Yep, that’s what it looked like at Boardman Lanes last Saturday evening from 5 – 8 pm. Evangel Baptist Church in Boardman, OH, where I am the outreach pastor, had a Bowl-a-Palooza. This church had done a similar thing about seven years ago and called it the “Fiesta Bowl,” in connection with Ohio State playing in that game. This time we did it a little differently while keeping the same concept.
We put an even greater emphasis on the idea of inviting unchurched friends so that they could have fun, and so that they could witness that Christians aren’t as weird as they might imagine (well, most of us anyway). Those who were from our church contributed a small amount of money to help cover the cost of the great food made by Heather Strickland and Tom Slosser, unlimited bowling, and free shoe rentals. Our guests were free!
There were individual challenges that gave bowlers chances to win a gift card to Handel’s Ice Cream. Team challenges included trick bowling like bowling backwards, waddling like a duck for your approach and bowling through the legs of all your teammates. So much for not being weird. Although, since our guests were being weird along with us, it was okay. My friend Chuck Wilder actually bowled better between his legs than he did normally. He got a strike!
Here’s a 10 second glimpse at my son having a good time during the team challenge. This one had something to do with sitting down and pushing the ball with your feet. Apparently, gutter balls don’t bother him.
So we didn’t give a bible lesson. I believe Jesus Christ was there and that he was honored in that place. As Pastor Randy Brunko, our Senior Pastor, has said, these kinds of events help to give an accurate perspective of who we are for people whose only concepts about Christians come from secondary sources.
Here’s the great part. Of the 160 people who were there . . . about 40 of them were guests. Imagine having worship with one fourth of your congregation being there for the first time – and they’d been invited by people from your church!
Keep up the good work, Evangel. I am more proud of being a part of this family every day.