By: Jessica Griggs ~Guest Writer~
Across the United States, the Super Bowl typically draws more than 100 million viewers each year, and consequentially churches report their lowest numbers in attendance for the same day.
Crossroads Community Church, a church with five campuses in Cincinnati, came up with a solution to the dismal attendance of churchgoers in what is called “The Super Bowl of Preaching.” This is the 13th annual event of its kind to take place. “The Super Bowl of Preaching” blends traditional religious
preaching with comedy and competition in seven shows over the course of Super Bowl weekend.
Crossroads reports that since “The Super Bowl of Preaching’s” creation, Super Bowl weekend has become the church’s most attended weekend, with 41,000 people attending the 2015 services alone.
The rules of the game are simple. There are two preachers competing against each other and each is given two nine-minute “quarters” to preach. During each quarter the Bible must be referenced at least once and a random phrase
selected at the start of the quarter must be successfully worked into the speech.
A referee then decides whether the criteria of the quarters has been met and awards points accordingly. The service includes pregame interviews with the competitors, live commentary during and in between the quarters, humorous and professional-quality “commercials” and even a musical halftime show complete with lights, dancers and a live band. “The Super Bowl of Preaching” saw Senior Pastor Brian Tome, who wore a New England Patriots jersey, face off against fellow Pastor Chuck Mingo in a Seattle Seahawks jersey.
Each competitor gave moving and relatable speeches about the importance of being surrounded by the right team while implementing random phrases like
“his last words were YOLO” and “which was right around the time my boo became my bae.” Although “The Super Bowl of Preaching” is fundamentally a church service, the messages delivered by both Tome and Mingo were beneficial to many.