Be a Fan

Making Disciples at the Football Stadium

Fall is a great time for families on mission. With fall comes colorful leaves, back to school shopping, and, yes, football. From peewee to pro, opportunities abound to watch football played by all ages. Many women love football and enjoy cheering for their favorite teams. Others, however, just tolerate the game for the sake of people in their lives who enjoy it. Regardless of opinions about the sport, football games may give an opportunity to minister and reach out to others during this fall season. Fans are definitely a cross section of society, and games give families an opportunity to get to know and witness to people outside their circle of friends.

Here are some ideas for your Christian football playbook.

Give Something Away
On the hot days and nights of early season football games, bottles of water are a good giveaway in the parking lot before and after the game. Invite your children to help you make and attach scripture labels to your water bottles and snacks. Be sure not to violate any park rules as you give away water or snacks. Many ball parks and stadiums do not allow food to be brought inside.

Check into the possibility of your family volunteering in the concession stand or at the gate. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children to be thoughtful and courteous as they greet new people. If permitted, invite visitors to worship at your church the following Sunday.

Go Shopping or Dining
If shopping or eating out is a part of your football experience, use this as a witnessing opportunity. With your children, make cards with scripture such as “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1, ESV). Keep several scripture cards with you, and when you purchase something, invite your child to share one with the salesperson. At restaurants, put a card inside the folder along with your payment. If someone doesn’t want to accept the tract, just say, “That’s OK,” and give them a genuine smile. In these moments, you have the opportunity to teach your children that while others may always desire God, we must treat everyone with grace and love.

Meet Your Neighbors
Take the opportunity to talk to the people in the stands around you. You may not only make new friends but you may also find out about a genuine need in their lives. Making friends of strangers and letting them know you care about them may open a door of opportunity to share the gospel or invite them to church.

Invite People to Your Home
When you meet people who share your love of a certain football team, invite them over to watch a game on television with your family. It’s a great opportunity to share your love of a team today and share the gospel later when you know them better.

Remember the One you Serve
Fans often get caught up in the game, and if they see their team get a bad call, they get terribly upset. Christians who want to reach others must be careful in their criticism of coaches and officials. Harsh remarks about a referee could negatively impact all those efforts you’ve made to be a witness.

Have fun!
So what are you waiting for? Put on your favorite team’s colors, pray with your children, and head out.

by Kay Rollings

On Saturdays in the fall, Kay Rollings heads out to the stadium to watch her favorite college team. She’ll be dressed in orange.

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