Super Bowl Sunday: Holy Day or Opportunity?

Should churches use the Super Bowl game on Super Bowl Sunday for evangelism?

Michael Horton says no way. He argues that using the Super Bowl to try to bring people to Christ is lame and heretical (my words for what he seems to convey):

“Where is God present in power and grace? Is it on the big screen, for a game? Where is the authentic site of God’s promised presence to judge and forgive? All week long we are at liberty to share in the common life of our neighbors, but the Lord’s Day is the one day of the week when the powers of the age to come are breaking into this passing age. Which age do we believe is more real: the one that Scripture says is ‘fading away’ or the one ‘with foundations whose builder and maker is God’? As fun as a game might be, is it ‘tasting the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come’? Is being a spectator of an ephemeral game more significant than being actually swept into God’s unfolding drama, ‘receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken’? And are we more tantalized by the words and sacraments of Game Day than those of the Lord’s Day?

“Now that football (along with soccer and the mall) has swallowed Sunday whole, Christians have to make a choice. Whatever “Super Bowl Sunday” has become in our culture, it is not ‘missional’ to tell the world that what happens on that field is more game-changing than what happened at an empty tomb and what happens every time sinners gather to be made recipients of that inheritance of the saints.”

Read the whole thing here.

Jason Ellerbrook, on the other hand, says yes. He urges Christians and churches to use the ‘Big Game’ for an opportunity to interact with unbelievers for the sake of helping them understand the Gospel:

“Last year, more than 111 million people watched Super Bowl XLV to see the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s a lot of people in one place at one time.

“This year, the NFL has given its blessing for churches to broadcast the Super Bowl, relaxing a previously restrictive policy and allowing public showings of the big game on TVs larger than 55 inches. Churches can now legally have a Super Bowl party without violating the league’s copyright.

“As believers and church leaders, we should be asking questions like, ‘What is God up to?’ and, ‘How can we use this opportunity to share the Gospel?'”

Read his entire article here.

Both men are followers of Christ. Both men are leaders in evangelical organizations and ministries. One says Christians have to make a choice between Sunday and the Super Bowl. The other says Christians should use the Super Bowl on a Sunday to make more Christians.

What do you think? Better yet, what do you think Jesus would want His followers to do?


About pastormpearson

Follower of Jesus. Husband to Katie. Father to Luke, Seth, and Birtukan. Pastor of the First Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas.

Posted on January 20, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. While I see both of these viewpoints having valid support, it is your own final question Matt that sways my opinion the most. That is because I believe Scripture clearly indicates that Jesus would be wherever the people who need Him happened to be gathered. So, I say we as Christians (the Church) are compelled to go “outside the walls and the norm”; even if it is at a time when we have traditionally set aside for worship. And, what purer form of worship can there be than sharing the Gospel with lost people?

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