This past Sunday was Super Sunday and in the past we have usually had a Super Bowl Party in The Loft for our students. This party did not draw even our average number of students, often well below our average. I guess many families have their own parties, which I get. Some students have friends who have big parties. Some don't come because mom and dad don't want to drive out at night and pick them up after the game.
This year we had a church outreach happen the same time as Super Sunday. Two weeks each winter our church hosts our local homeless population. We open our church up each evening, feed them a hot meal for supper and then they have a warm place to sleep and then a hot breakfast and can pack a lunch before heading out for the day. Several local churches take turns doing this outreach during the winter months. Because of some past complication and also to respect the privacy of these guests we normally do something off campus with our students on that Sunday night. This year with the Super Bowl we thought we would try something different.
Saturday night we gathered together and focused our youth group gathering on prayer. I taught on the model prayer Jesus gave us. Then we went around to different stations and prayed together. Following this time of prayer we had an hour of hang time in The Loft as we normally do with some delicious pizza (donated by a local pizza business).
Our numbers were about the same they would have been for a Super Bowl Party. The time of prayer was awesome. It is great to hear students pray out loud for each other and for specific missionaries our church supports. We had some big poster paper and they wrote prayers of adoration on the paper. It was a really good time together for our core students. I'm looking forward to doing something similar next year, perhaps focus the whole time on missions and have some different stations like the prayer stations.
Point of all this rambling is this: Don't be afraid to try something different or something new. Don't be afraid to kill off an annual event or tradition if that event or tradition wasn't accomplishing it's purpose. If it works great! If it doesn't work, well, now you know.
Another upside is for the first time in the history of my family I was able to be home and our family had our own super bowl party. My kids were excited and we ate some great party food. We tucked them in at our normal time and then my wife and I had a date night watching the rest of the game.