Sunday, February 5, 2017

So, You're Having A Super Bowl Party

Today marks the 51st Super Bowl, where two of the best in the National Football League (NFL) meet for bragging rights and a chance to look in the camera to say I am going to Disneyworld. Some of you maybe more interested in the commercial than the game. What is interesting is that corporations will spend 3 million dollars or more for a 30 second ad.

Then there's the halftime. Oh the glory or the horror depending on who is performing. It is a historical irony that the Super Bowl is in Houston again because that is where the infamous wardrobe malfunction incident happened with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (I won't go into details).

As a youth pastor, one of my favorite things to do with the teens was a Super Bowl party, where we watch the game, have some glorious snacks (I am not exaggerating), have giveaways (Yes, I was one of those guys), and have a devotional during the halftime show. This is a tradition that began when I was a teenager where we would watch the game and the youth workers would present their own Super Bowl commercials which did feature a few men in dresses, which one of them, at the time, was my older brother (I am still in need of therapy for that one. By the way, it was during the 1990's where seeing men in dresses was more comical).

Many still carry on the tradition to this day while other churches will still have their Sunday night service, which there is nothing wrong with that as long as you don't have a self-righteous attitude about it. Which leads us to today's Super Bowl and you are planning a party even though you may not be advertising it as one because the NFL wants money if you use the phrase "Super Bowl" as a promotion.

If you are having a Super Bowl party tonight whether you are doing one in conjunction with your church or just having one in your neighborhood, here a few things that you might want to consider. First, include the whole family. Don't let it be a men's only thing. Let the women fellowship with one another and the kids play. You and I know there will be those few who are there for the fellowship and food, not for the game. One thing to consider is having it in homes, not the church building (Yes, you will have to clean up the mess later). Second, monitor the commercials. Lets face it, now a days you cannot watch a commercial without something suggestive in it. Do your best not just for your sake, but for those in your house.

Third, have a devotional during the halftime show. This is what has made Super Bowl parties a success over the years. Instead of watching the halftime show, have a time where God's Word is opened and being proclaimed. It is does not have to be a long expositional sermon, but a chance for the people to hear the Word. You might have invited a lost neighbor to the party so this is perfect opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed which is far better than watching the halftime show (Lady Gaga is performing this year, so you are better off not seeing it anyway. If you want to see later, set up your DVR or look on YouTube).

Finally, honor God. Whether your team is playing or not in the Super Bowl, honor God by your words, conduct, and how much food you eat (even if it is buffalo chicken wings). The main goal of every Christian's life is to glorify God and that includes watching a big game like the Super Bowl.

Having a Super Bowl party is not a bad thing. It can be a God-honoring time where we can see people come to Christ and a time where the saints can gather. It is also a time where neighbors can come together. If you are not having one because you don't like sports, that's okay. Just don't look down on those who are having one.

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