Super Bowl Sunday, America’s obsession with professional football, has literally turned into a national holiday. Here are some staggering figures related to Super Bowl Sunday as reported by US News and World Report: $14.3 billion. This is the estimated amount of Super Bowl-related consumer spending on food, drink, theme merchandise and apparel, not to mention travel and lodging expenses. $4.5 million. This is the estimated amount that it will cost advertisers to purchase a 30 second spot to hawk their products during commercial breaks. It’s no wonder the commercials are more interesting than the game itself! $10,375: That was the price of the least expensive ticket available on the official NFL ticket exchange website three days before kickoff. The most desirable seats were going for over $21,000! 184 Million: that is estimated number of Super Bowl viewers who will be watching the game from their homes, according to a National Retail Federation survey. The highly-publicized football deflation scandal was a gift to retailers as it likely generated even more interest in the game.
I was interested in how these numbers compare to another once-popular Sunday activity in America: church attendance. While Gallup polls have found that nearly 40 percent of Americans reported regular church attendance, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found the that number was likely much lower. According to other pollsters, around 17.7 percent, or around 52 million people attended church on a given Sunday in 2005. That number is estimated to be even lower today. As far as charitable giving, it was estimated by Giving USA, that Americans donated $103.32 billion to their churches and denominations in 2007. While that figure sounds impressive, keep in mind that is the amount for an entire year. While over half of Americans gave to their churches and other charitable organizations in 2013, only five percent qualified as actually having tithed by giving at least ten percent of their reported income to their church or charitable organizations, according to a poll from the Barna Group. Priorities are revealed when we see where people spend their time and money not only on Super bowl Sunday, but throughout the year. It is great to share with fellow fans the excitement of rooting for a favorite team in any sport. Can we enjoy a similar spirit of enthusiasm by worshipping and serving in our church alongside our church family members? Yes, we can! Join the conversation next Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. for a great discussion on the book, “I Am a Church Member.” Doug Owens is the facilitator. Copies of the book are available at the information desk in the church lobby for a $5 donation.
Blessings and peace!