More than 100 million people will gather together to watch the big game on Feb. 3 between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. And similar to all the celebration that comes with other big holidays, Super Sunday will include decorations and parties and food and all kinds of fun games and activities.
Super Sunday is also the perfect opportunity to engage your young people in fun and creative ways. More than likely you’ve planned some sort of gathering with your students, and the various experiences that pop up throughout the day are perfect opportunities for teachable moments.
Here are five Jesus-centered questions you can ask your students on Super Bowl Sunday:
1. What did Jesus talk about with people around the dinner table? Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect time to pig out with your kids. You know those growing young bodies can consume copious amounts of food, and Super Bowl Sunday is great for pizza, nachos, pretzels, candy, cookies, hot dogs, chili and lots of Mountain Dew. And while you’re gorging yourselves, remind your students that more often than not Jesus did His most profound teaching while eating meals with other people. While you’re sitting there in a food coma with your students trying to muster up the energy to get up, ask them what they think Jesus would have talked about with people around the dinner table. What kind of food would Jesus have eaten? Why was the “breaking of bread” such a profound moment that reverberates multiple times throughout the Bible? This can become a great moment to connect your students with a new perspective of Jesus as a human.
2. Do you think Jesus likes sports/competition? While many of your students probably won’t care about the actual game happening on screen because they’re just there to hang out with friends or laugh at the commercials, a good portion of them will be cheering on one team or another. And in the middle of those scenarios there’s a great opportunity to help your young people consider God’s view on sports and competition. Did Jesus play games? Did He encourage competitiveness? If Jesus doesn’t want us to compete, what does that say about the nature of sports in America? If He is OK with competition, then how do we do that in ways that bring Him glory and honor?
3. Does Jesus like music? Maroon 5 will be performing at half-time of the Super Bowl, and likely most of your students are going to want to watch this just as much, if not more than, the actual game. What a great opportunity to get them thinking about Jesus’ view of today’s culture of music. Worship obviously plays a HUGE role in our relationship with God, but what does Jesus think about all that other music that isn’t created with the purpose of giving glory to God? Should we celebrate groups like Maroon 5? Should we feel guilty for liking that kind of music? How do we enjoy popular music while still being obedient to God and honoring our relationship with Him?
4. What was Jesus’ sense of humor like? In between the moments of the Big Game are some of the best and most hilarious commercials we’ll see all year. Sometimes the commercials are almost more entertainment than the game itself, and it’s always fun to sit back and laugh with your students at the funny ones. Those moments create great opportunities for you to help your students view Jesus in a different light. What was Jesus’ sense of humor like? Did He laugh? What did He laugh about? Did He tell jokes? Did He poke fun at the disciples? Were there inside jokes among the 12? And if He does have a sense of humor, what does that say about our relationship with Him? Helping your students think of Jesus in this way helps to expand the way they talk to Him and continue on their faith journey going forward.
5. How did Jesus have fun? Surely you have some fun games and activities planned for your Super Bowl gathering. If not, check out CIY’s fun game “Called It!” It’s a live guessing game that your students can play on their mobile devices while the Super Bowl is playing, and there we’ll be giving away monetary prizes for the winners – like $100 StubHub gift cards. And while you’re playing games like that, ask your students what they think Jesus did to have fun. Did He play games with the disciples? Was fishing His favorite pastime? Did He frown on dice/cards/gambling? Did He love to play with young children? We were created by a God who also created fun … so let’s glorify Him with the ways we do that.
Have fun this Super Bowl Sunday, and enjoy the unique opportunities you get to hang out with your students!
Chris Roberts is CIY’s Communications Director and a 20-year veteran of youth ministry. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.