Thoughts from the Party

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

After the carnage had taken place and the men had went home for the night, I had a chance to reflect on what had just taken place over the span of 5 hours. Chaos, pure unadulturated chaos, and I loved it. that was the best superbowl party I have ever been apart of, and it happened at my house. We had 58 Jr High guys attend the event. Each one of them being dropped off by their mom or dad bringing some sort of amazing delicasy that their parent had prepared for them. The night started off with a little backyard football and ended with 50 guys yelling defense only to come up short in the end. At one point in the evening, the entire house was shaking because of a touchdown scored by the cardinals with 2 minutes left. We had video games, chili, soda, junk food, and a lot of smelly people stuffed into one house. I really would not have wanted to have been in any other place. The highlight of the night was halftime. No, it was not Bruce, it was Milk. The milk challenge to be exact. We had six competitors and finished with six gallons of milk half full and the other half on the ground. It was awesome (video to follow soon).

One thought hit me though while the party was in full swing. MyMom leaned over to me and said, “there are a lot of people here, don’t they have something at their church going on for the superbowl?” I laughed about it, then I thought about it. Now maybe the church was not having parties becuase of the rule of no superbowl parties at churches (that rule has changed now, you can have the party, but can’t call it a superbowl party). But as I thought about it, I wondered, why aren’t these guys with their youth groups. Now maybe they chose the 7/8th grade mens bible superbowl party over their “the party that we can’t call a party” but I am not that confident that people would want to come to my house for a party. Really, I think there were no superbowl parties going on at churches. Is that a false assumption? I know some churches did small group parties, but what about the ones were everyone gets together and meets at the church and watches it on the big screen? Are those not in style anymore?

Another troubling thing for me was the fact that (I am not patting myself on the back here) if i did not have my party what would these guys have done? I guess they would have stayed home with their parents and I would have watched it with my parents.

I guess what I am getting at here is, are we losing community because it is to much of a hassle?

What do you think….


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Tyler

    I didn’t do a super bowl party for my youth group. The reason: I can’t remember a single church sponsored SB party that was fun. More specifically, a SB party that took place in a church building. It just can’t compete with the way homes create a sense of community. Churches are big, loud, have crappy chairs (or pews), high celings, etc… but a house has sofas, kitchens, living rooms, back yards, annoying family pets, and all sorts of things that make you feel like you are really a part of someone else’s life…even if just a small part.

    Also, Kyle, I think you are underestimating how much better a party like that would be in your house than at someone’s youth group. Maybe they went to your house b/c that was the cooler thing to do…not because their churches didn’t offer.

  • Joshua

    Hey Kyle,

    Sounds like you had a dynamite party. I do think that we as Americans and as believers are losing a sense of community because it has become less valuable to us than our personal time and energy. I do, however, disagree with the notion that a Superbowl Party represents the fullness of community or that you can measure authentic community by the number of Superbowl Parties at a given church. Community is not measure by how many people show up to the easy events (parties, Sunday morning, etc.) but by how many show up when it is a real sacrifice (helping to move, taking care of the sick, sitting in a room with relative strangers and sharing a spiritual discussion, attending a friends funeral). The Church is the Church when it is bound by a common mission and by adversity, not by showing up to a free once-a-year hangout.

  • TJ

    I agree with Tyler. If we would have had a guy teaching us Bible at CHS when we were there, I be we would’ve all gone over to his house, rather than going to a youth group function. It’s really cool how you connect with them on a deeper than than just “student – teacher.” In my experience (both high school and college), the teachers/professors that left the greatest impact on me were the ones that I consider my friends to this day.

    I wanted to swing by and crash the party (Sammy told me about it), but didn’t get the chance. Kacie was with me, so that might have been a little awkward. Maybe next year.

  • Lee Coate

    You were being the church by having your party. Change nothing. Question nothing. The ‘church’ did have a party… It was at your house.

  • Ryan P

    I think Tyler makes a great point when he says that there is just something different about a house…the couch, the kitchen, the backyard…it’s just more comfortable. But I think that there is something deeper about being at a person’s house. Letting someone come to your house shows them that you accept them, that your willing to be open with them and let them in–not just to where you live, but into your life.
    I think your right about Christians avoiding true community because it’s too much of a hassle. But I think things like youth-group superbowl parties are the exact ways that they avoid real community. Think about it. We pay one guy to be the “youth minister” and this one guy is supposed to create meaningful, impacting community for dozens of kids. So what does he do? He throws a big event because that is the only thing he can do. Seems to me like we Christians have been avoiding real community (such as the things that Joshua mentioned) by passing the buck and paying someone else to be “in charge” of community. I just don’t think that model works.

  • kylereed

    You first Lee, point well taken here. I often forget that the church is not a building.

    Ryan, I think you are right at the end of your post there. Thank God we pay these guys called youth ministers because we would be in trouble, but I do think that the impact of youth ministry has taken some way of community out of the process. I think what is hard for me is that people seem to rely on the church to meet their spiritual needs. Same with community, we are relying on the church to create community. I guess that was my point when I said, are we not being communitable (made up word) because it is a hassle and we don’t get paid for it.