Each year, churches around the world pool their best resources, prepare their best sermons, and plan their best promotions for two big days: Easter and Christmas.
Of course, Easter and Christmas are sacred, important holidays that should be celebrated as such. And every Sunday is an important chance to share the Gospel and make our congregations and guests feel seen and cared for.
But there are two more holidays that present unique opportunities for churches: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. By acknowledging these days, churches have…
#1 – An outreach opportunity.
One of the reasons that Mother’s Day has been reported as the third-highest attendance Sunday after Easter and Christmas for years is because families tend to honor Mother’s Day by attending church together, often at the request of their church-attending mothers or grandmothers.
People who don’t come to church very often will be present on Mother’s Day, and that’s a huge opportunity for churches to engage them.
#2 – A celebration opportunity.
There are mothers and fathers in your congregation who struggle to feel understood or connected. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be a time to celebrate the gift of parenthood and the joy it can bring.
#3 – An opportunity to hold the hurting.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are painful days for a lot of people. There are those who have lost their mother or father, those longing to be mothers or fathers, or those who have strained relationships with their mothers or fathers.
But that’s no reason to skip acknowledging these days altogether. Instead, it’s an opportunity to acknowledge their pain and help them in their healing.
As non-religious holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day might seem to be irrelevant for churches to mention. But these two days contain these enormous opportunities for church leaders to engage their congregation and community, and it doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on gifts.
If you’re planning to acknowledge Mother’s Day and Father’s Day at your church, here are a few ideas to consider.
1. A gift card for coffee or a local restaurant.
Treats such as chocolate bars and Lindor truffles can be ordered in bulk.
3. Give away a getaway.
Giving away a trip for two or an item that promotes relaxation, such as a hammock, is sure to be a hit.
4. A prayer service.
Pray for anyone who finds Mother’s Day or Father’s Day painful for any reason and pray for strength and wisdom for all parents in the congregation.
You can buy flowers in bulk. It’s also common to give carnations in different colors to those whose mothers are living and those who have passed away. Remember to consider certain manners when it comes to giving flowers on Mother’s Day.
6. Bible verse keychains.
7. Set up a photo booth in the lobby.
Parents—mothers in particular!—love being able to take photos with their families. Here’s an example of a Mother’s Day photo booth that Southgate Community Church did.
8. A tea station in the church lobby.
Add cookies, scones, or chocolates if you’re feeling fancy. You could also host a special Mother’s Day Tea Party event.
9. Donations in honor of moms or dads.
Present a donation to a local pregnancy resource center or another charity with a purpose close to the hearts of parents.
10. Highlight your women’s ministry and men’s ministry resources or events.
It might sound messy, but these can be individually boxed to easily hand out. Christian Reformed Church set up this Mother’s Day cupcake tower.
12. Root beer.
Some churches go all out with root beer kegs or a root beer float station for Father’s Day, but it’s okay to keep it simple too. Check out the root beer floats that Saint Peter's Lutheran Church put together below.
13. Breakfast after service.
What parent wouldn’t appreciate a bacon station, donuts for dads, or muffins for moms? See how First Baptist Church Shelby set up their Donuts for Dads station below.
14. Handwritten notes.
You can even involve the kids or young adult ministry by having them draw on gift bags or write cards.
15. A hot dog station.
How about a full cookout/barbecue in the parking lot after service? Fire up the grill! Check out this example from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.
16. Devotionals or pocket Bibles.
17. A family night package.
Think about what a family would need to have a fun night together. For example, put together a family dinner package with a gift card to a local restaurant with activity books for kids, a movie box with a movie rental, popcorn, and candy, or a s’mores kit that they can enjoy together.
19. Mom’s Day/Night Out.
Have an event at the church that keeps kids entertained while moms get free time.
20. A Father’s Day car show.
21. Mother & Son or Dad & Daughter dance.
Take the Next Step
Don’t stop engaging people once the special holidays are over. In The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reaching More People, you’ll find practical and actionable tools and even more ideas that you can use to reach more people in your church and community.
Download the free guide today to learn more about how to reach people and invite them into your church community.