On Sunday, February 13, the Super Bowl will be held in Los Angeles. Thousands of fans will travel to the city to enjoy the festivities and events surrounding the Super Bowl game. Another group of people will also be traveling to Los Angeles, but for an entirely different reason.
They are going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over 60 evangelists are planning to conduct evangelistic outreaches in Los Angeles during the Super Bowl weekend, according to Bill Adams, Director of the Super Bowl Outreach and Chief Evangelist and Overseer for Sports Fan Outreach International (SFOI).
While Adams has personally been involved in over twenty evangelistic outreaches at Super Bowls, this year marks the fourteenth official Super Bowl Outreach conducted by SFOI.
Events and activities surrounding the big game take place over several days in different parts of the city. “The Super Bowl events are often held in different parts of the city, allowing you to reach different communities,” Adams told The Lancaster Patriot.
“There are so many souls gathering in one city over several days who can hear the Gospel,” Adams said. “Official estimates are that over one million people attend Super Bowl events over the ten days leading up to the game.”
The primary method of evangelism at the Super Bowl Outreach will be open-air preaching. When asked why the outreach utilizes this method, Adams cited Romans 10:17. “Faith comes by hearing”, he said. “Ears work in and out of the church building, on the radio, internet, iPhone, etc. So, open-air preaching is a simple extension of these technologies.”
Open-air preaching has a rich history. Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostle Peter all preached in public. In the Middle Ages, many of best preachers were open-air preachers. In more recent times, George Whitefield, the 18th century evangelist, preached hundreds, if not thousands, of sermons in the open-air, both in England and the American colonies. The 19th century English preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “It would be very easy to prove that revivals of religion have usually been accompanied, if not caused, by a considerable amount of preaching out of doors, or in unusual places.”
Adams and his fellow evangelists are carrying on the tradition.
Heath Pucel is a team leader at this year’s outreach. Pucel has participated in ten Super Bowl Outreaches, serving as a team leader on four occasions.
“I do not think there is enough open-air preaching in America,” Pucel told The Lancaster Patriot. “Open-air preaching has gained a resurgence in past years, yet we live in a time when people are now more uncertain and looking for answers which the Word of God provides, and many churches are in retreat. We need more faithful open-air preachers.”
Various team leaders are assigned to help oversee the preaching groups and ensure all evangelists get equal preaching time. Pucel’s role will also include helping young or inexperienced preachers navigate the challenges of open-air preaching.
“The main reason I participate in these outreaches is a larger scale opportunity to preach and share the Word of God,” Pucel told The Lancaster Patriot. Pucel also mentioned the encouragement he receives by laboring alongside other Christian evangelists from across the country.
When asked about the potential obstacles of California’s COVID-19 restrictions, Adams was unconcerned. “We were there Labor Day Weekend and the scene on the ground was much different than the ‘media air wars’ portrayed it,” he said. “People were out, the police were friendly, and there was very limited resistance.”
To learn more about the Super Bowl Outreach, visit www.superbowloutreach.org.