Sundays are for Football

The following is a walkthrough of “Zombies, Football and the Gospel” by Reggie Joiner If you want to know more about why I’m writing this series or a quick place to check for the previous chapter posts click here.


Ch 3 Sundays are for Football – “Re-imagine ways church can influence active communities.” 

In this chapter, Reggie connects two primary ideas tether in a powerful and extremely relevant way. The first is that Sunday are for Football, that most people would rather not attend Church on Sunday mornings. Reggie states, “At some point on the sacred day, there will be playing, napping, drinking, golfing, hanging, reading, sunning, swimming, Web-surfing, or watching Football… it’s not that they hate Church. They just don’t think about it. (pg 41)

The second is that “Statistically, 25 percent of Americans treat Sunday like a Holy day. Everybody else treats Sunday like a holiday (pg41)”. Mainly 75% of Americans just don’t think about Sunday because Sundays are or Football. Reggie adds that 35% of people are also working on Sunday mornings and will never be able to come to a service at 9:00 am because they are at work.

“I’m going to oversimplify and say I think it’d because 75 percent of the population has decided Sunday is for football, or fun, or family or friends (pg43)”

In the middle of the chapter, Reggie shares a story about a girl names Jen and the reasons why Jen won’t go to Church. Here are a few of the highlights…

  • I feel like they are judging me
  • my questions aren’t answered
  • it doesn’t feel worth my time
  • No one invites me to go with them

Despite the last comment, however, Jen does mention that “If a friend invited me, I’d go (pg44)”. It is here where the “Game-Changer” comes into play. “Communities have shifted away from a Sunday’ s-are-for-church mindset (pg44)”

See Jen’s of the world will not natural just wander into church o a Sunday morning, but the Church is also not doing anything to attract the Jen’s of the world either. Reggie asks the question, “What if you started counting the people who come on Sunday and started cutting the people in tour community who don’t? (pg45)”.

This question is powerful and almost mind breaking. It almost seems like an impossible task, but don’t we follow a God who specializes in the impossible. This chapter is profound because it asked us to examine our motives as a church. Do we exist for the 25 or the 75 percent? Or both?

The chapter ends with two statements that summarize both the power of the chapter and the potential of the future if we are brave enough to think outside of a Sunday box.

“If Jesus said leave the 99 to go find the one, maybe we can stop thinking about the 25 long enough to brainstorm, ideas to reach the 75 (pg46)”

“To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing Craig Groeschel (pg 46)

My Original Notes and Insights

Q – How are you going to connect with the people in your community who will never step inside your building?

  • I don’t know, but I need to figure something out. It needs to involve students reaching students. But also adult leaders empowering, equipping and modelling what it looks like to be the Church the other six days a week.

Looking Back: When I look back, This chapter changed me personally, not programmatically. I don’t think anything about my program was affected by this chapter, which might be a sad fact. I remember having a goal of having 10% of every high school in the city have representation in our youth group in some capacity. But as I re-read this chapter, I’m reminded that they probably would never have crossed our doors, because I was expecting them to come to us. The change for me happened in my heart. It created a burden for students. Yes, I wanted to see kids come to know Jesus, but the difference was the realization that “I could not meet that goal”… it was too big for me. But as a collective “we,” the goal was possible. I remember this chapter setting me/us free to try, fail, succeed and repeat.

In a Covid-19 World

I continue to find this book almost prophetic in this season of life. Again this chapter is speaking directly at the heart of the current issue the universal Church is facing. We can no longer go to a physical building on a Sunday morning, and since this book, The number of people attending a church was also declining. I think 75 percent of people not thinking about the Church at all is now a low number, and I guess that it’s much higher.

Yet Covid-19 has forced the Church to stop and ponder some of what Reggie mentions in this chapter, “If Jesus said leave the 99 to go find the one, maybe we can stop thinking about the 25 long enough to brainstorm, ideas to reach the 75 (pg46)”.

See Sunday are about Football and don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s not, because it’s 100% about anything but Church. For the first time in maybe a long time, the Church has an opportunity to make the other 6 days a week about Church. But it will require somethings of the Church…

  • We need to consider new ideas
  • We need to be willing to try, fail, succeed and repeat
  • We need to be ready to ask for help
  • We need to seek out the needs of our community first
  • We need to invite others to journey with us in community

In my personal opinion, let Sundays be for Football because the “Church” wasn’t built just for Sundays.

Jesse Title Grey Background
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

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