Religion in Society

Baptists Prepare for Big Push at Super Bowl

| by Baptist Press

ARLINGTON, TX -- Several Southern Baptist organizations are among those making plans to bring the message of Jesus Christ to those who flock to the Dallas area for the week of the Super Bowl.

Arguably the world's greatest single-game sports event, the Super Bowl's 45th contest, to be played Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, is expected to draw nearly 150,000 visitors to Dallas-Fort Worth. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, along with the North American Mission Board, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Tarrant Baptist Association and Dallas Baptist Association are joining forces in "Reach 45: The Big Game Evangelism Project" (on the Web at www.reach45.com).

Included in the Reach 45 events are:

-- A "Million-Card Giveaway" in conjunction with the "I Am Second" organization the weekend of the Super Bowl. (I Am Second is on the Web at www.iamsecond.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iam2nd.)

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-- I Am Second church-based discussion groups (see I Am Second website/Facebook.).

-- A "Souper Bowl of Caring" service blitz (national organization's website: http://www.souperbowl.org).

-- A community watch party in Arlington.

-- Traffick 911's anti-human trafficking tailgate party. (See BP story http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34342).

-- An NFL-sanctioned Athletes in Action Super Bowl breakfast.

John Meador, pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, said church groups are invited to participate in the Million-Card Giveaway, which takes place in the hours immediately before and after the game around the parking areas of the stadium. I Am Second, an organization described on its website as "a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others," also is promoting its outreach on billboards and other advertising media.

Meador noted: "Because this 'giveaway' is a card that directs people to the I Am Second website, highlighting testimonies of NFL players who have given their lives to Christ, the giveaway can also take place in any area where churches desire to expose people to the Gospel."

The momentum of the Super Bowl event, Meador said, "allows churches to point people to the positive examples in sports and to the Good News of Christ. The I Am Second Internet campaign is one of the most effective pre-evangelism strategies designed to expose people to Gospel."

For people who have heard the Gospel and want to get involved, I Am Second steers those inquiries toward churches that are hosting I Am Second groups, Meador said.

"The hope is to have several hundred thousand 'hits' on the I Am Second website the week of the Super Bowl, and have that many people hear testimonies of 'Christ is first in my life,'" he said.