Making Disciples at the Football Stadium

Fall is here, and with it comes colorful leaves, back to school shopping, and, yes, football!  And, football brings opportunities for making disciples.

From peewee to pro, you can watch football played by all ages. Football fans are definitely a cross section of society, so football games give followers of Christ natural occasions to meet, minister, and reach out to others 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. Use your computer to make labels for your water bottles. Your labels might be as simple as stating your church’s name and address or could contain invitations to “Learn about living water at __ Baptist Church.” Small packages of crackers with invitations for people to learn about becoming the salt of the earth may also be a good choice. Be sure not to violate any rules in your giveaways. Most stadiums do not allow food to be brought in. You also need to be careful not to take business away from concession stands.

Work in a concession stand.
Check into the possibility of the members of your church being in charge of a concession stand. College stadiums sometimes allow church and civic groups to man a station. If this works out for you, put up a small sign with the name of your church. Be the most helpful and courteous stand in the stadium, and as customers pick up their merchandise, say, “If you’re in the area tomorrow, we’d love to have you worship with us.”

Go shopping and dining.
If shopping or eating out is a part of your football experience, use this as a witnessing opportunity. Ask servers, sales people and cashiers how you can pray for them. Offer genuine smiles and words of encouragement. 

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 needs 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. It’s a great opportunity to share your love of a team today and share the gospel as your relationship grows.

Remember the One you serve.
Fans often get caught up in the game. Christians who want to reach others must be careful in their criticism of coaches, players and officials. Harsh remarks negatively impact all those efforts you’ve made to be a witness.

Have fun.
Put on your favorite team’s colors 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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