Millions of people love to gather in stadium parking lots for pre-game tailgating parties. According to the American Tailgaters Association (more than 300,000 members), between 20 – 50 million Americans tailgated in a stadium parking lot in 2006.
Here is a quotation I found about tailgating: “We wanted to make the games an awesome experience. So a group of us decided that tailgating was the way to go.” –Patrick Cunningham If we want to make church an “awesome experience” perhaps we can learn from tailgating.
* Shared anticipation is a thrilling thing. Tailgaters get together to share excitement and enthusiasm with one another. They are uninhibited in their passion. What if church members gathered and openly shared their love for God with the same level of excitement as a tailgate party? Would that be awesome?
* Tailgaters seldom have planned programs. They don’t meet with an agenda. Instead they just let their gathering flow as they freely interact with and enjoy one another. Perhaps a church meeting that let people freely minister to one another would create a similar excitement to tailgating.
* Tailgaters embrace strangers. With heart-felt friendliness, they interact with unknown passers-by, draw them into their group, and even share their food with them. What if the church did that?
Last Sunday morning before an open discussion Bible study, I was suddenly amazed. The Bible study didn’t start until 9:30. However, at 9:00, nine of us were seated, eating breakfast snacks, and enthusiastically enjoying each other’s company. Then it hit me and I said to everyone: “We’re tailgating and we’re having as much fun as they do before ballgames!” Everyone laughed and went on enjoying their pre-church tailgate party.
Would you like to tailgate with us? When my wife and I arrive at The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center at 8:00am, there are usually already people waiting for us, even though Bible study doesn’t start until 9:30 and church until 10:45. It’s exciting. Come and see for yourself: 225 Berry Street, Nashville, 37207.