“It’s a great chance to meet new people around a common interest. There are lots of other groups: why not fantasy football?” asked participant Sue Lanser. “I’m the football fan in the family and will recruit more women next year. It is fun to razz the other members of the league on Sunday mornings about who is going to win, and I love that people of all ages can play.”
The league at Cadillac CRC is full at 12 members. It functions similar to other leagues in that league managers choose their real NFL players to form a team during the draft at the beginning of the season, and then accumulate points for things players do in real-life NFL games such as touchdowns and passes.
Members and their families attend four events to watch NFL games, enjoy fellowship, and eat good food over the course of a 12- to 16-week season, which then ends in a Superbowl Party the church puts on.
“The League is an outreach that is a little different than what is typically done: an event or a Bible study. We seek to build relationships with people first. The relationship is key for us. We get into their lives, and they get into our lives. This relationship can take its own speed over the course of a fantasy football season,” said pastor Brian Seifert, who functions as league commissioner.
People hear about the league through the church’s website or by personal invitation or other ministries of the church. Seifert has witnessed new people who enjoy playing in the league start attending Sunday mornings because of relationships built.
“When we all get together as an entire fantasy football league watching football and eating together, we have as many as 38 people with children and spouses . . . it’s not just me building a relationship but many others. It’s a perfect way to introduce new people to people already in the church,” said Seifert. “Of the 33,000,000 people who play [fantasy football] each year, one can come to Christ. . . . That’s a big ol’ mission field.”