Why Football Season Tears Into Your Church Attendance and What We Can Learn From It

Why Football Season Tears Into Your Church Attendance and What We Can Learn From It September 6, 2016

It’s that time of year again, when passive and disinterested church-goers magically transform into passionate football fans, going from falling asleep in the back row to maniacally screaming their heads off at a tv or in a stadium. I know the default mode of most pastors is to simply judge the congregations’ misplaced priorities, assume the problem is all with them, and then move on with our traditional church routine. But before we condemn and move on, it behooves us to look a little deeper as to why so many people choose football over church in the Fall. Can we learn anything beyond the stereotypical reasons of ‘they’re sinners’ and ‘they don’t love Jesus?’

1.  They’re going for the passion.  Football is an emotional experience, for better or for worse. People willingly risk the emotional dejection of a lost game for the euphoric rush of savoring sweet victory. It’s appealing to us because we were created to be emotional beings. And yet in some churches there is an outright rejection of anything emotional because it smacks of hyper-charismaticism and surely can’t be biblical. And yet to avoid one extreme of Christianity too many churches have chosen only to engage the mind and not the heart, when churches should be doing both. Are your church services passionate or lifeless? Do they prick the heart or merely tickle the mind?

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