From time to time on my blog I like to share some creative ideas from our staff that we use at our church that other ministries could do as well, most likely even better. Here’s one…
The last Sunday of October is always a big day for our church. We try to use it as a special incentive to reach our community and bring a lot of guests into the service. We have done the traditional “Harvest Festival” in the past, but recently we decided to put a special twist on it. This past Sunday we designated our special day as Tailgate Sunday.
The idea for Tailgate Sunday was birthed from a few guys talking about a special day where we could wear football jerseys instead of ties to church. I know, I know. Some of you just now labeled me as a liberal for “removing the ancient landmarks,” but who says you can’t have fun when you come to church? So, here’s what we did…
ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO WEAR TEAM COLORS OR JERSEYS
We encouraged our church family to wear their favorite team jersey or team colors to church on Tailgate Sunday. They were also encouraged to take pictures of themselves and their families and post it on social media using the hashtag #LBCTailgateSunday. It was really cool seeing everyone participate and have fun with this.
TAILGATE STYLE FOOD AFTER THE MORNING SERVICES
We have fourteen growth groups. They were all responsible for coming up with a menu of tailgate style food to serve for lunch to all of our church family and guests in attendance. We set up tailgate tents in the front lawn of our church where each group came with grills, lawn chairs, and lots of food. After the morning services we all walked outside to the smell of tailgate food (hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, chicken wings, deep fried turkey, etc.). It was great!
INFLATABLES FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES & OUTDOOR GAMES FOR THE ADULTS
In addition to the tents, lawn chairs, and food we rented about 5 huge inflatables for all the kids to enjoy during the afternoon. Adults brought cornhole boards, volleyball nets, flag football equipment, and anything they could come up with to have fun together.
CANDY FOR THE CHILDREN
This day also served as our annual “harvest festival” where we provide candy for the children. We’ve done this a variety of ways in the past (candy toss from the bus, trunk or treat, etc.), but this year we had all the growth groups bring candy and store it at their tent. At the time appointed the kids went around to all the tents and filled their bags with candy.
A SPECIAL TENT FOR TELEVISED FOOTBALL GAMES
Charlotte is a BIG sports town, and we love our Carolina Panthers. We set up a special tent where we aired the 1:00pm game between the Panthers & the Seahawks (we won’t discuss the outcome of the game). It was a nice touch to the day and encouraged those die-hard football fans to stick around for fellowship and watch the game outside with our church.
Tailgate Sunday was fantastic for our church family. I have several friends across the country who do the same type of event in their church. My friends at Rosedale Baptist in Baltimore call theirs “Fan Day.” It’s such a good twist to a special day and there were a lot of guests in the service. The gospel was presented, and many of them have expressed interest in returning to our church. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me, have texted me, or emailed us to say, “WE LOVED TAILGATE SUNDAY.”
Below are a couple links you might be interested in. One is the promotional video we did to promote Tailgate Sunday and the other is a link to the pictures for the day.
Let me know if you have any questions about Tailgate Sunday, OR if you do a day similar to this leave a comment about some of the things you do that we might be interested in.