No ministry no matter how exciting it is can be fully effective unless it’s evaluated and improved upon. Whether you’re still in preseason mode or have been tipping off for a few weeks, here are five ways you can measure your game day effectiveness.
1. Is game day FUN?
The biggest reason a child plays sports is simple: it’s fun! Everything from shooting hoops in the driveway to practice to game days should be fun experiences for a child. Game days shouldn’t be just fun for kids though! Is your game day also fun for adults? Consider the quality of the experience. Is your concessions area clean and well-run? Are volunteers and coaches excited to be a part? Ask your volunteers after a full slate of Saturday games if they felt like people had fun. If they didn’t, ask them what are some things you can change to make the game day experience memorable for visitors?
2. Is game day FUNCTIONAL?
We all know the planning that goes into a season. Making sure every aspect of game day runs smoothly is key to a great experience. Have volunteers show up a few minutes early to help with last-minute preparations. Make sure they know what their roles are and have all they need for their roles. Concessions stands should be well-stocked. Balls should all be inflated and ready for gameplay. Games also need to start on time, each time. When a game day functions well, it shows respect for those in attendance not by meeting expectations but by exceeding them.
3. Is game day FULL?
Your church gym isn’t Madison Square Garden. No one expects 30,000 fans to show up for games. At the same time, the energy isn’t quite the same with just a few people standing around watching. Try marketing your game days as well. Sure, parents will show up but go the extra mile by marketing your games to your church congregation, area schools and businesses. Use the halftime devotion ideas and have contests for spectators. Utilize social media and your church website to get the word out about the fun going on during game day. And be excited! Your volunteers will feed off the enthusiasm you show for the season.
4. Is game day FAITH-DRIVEN?
Amid all the ball-inflating, volunteer training, and player high-fiving, we know you and your team have a central purpose to everything you do: sharing the love of Christ with young people and their families in the community. Cover your game days in prayer. Invite God into the gym where players are tipping off each week. Ask Him to do amazing things. Remind everyone involved with game day to keep focused on your church’s mission.
5. Is game day FRUITFUL?
Because your game day is faith-driven, look to see if it’s also producing fruit. What does this look like? Ask these questions after a game day: did people feel welcomed? Were genuine connections made? Did we make an impact in the community? Don’t hesitate to ask parents that come to games about their game day experience and how you can improve. This helps them feel valued and connected to the league. Choose what fruit looks like for your sports ministry. Is it increasing spectators each week? Is it seeing families visit the church on a Sunday morning? Or maybe it’s something more “internal”, such as seeing volunteers grow in their walk with Christ. You decide what fits your mission and ministry best.
Game days are in many ways the apex of your season. You have the widest reach on these days, so make them count! Measure and improve accordingly, and see God work in a mighty way in your ministry.