Are you ready for some football?
Today officially kicks off the NFL 2013 regular season. Oh yeah! (Cue the Monday Night Football sound clip).
Football is a cultural phenomenon that brings people together across America like nothing else. Don’t miss the opportunity to redeem this season for mission.
Here are some ways to use football for mission.
1. Don’t Watch Games By Yourself.
There are so many people you know or could get to know who are watching the game too. Go watch it with them or have them come and watch it with you. Mission doesn’t happen unless you’re with people. You never know what the Holy Spirit might do during the times you’ll spend together week after week watching the games.
2. Host “Tailgate” Parties.
This is what we love to do. Just about every Sunday we lug the TV outside, set up chairs, stoke up the grill, put out the spread and let it rip! The thing I like about hosting is that we get to do the invites. It’s a great opportunity for you to invite a mixture of people—close friends, new friends, neighbors, and co-workers—disciples and non-disciples. Last week I invited our UPS delivery guy to crash our party. Pray for that intersection of relationships to spark something that God uses to multiply & mature disciples.
3. Accept Invitations.
Maybe you have a friend from work or a neighbor who keeps asking you to come and watch the game at their place. Up until now you’ve always had a good reasons not to go. Not anymore. Stop rejecting the invite—go! Don’t be guilty of the same thing that drives you crazy. We get all bent out of shape and dejected when people reject our invites to come to church or a small group meeting or whatever. Guess what? You’re doing the same thing! Go. Who knows what God will do at Joe’s house?
4. Play Fantasy Football with Co-Workers.
Every August it happens—you get invited to join a fantasy football league with your co-workers. You think, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Stop deleting the email and give it a shot. Ask yourself, “What are the guys talking about on lunch break?” Fantasy football. Trash talk on Friday, bragging on Monday, trades on Thursday…on and on it goes. Think about the relationships you can build by being in on those conversations. Who knows where God might take some of those conversations?
5. Start’em Young.
This is for the parents. Remember that mission starts in the home. As much as we like throwing parties there are always a few games where it’s just the kids and us. It’s good to give them reminders over an extended football season (over 5 months) that they are the most important people in your world. You can do something special to thank them for sharing their home and using it for mission (like buying them some new team gear!). This is when you can really focus on teaching your kids the value of enjoying the good gifts of our culture without turning them into god—how to not only watch it but use it for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Whether you use it as a teaching moment or not, they’ll be learning how to win and lose and live squished on the couch eating buffalo wings enjoying the greatest game on earth!