Looking for a Bible Study / Discussion Starter on the Super Bowl? Try this!

Ask:

How many different animal-themed teams can you name? (Bears, Lions, Bengals, Ravens, Colts, Jaguars, Panthers, Falcons, Dolphins, Eagles, Cardinals, Broncos, Sea Hawks, Rams…)

Give teens five minutes and a bible. Tell them to look quickly to see if they can find any of these animals in scripture. When they’re done and you’ve given them a chance to report what they discovered, offer the following list:

Bears: 2 Kings 2:24
Lions: Psalm 57:4
Bengals: Proverb 26:13
Ravens: Luke 12:24
Colts: Mark 11:2
Dolphins: Exodus 25:14
Rams: Psalm 114:4
Hawk: Jeremiah 12:9

For fun (and if you have time): have teams make an imaginary battle between two of those animals and tell who might win. For extra fun: have teams actually act out out some of their battles.

 

The Super Bowl is one of the most expensive programs on which to buy airtime for advertisers. What is your favorite Super Bowl commercial ever? Imagine you had an unlimited budget and could create a commercial for your church. What would it include?

Without doing any research, can you name the champions from the past five year? The last 10?

Did you know:

Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food-consumption holiday in the country. The first is Thanksgiving. Ask: What is on your Super Bowl Sunday table?

Jesus celebrated the Passover Feast. He was eating with his friends at Passover when He was arrested. Ask: If you knew your end was coming, would you want to go out right with friends? Explain.

The Super Bowl trophy is one of the most well-known trophy icons ever (perhaps only bested by Hockey’s Stanley Cup). Distribute craft supplies and give teams time to design a trophy that would be awarded to your church. Ask: For what should your church be recognized? How should the trophy be designed? How do you win one? Who else is the competition?

Read 1 Kings 18 to students. Talk about the idea of competition and battles. Write a “lets-get-ready-to-rumble” introduction for both Elijah and the queen’s wise men.

Ask: Do you think God picks sides in the Super Bowl? Is the winning team blessed by God, or did the players simply perform better? Why do so many teams and players thank God for the victory?

 

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 to teens. Ask: What does this seem to say about being No. 1?

At the end of the Super Bowl, we often see the camera zoom in on the MVP of the winning team, and he shouts. The winning team is featured on cereal boxes, T-shirts, sports equipment and millions of dollars worth of endorsement deals. Ask: Do these work? Are you influenced by certain players? Are there any products you’ve purchased because they were endorsed by a certain player or celebrity? Read Romans 12:1-2. How does this apply here?

Ask: Should the Super Bowl be packaged as a family-fun event? Does the host network have a responsibility to make sure nothing offensive happens? Should that include commercials with attractive models? Should it include commercials for violent movies and video games? What was the last gigantically huge mistake you made? Is someone still withholding forgiveness from you? Have you apologized and tried to make amends?

 

Read the following passages to teens:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1; 1 Corinthians 13:1-9.
Ask: What do you think counts as failure in God’s mind? What counts as a win?

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About The Author

Steve Case has been active in youth ministry for 18 years, currently at Windermere Union United Church of Christ near Orlando, Fla. He’s also a popular speaker and the author of several books, including Everything Counts, The Book of Uncommon Prayer, and The Big Book of Case Studies. (YS)

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