For many years now, churches across America have been putting their big screens to use every February to watch the Big Game. The Super Bowl had been playing on projection screens across the country as churches hope to “use the game to draw in the teenagers”, “use the event as a way to reach members, and potential new members, in a non-churchlike atmosphere”, or show the world that the “church can still have some fun”. Well, the NFL is about to throw some water on those plans. The League decided that churches are no longer allowed to show the Super Bowl on their screens, because its copyright privilege “bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches” (read the Washington Post article HERE). I’m sure that many people will be disappointed but I, for one, am relieved. Funny that it takes a copyright law to get us to remember why we are here…
Yes, I am pretty well balanced. I enjoy all kinds of things that are offered by the culture. I’ll be watching the game, believe me. But I am concerned that the Church finds itself marketing not only the Christian message, but the Christian landscape as well. I really don’t have a problem with my Christian brothers and sisters coming together to watch the Game. No problem at all. What worries me is our desire to turn everything into a marketing ploy to sell the faith to the world around us. Must every cultural event be utilized as a Christian promotion?
It seems to me that when we take a marketing approach to the faith, we find ourselves using the trappings of the culture to lure people in, and we eventually then find ourselves watering down the message to tickle the fancies of those we enticed in the first place. If you need any evidence of this trend, visit “A Little Leaven” to see what I mean. The faith has been subjected to ridiculous marketing and Super Bowl events don’t help slow the trend.
Hey, I’ve got a novel idea! Let’s just go out to some non-believing friend’s house (you do have a non-believing friend, don’t ya?), and spend some time living, loving and enjoying the game together. Let’s get back to sharing the truth one relationship at a time, and let’s leave the big screen versions of the Big Game to the sports bar down the street. What do you think?