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Sunday Ticket: 5 Ways to Integrate Football Into Church

The Lord's day is filled with joy, praise and singing, and then there's church. Football is America's new past time, and Sunday's force devoted followers to choose between sermons and sidelines. No one wants to miss their hometown team marching down the field, but church offers vibrant community and fellowship. Why not combine the two? With a little creativity, churches can cater to football frenzy as they gather for worship.

First Things First

There are plenty of options to marry the two popular Sunday activities without a hitch. From recording the game(s) you want to see and watching them after service or going to church at an earlier time, church and football can coexist effortlessly. Some churches offer Saturday evening services, and some have sermons available on podcast or for download, like Dallas-based pastor Ed Young. Young also has videos available if you want a more visual experience, just like watching the big game. Also, football seems to play every night during the season. With the time-honored Monday Night Football to special Thursday and Saturday night games, the NFL is helping churchgoers with scheduling the access to their games.

Live Look-In

Pastors can describe the phenomenon in detail, dozens of men (and sometimes women) awkwardly checking their phones and reacting with corresponding jitters: the local team must be in the red-zone. Most of football's important action happens in the red zone, the defense's last 20 yards of turf, and churches could eliminate the secretive cheering by throwing the local game up on the projector when the local team enters this prosperous territory. It could be during singing, a scripture reading or the message, and while temporary coverage may distract churchgoers for a short while, they'll be focused on the screen and undistracted once the drive ends.

Can I Get a Touchdown?

It's one of the most rewarding feelings in fandom: jumping off the couch and screaming "touchdown" as your team marches into the end zone. Church attendees express a similar exclamation upon hearing an inspiring word, shouting "amen." To bring a little team spirit into the sanctuary, why not shout "touchdown" when a preacher sparks something in your soul? Football is probably on your mind, so let your team spirit out and stay engaged with the message. Notre Dame doesn't have a problem integrating football and faith, celebrating their victories with "Touchdown Jesus," and mixing your two devotions will keep you dedicated to both.

Put Some Money on It

Other than their local team, football fans are usually most interested in how their fantasy team fares on Sundays. If you're playing a church friend a few rows down, why not make it interesting? Most fantasy football rivals would play for cold, hard cash, but you can use this friendly wager to support your church — the loser pays double in offering.

Some of these suggestions might sound enticing for football-loving church goers, but the truth is, there's plenty of time for faith, family and football on Sundays. Record your team's game, or catch the highlights later that night. Church has plenty to offer without integrating America's favorite sport.

~Guest Post~

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