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Football Sunday
Look to the biggest sporting event each year as a prime opportunity for outreach for your church.

Football Sunday: A Superb Opportunity for Outreach

There are very few times each year when culture and ministry get the chance to naturally collide. Super Bowl Weekend is one of those prime opportunities.

Did you know that the Super Bowl is the most watched single sporting event in the United States?

What if this year, your church was as excited about an outreach event as they were about the game?

One of the most significant resources available to us, is taking culture and leveraging it for growth and momentum. We have all experienced that feeling during Super Bowl Sunday, when you are working during a service, and you know every volunteer, attendee and most of the staff are thinking ahead about getting to their parties, and what they’ll see in the commercials that leave everyone talking! 

There are very few times each year when culture and ministry get the chance to naturally collide. Super Bowl Weekend is one of those prime opportunities.

The saddest part of this phenomena is that the Super Bowl traditionally marks the end of the top of year momentum for most churches.

What if it didn’t have to be this way? 

What if this year, your church was as excited about an outreach event as they were about the game?

What if we gave you seven “plays” that you need to turn the big game weekend into a massive outreach?

Well here you go. The first three will be outlined in this piece, and the other four in a second segment on Monday: 

 

Play 1

You are going to create a fantastic weekend, and it is vital that you leverage all your energy into letting people know what you are doing! Here are some great ways to market Football Sunday to your church and the community:

Option A - Create cards, like this invite card. Design them like footballs, football cards, play call sheets, or something else that involves the big weekend.

Make sure you include on them your service times, web address, social handles, and feature a clear Call To Action -something like “We can't wait to see you on Sunday.”

Encourage your congregation to invite someone and to meet them that Sunday at church. There is a big difference between asking someone and bringing them with you! 

Option B - Run Facebook and Instagram advertising to spread the word about the weekend. For very little money, you can run social ads that target the people you want to bring to church. One of the best ways is to go to the Facebook Ad Manager, upload a Microsoft Excel CSV file that contains the email addresses of anyone who has visited your church over the past six months. You can find these people by asking your guest experience team, looking at new logins in the kid's ministry, or seeing new giving records.

A simple social ad campaign is a powerful way to show your community something is happening that they may not know about, like Football Sunday at your church! 

Option C - Use Your free tools. Make sure you email, post to social networks, have slides in your services, put stickers on kids in kids ministry, and invite the youth group. Get the word out for free.

Even email your volunteer leaders and staff members and ask them to share prewritten social posts with images you provide.

Always answer the question, if I don't know anything about this, do I know enough to respond to the call to action? 

Option D - Signage. Hang posters around your church and your town. Put a banner out in front of your church. Create a street team to spread the word at coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and, especially for this opportunity, in areas where kids play sports like football! 

Option E - Pastoral Invitation. Make sure your pastor talks about this from the stage, that your hosts reinforce it, that your volunteers speak about it in huddles, and that you promote Football Sunday for at least three weeks prior to the event.

One great way for your pastor to talk about it is to remind people at the beginning of the service and include these two relevant facts: What this is - an outreach to families to leverage football for Jesus. Who is this for - anyone who you know that likes football, the big game, or has family that is looking for a great, free, and fun morning before the game happens.

The reason we suggest three weeks, is that the average Christian in this country attends church 1.3 times each month. To make sure everyone hears about it at least once, you need to talk about it at least three times. 

Play 2

As people arrive at your services, some critical things need to be done to create a fantastic environment to set the tone. Consider planning for games to be organized in the parking lot. Football throws, pass, punt and kick contests, team face painting, races, several tents, especially one for first-time guests where we can get information, walk them through the day, and help them feel connected.

Also, everyone loves food, so make sure you have free food for people, sports drinks, hot chocolate, breakfast foods, burgers, and hot dogs!

Invite a local mascot for photobooth opportunities in front of your church signage, so your logo starts to appear on attendees’ social networks. Add props like pom poms, helmets, footballs, which all make for great photos that people love to share.  Finish your pregame tailgating off with kegs of root beer and chips, to get people in the mood for a fantastic day, that they are about to experience. 

Play 3

As your guests show up, let's let them know you are ready for them.

Your volunteer teams and staff should all be encouraged to wear jerseys. Have the parking team in referee outfits. Some churches even make jerseys for this day, as an easy way for guests to identify who can answer their questions.

Check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, where you may be able to find some old lockers to make your lobby look a little more like a locker room. Hang some banners, photos, or other fun game themed decor in your lobby and hallways.

On this day, all of your TVs should be showing football-related content. 

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