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6 Tips for Throwing a Super Bowl Party to Engage Your Neighbors
For Christians, the Super Bowl is a great opportunity to connect with friends and neighbors who don’t know Jesus. Putting together a Super Bowl party is a fun and easy way to bring people together so you can start building relationships with your community.
Are you ready for some football?
As a life-long Broncos fan, I can’t wait for the Super Bowl. Even many of those who don’t have a rooting interest will find themselves watching Seattle and Denver face off on February 2nd. Every year, the Super Bowl is the most-watched American TV event of the year, and Super Bowl Sunday has morphed into a quasi-national holiday.
People who don’t watch a single game of football all year gather for the Super Bowl; some for the commercials, some for the hysteria and entertainment surrounding the event, and others just because it is a good excuse to party and eat a bunch of food with friends and family.
A missional opportunity
For Christians, the Super Bowl is an opportunity. Jesus has given us a mission to move in the direction of our lost friends and neighbors, and we are to intentionally and frequently look for ways to build relationships and connect with them. Remembering that Jesus took the first step in coming to Earth to live, love, and even party (John 2), we should follow his example in drawing near to the people around us who don’t know Jesus. Because of the size and cultural influence of the Super Bowl, this is a great opportunity for you and your community to build and strengthen connections with others.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched American TV event of the year, and Super Bowl Sunday has morphed into a quasi-national holiday.
All around us on Super Bowl Sunday, people will be watching the game. Let’s invite them to do it with us, and let’s make it a great time. Putting together a Super Bowl party is a fun and easy thing for your community group to do together. Here are some practical tips to help you throw a great Super Bowl party and build relationships with others.
1. Invite people personally and early
While it can be tempting to just send out a blanket invite over Facebook or email, it is much more effective and meaningful to personally invite people you want to attend. Pick up the phone or go knock on your neighbor’s door, and invite them over. A personal invite communicates that you really want the person to be there.
After you’ve invited people personally, it’s still great to send out the Facebook invite as a follow-up. Don’t wait till the last minute to invite people! It would be disappointing to put a whole bunch of planning and preparation into your party, only to find out everyone has already made other plans. Act now.
A personal invite communicates that you really want the person to be there.
2. Get the vibe right
Every party is different, so you need to figure out what the vibe will be. Are the people you’re inviting die-hard football fans who will want to watch the game with minimal distraction and the volume up loud? Or will you have folks who graze in the kitchen during the game and want to actually come back in and turn up the volume when the commercials come on?
If you will have both types, see if you can create a couple of different spaces for each activity to naturally occur. Create spaces for people to talk and casually watch the game and seating for those who want to be glued to the TV. If people are bringing kids, think about how to include them and find places for them to play and have fun also.
3. Be a connecter
One of coolest things we get to do in a setting like a Super Bowl party is connect people from different areas of our life. For example, we get to introduce a neighbor to a friend from work or a leader from our church to a friend we grew up with. The key is to be ready to make these connections. Be the one who initiates the introductions and helps people find common ground for discussion.
Look for simple ways you can link all the people at your party together. Maybe hand out flags people can throw when they think a referee missed a call, or just start the party off by asking everyone who they are rooting for and what they think the final score will be. It doesn’t have to be much—just enough to get people connected and engaged.
4. Have great food
Obviously you want to pay attention to food restrictions people might have, but I would encourage you to also just keep this simple. People don’t expect Bobby Flay to serve gourmet dining at a football party. But if you are going to invite people over and expect them to have fun, you do need to have more than an ashtray with old pretzels in it. Consider even going potluck and having everyone bring over their favorite dish.
One of coolest things we get to do in a setting like a Super Bowl party is connect people from different areas of our life.
5. Redeem halftime
I’ve usually found the halftime show to be over-hyped and underwhelming. Most years it seems to be some old rock or pop star that we will soon forget.
This year, there’s another option at halftime. Why not take the 30 minutes to hear from some of the players about what matters in their lives even more than football? You can stream or download the Resurgence Halftime Show that features the full interview Pastor Mark Driscoll recently did with several of the Seattle Seahawks players, including quarterback Russell Wilson. The video is fantastic and really puts football and life in perspective. It would be a great conversation-starter for your party.
6. Follow up with another time to hang out
Sometimes it’s easy to have a great time and start new relationships, but then fail to build on them from there. I would encourage you and your community group to invite all the people who come to your party to come to your community group the next week. Or invite them to come to church with you. If nothing else, at least schedule another time for everyone to hang out together again. Just do something to keep the relationships going.
Moments like the Super Bowl are great relational kindling for connecting with people. It is a great opportunity for us all to do exactly what Jesus called us to do: love him and love others (Mark 12:30–31).
Stream or download the Resurgence Halftime Show today.