Methodists and Lutherans more likely to watch Patriots vs. Falcons than Baptists and Pentecostals.

For churches that have Sunday night activities, more than half of pastors say it’s still “game on” despite the big game next weekend.

According to a new study from LifeWay Research, 68 percent of Protestant pastors say their church typically has some activity on Sunday night. And among those pastors, almost 6 in 10 say they will continue as normal on the night of the Super Bowl (59%).

“It is easy to think everyone is watching the game,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “But even during the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are doing other things that are important to them. For many, that includes attending church.”

For some, it will be church with a side of football.

Almost a quarter of pastors (24%) say they change things to include watching the game. Another 12 percent adjust their Sunday night plans in other ways.

Only 5 percent of churches that normally have activities on Sunday evenings plan to cancel those entirely.

According to CBS, which broadcast last year’s Super Bowl, 167 million viewers watched all or part of the game. This made it the most watched TV broadcast in history, drawing in 52 percent of the US population to at least part of the Denver Broncos’ victory over the Carolina Panthers.

The Super Bowl’s popularity creates an issue for churches that usually have activities during that time.

“While Christians believe the truth does not change, we recognize practices often do,” said McConnell. “Churches face a difficult task of navigating between wanting to remain countercultural and still reaching the culture. In this study, we find churches coming to different conclusions for their congregation and local context.” …

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from Christianity Today Magazine