel some of that passion and fire to your church ministry in serving the Lord.