Youth Ministry on the Cheap: Super Bowl Party

refereeI love playoff football.

I’ll admit it.  I’m a full-on NFL junkie.

Here’s the deal:  I’m not alone.  This past weekend, network television set all time ratings records for the Wildcard Weekend of playoffs.  The FOX game of San Francisco and Green Bay scored the highest ratings of any Wildcard Game in history and was the second highest rated football game of all time on the FOX network (second only to a broadcast).  America loves the NFL, of that there is little doubt.

That’s why I always do an annual youth Super Bowl .  It’s an affordable, easy and productive event for our students and adults.  When I consider on the , I can’t leave out this gem on my calendar.

It’s such a simple concept.  The game is scheduled years in advance, so it’s always easy to put it on the calendar.  It’s on a Sunday, so your students are used to meeting anyway.  It’s a communal event, so whether they watch it with you or from someone else’s house, they will watch some portion of the game.  It just makes too much sense.

For youth ministers trying to stretch a dollar, it’s a perfect event.  Find a church member who will host the event (preferably someone with a good-sized house and a great TV), ask them and a few other adult chaperones to prepare some food (sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs and chili are all great choices), then invite students over.

That’s it.

I usually bring some card games (for the students who just want to hang out or watch commercials) and have a game where students pick numbers to correspond with scores at the end of each quarter.  At halftime, everyone gathers in the largest room and instead of watching some musical act, we study God’s word.  My message is ALWAYS evangelistic (I encourage students to bring friends to the event), but you could also include praise and worship if you have musical students in your group.  (If you want to spend money, some companies offer halftime videos to play.)  After halftime, we all settle in for games, food and, of course, football.

The best part is its very seeker friendly.  You are not inviting students to church, but instead you’re inviting them to a party.  There is free food, games and a big football game to watch.  Adults get to hang out with students, and the only preparation for you is the halftime devotion.

Even better, it’s on a Sunday night.  Students are used to being at church anyway and any newcomer can be invited back for church next week.  (They are there, so you know they can make time.)

So enjoy the games.  Root for your teams.  And if you want a cheap event, schedule a Super Bowl party.

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Wayne Yeager is the pastor at Glasford Baptist Church in the small town of Glasford, Il. As a 12-year veteran of ministry, his experience comes from small, rural churches and congregations. Wayne is married to Sara and they have two children. Wayne attends Liberty Seminary, studying for a Masters of Divinity in Christian Counseling. You can follow Wayne's blog at http://wyeager.blogspot.com.

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