What The Church Can Learn From Sports Tailgating

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.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
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5 Responses to What The Church Can Learn From Sports Tailgating

  1. Pingback: “Tebowing” Is Now An Official Word — What The Church Can Learn From Tim Tebow | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

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  4. Garrett says:

    I think this is a GREAT concept! What if we all got into a mindset that we were happy to enjoy just the presence of being together with believers? Happy to share the presence of God with people… I am willing to bet that if we had more of this attitude, there would be a significant decrease in the number of people who are turned away from the church in their first experience. Just a thought… Great post!!

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