Father’s Day worship services can be lots of fun with giveaways, man-centered services, funny videos, and testimonies. However, Father’s Day Weekend is often a weekend when people skip church.
Father’s Day most often means “Dad’s Choice” Weekend
Let’s be honest, going to church isn’t usually on men’s top ten list of things to do. Moms and children often tell dads, “This is your day, Dad! We can do whatever you want to do!” Given this option, most dads won’t skip 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.
People who often have grieving issues on Father’s Day include:
- Children (of all ages) who have lost Fathers (and Grandfathers)
- Parents who have lost Children
- Single Men
- Single Women
- Wives and Children of Abusive or Dysfunctional Fathers
- Men and Women who are Childless
- Recently Separated or Divorced Men and Women
- Children of the Recently Divorced or Separated
- The Critically Ill and Their Families
- Father’s estranged from their children
- 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.
- Include humor within the service and message.
- 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. No matter what pastors and church leaders do, some people will always bail on church that weekend. However, it’s up to us to do our best, count our losses, and continue trying to plan and promote powerful service that will reach and minister to people, even on difficult days.
*This post has been adapted from a similar post in 2015. Hopefully, I’ll learn more about possible solutions by Father’s Day 2017.