Church of the Week: The Super Bowl of Preaching

The Desperate Pastor blog has recently featured Crossroads Community Church in Oakley (a Cincinnati suburb) as "church of the week," but this past weekend calls for a not-so-instant replay, as the lovely Robin and I had the pleasure of attending that church's memorable "Super Bowl of Preaching" on Saturday, an event they've presented annually for eleven years running.

It began more than a decade ago as the large church's leaders wrestled with the challenge of encouraging attendance at worship on the most challenging weekend of the year for churches: Super Bowl Sunday. They settled on a "Super Bowl of Preaching" that would pit one preacher against another in a parody of the hype and extravagance of the NFL event. They've refined it year by year into a unique, hilarious, and impactful experience that this year pitted lead pastor Brian Tome against teaching pastor Chuck Mingo.

We loved every minute. The production values of the entire experience couldn't have been better, from the online ticketing to the welcome teams and coffee service (as well as free popcorn and hot dogs, etc.) and the service (extended to ninety minutes from the usual sixty) itself.

The church's sense of humor, posture of grace, and insane reservoir of talent were on display (the "souvenir programs" handed out at the event won my heart with the "First Time Here? Welcome" paragraph that started, "It's OK to have fun at church." Isn't it a shame that it should even have to be said?). The halftime show probably excelled the OTHER Super Bowl's halftime show, Beyonce or no Beyonce. And the preaching (complete with referee, penalties, and color commentary) was sound, biblical, and entertaining.

I'm glad I went, and even more so because the tickets were infinitely cheaper (free) than tickets for Super Bowl XLVII.

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