One thing I am really excited about being back involved in Youth Ministry is to be involved in a SUPER BASH! For years, one of the biggest outreaches I did with Young Life and Cedar Run was to do an EPIC outreach Super Bowl Party. Over the years, the reputation we built around the NW corner of Fairfax County, VA was that we were one of the best Super Bowl parties around, drawing a ton of new students each year.
With less than a week until the Super Sunday, we are at full speed in preparation for this big outreach event and I am getting more and more excited with each passing day that goes by.
The question I have for everyone is do you do a Super Bowl Party and do you use it as an opportunity to reach out to your community and non-believing teens? Whether you do or not, I believe that a Super Bowl Outreach event is one of the most effective opportunities we have at reaching out to non-believers all year. If for no other reason than everyone watches the Super Bowl, we have the perfect chance to bring students into the church. Whether students like football or not, the fact is that they are going to watch it (if for no other reason than the ads) and we can use it to our advantage to introduce students to our ministry. After all, the Super Bowl has such a festive ora about it that you want to watch it and want to watch with your friends. So why not give students a fun place to hang, eat great food and enjoy the game/ads together?
If you are doing a Super Bowl party this year, here are just a few lessons that I have learned over the years in hopes that they will be good reminders for you as you are getting ready for your party:
- Give students reasons to come. The fact is, your Super Bowl party needs to be more than just football. Even though most people watch the Super Bowl, you have to set yourself apart from the other parties that are going on. Every year we did a party, we offered a variety of things other than just football. For instance, we offer tons of free homemade food, plenty of non-football related activities and we have give-aways. By doing more than just showing the Super Bowl, you are opening up your doors to more people and giving students a reason to come to your party.
- Do your own half-time show. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way on this one. When the “wardrobe malfunction” happened, we were watching along with the rest of the world. It was at this point that we decided that we could use this opportunity to further set our party apart from others by doing our very own half-time show. Each year I have done this has been different but we try to keep it fresh and new. Basically this is where we do a little mini youth group where we play a mixer or a game, show a quick funny video and then conclude with a testimony and “Come Check us out next Sunday”. Although we may have a few people who really want to see the Super Bowl Halftime show, we normally have a great response to our program. Plus we introduce students to our youth program which is always great promotion.
- Share Christ. Ultimately, we did not just want to be another Super Bowl Party where you watched the game and ate lots of food. We wanted to stand apart by giving our students something provokative and life-changing to think about. Therefore, at the end of our half-time show, we have a a few students stand up and share about Christ’s impact on their lives.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Experiences? Post a comment on how you have done Super Bowl Parties before, post them up so that all of us can benefit from the different and creative ideas.