Sports are a big part of life in Pennsylvania and at Hanover Fellowship Church. On any given Sunday there will be families absent from worshiping together, or Sunday evening activities because of a sporting event involving their children, themselves, or other. Football is also very big in Pennsylvania and at Hanover Fellowship Church, as can been seen on any given Sunday from September through January.
Being the one responsible for planning the calendar for Sunday evening activities, people often find it interesting to learn that when the NFL schedule comes out, I will look at it and see when key teams play and how that will affect those activities. While the regular schedule is not modified for NFL games, I know that game times will have an impact on Awana and youth.
As the NFL schedule comes to an end and the playoffs begin, I look to see if those teams will be involved in the playoffs, the potential game times and how that might affect Awana & youth. I did that again this year and noticed that there was a possibility that one, or both teams would make it the championship game which would be played on a Sunday (1/22) at 3 pm meaning the game would not end until after Awana & youth had begun. I began to consider what options there were, if one, or both teams make it to that game. I give that brief history to show that decisions that are made in this regard are not taken lightly and are not an emotional reaction to events, but have been considered long before it gets to this point.
With yesterday’s events and one of those teams making it to the championship game, it was time to “make the call” so to speak. I will share what the plan will be for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 and then share the thoughts and reasons behind it.
The Call: We will not be holding any evening activities at Hanover Fellowship on Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Basis for the Call: There are several, but here are the basics. Those who serve in Awana and Youth are committed to the ministry and if we held Awana & Youth, they would be there. They sacrifice many times throughout the year to serve. This is one small way that I can say to them that I appreciate them and their sacrifice to serve by giving them time to fellowship with others and do something that is important to them, to enjoy a rare event with family and friends. In this way I want to encourage families and friends to spend time together building stronger bonds. As we often say in reference to the LifeGroups, I’m giving them a chance to live life together and in doing so, it can lead them closer to Jesus.
If you are concerned that discipleship is being thrown by the wayside, then I want to assure you that it is not. That is where you must make the call…
Your Call: Allowing this to be a time of fellowship, you may opt to take a few minutes before the game or at half-time for a discipleship time (even throughout the course of the game). Here is a brief lesson/application that can be used:
Using the the Armor of God passage in Ephesians 6 you can compare the two armors.
Armor of God *Football Style*
- Belt of Truth – Football Belt
- Breastplate of Righteousness – Shoulder Pads
- Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace – Cleats
- Shield of Faith – Forearm Pad
- Helmet of Salvation – Football Helmet
- Sword of the Spirit (Bible) – Playbook
- Prayer – Jersey
You can also share how when we accept Jesus as our Saviour, that we become a part of His team. We all travel “down the field” to attain the goal of living like Jesus (it is an individual process, but works better when we have the support, and fellowship of others) and yet Satan is there trying to keep us from doing that (i.e. the defense). If we follow God’s playbook, He will guide us down the field to where He wants us to be, and it won’t always be easy. Sometimes we will get “sacked”, or taken for a loss. But we get back up, focused on the mission before us, following Jesus.
You can take this time to draw your children, and others toward Jesus if you choose. It’s your call.
If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to contact Pastor Bill.