Why People Skip Church on Father’s Day

the inside of a rural english church

Father’s Day worship services can be lots of fun with special giveaways, man-centered services, funny videos, and cool testimonies. Unfortunately, Father’s Day Weekend is very often a weekend when people skip church.

Father’s Day most often means “Dad’s Choice” Weekend

Let’s be honest, on the top ten list of what most men want to do on Father’s Day, going to church doesn’t usually make the cut. Moms and children often tell dads, “This is your day, Dad! We can do whatever you want to do today!” Given this option, most dads won’t set aside their breakfast in bed and say, “Ok. Everyone up, get dressed, and get in the car! We’re going to church!”

Men Are Afraid They’re Going To Be Lectured

Think about it. Churches often use mother’s day to shower love on moms. Often, these same churches use father’s day to tell men to step it up and be a man. Writer David Murrow, the Director of Church For Men, in his article The Futility of Father’s Day Services*, has reported that only 4% of pastors consider Father’s Day as a high attendance weekend. Murrow attributes one cause to the pastoral beating up of men on Father’s Day. He writes “Can you imagine a pastor standing up on Mother’s Day and saying, ‘Women, I know you’ve messed up your families – but it’s never too late to become a great mother.’ Any minister who said these things about women would be out of a job by Monday morning.”

Father’s Day For Many Is A Day of Grief

As Father’s Day approaches, not everyone is wondering about whether to get Dad a goofy tie, golf club, baseball cap, or fishing equipment. Many dread the approach of the day, the entire day itself, and the commercialism and celebration that is connected with it because of difficult circumstances. Here are just a few issues people deal with on Father’s Day:

  1. Widows
  2. Widowers
  3. Orphans
  4. Children (of all ages) who have lost their Fathers (and Grandfathers)
  5. Parents who have lost their Children
  6. Single Men
  7. Single Women
  8. Wives and Children of Abusive or Dysfunctional Fathers
  9. Men and Women who are Childless
  10. Recently Separated or Divorced Men and Women
  11. Children of the Recently Divorced or Separated
  12. The Critically Ill and Their Families
  13. Father’s estranged from their children
  14. Children estranged from their fathers

A Few Practical Ways The Church Help Make Father’s Day Better?

  • Make it fun! Why should the day we celebrate dads be boring.
  • Use discernment and be sensitive to those who might be hurting on Father’s Day.
  • Don’t beat up on men in your Father’s Day’s Services. Honor them, challenge them respectfully, and move on.
  • If you have Fathers stand to be prayed for, consider having all men stand instead of only Fathers. You can still pray for the fathers, but you can also pray for all men present to be godly examples to the next generation.
  • If you show a Father’s Day video, make it a funny one. It helps break the tension. Save the sap for Mother’s Day.
  • If you give a gift on Father’s Day, give it to all men and not just those who are dads.

There are lots of reasons for fathers, men, couples, singles, and children to skip church on Father’s Day. It’s our job as pastors and church leaders to give them positive reasons to come to worship services on these days. Let’s be the church to those in need on Father’s Day.


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