21 Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Ideas for Churches

21 Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Ideas for Churches

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.

2. Chocolate.

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.

5. Flowers.

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.

11. Cupcakes.

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.

18. Camp.

Crossroads Church does a Man Camp and a Woman Camp.

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.

Here’s a great example from Celebration Church’s Father’s Day car show.

21. Mother & Son or Dad & Daughter dance.

Get inspired by these Father Daughter Dance examples from Rock Pointe Church, Northland Church, and Cornerstone Baptist Church.

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.

 

5 Ways Pastors Can Stunt Church Growth

5 Ways Pastors Can Stunt Church Growth

There are many barriers that can prevent a church from growing.

From a shortage of leaders to a congregation that doesn’t invite others, church growth can stall for a number of reasons.

And sometimes, there are even people in the church who don’t want it to grow.

But there’s one more barrier that can keep a church from experiencing healthy growth and it comes from an unexpected place: the pastor.

Many pastors want to reach more people in the community and see their church’s weekly attendance numbers grow, but are unknowingly standing in their own way. 

Here are 6 ways pastors can be the ones hurting their church’s growth.

But be encouraged—if you’re doing any of these “don’ts,” there’s grace for you and practical ways to turn it around today.

#1 – They don’t raise up other leaders.

When all of the responsibility from congregational care to staff development falls on one person, it’s a recipe for burnout and it can block pathways for growth.

But when you take the time to develop leaders in your church, it pays off in more ways than one. With more leaders sharing ministry work, the church is able to recruit more volunteers and leverage each leader’s unique leadership style to reach new people.

#2 – They resist good changes.

It’s important to remain diligent and guard against changes that could hurt the church and aren’t biblical or on-mission. And as the lead pastor, it’s your responsibility to help filter the changes that are presented in your church.

That includes deciding which changes are good and which ones are bad. But too often, things that are new and different for churches end up in the “bad” category.

When trying something new is written off immediately, it can unnecessarily keep the church from growing. For example, even if digital ministry isn’t something you’ve considered in the past, fighting against it doesn’t protect the church—it only holds the church back while the people you’re trying to reach float off in that direction.

Not every idea is a good idea for your church. But take time to consider new methods, try new strategies, and embrace good changes. There might be a change right under your nose that would help the church grow but it’s being met with resistance.

Hold a meeting with key leaders and some of the sharpest minds on your volunteer teams and ask what they think needs to change to help the church reach new people.

Free Download

The Senior Pastor's Guide to Breaking Barriers
 

#3 – They don’t emphasize discipleship and inviting.

Many pastors watch the same pattern unfold in their church year after year. They look out into the congregation and see the same faces each week. Those faces come to service, but they don’t do anything else. They don’t grow, they don’t serve, and they don’t invite anyone to come with them.

Eventually, without any intentional discipleship helping them grow spiritually and recognize the importance of being connected to the church, they drift away. And soon, there are fewer and fewer people in the seats on Sundays.

Pastors can prevent this by creating a discipleship model that nurtures the people they have and equips those people to invite the people they’re trying to reach.

People don’t often naturally think to invite others to church or they don’t know how to extend that invitation. Pastors and church leaders can provide resources—such as invite cards, social media posts, and templates for conversation starters—that mobilize their people to invite.

This is crucial. A startling (and encouraging) number of people would tell you that they came to church after being invited by someone. While there are many ways to get people through the door, there’s nothing quite like a personal invitation.

#4 – They create a culture that turns off unchurched people.

It’s easy to get used to the way things are. From the way the church has inside jokes and a sea of familiar faces, pastors and congregations get comfortable with each other. And that’s a good thing. The church is a family, after all.

But if you want the church to grow, it’s time to strike a balance. New guests might even appreciate seeing how the pastor seems to know everyone in the congregation on a personal level, but too much insider language only makes them feel excluded.

Instead of only speaking to the people you know from the pulpit, start to include references to new people. Explain things that might be unfamiliar to people who are unchurched or unbelievers. Extend a welcome, even if you’re not sure that there are any new people present. It sets the expectation that there should be new faces and makes sure that they’re recognized when there are guests.

Evaluate whether your church’s current culture might not be welcoming to unchurched people by considering the following questions.

  • If someone new comes to our church, do we have people and processes in place to welcome them and follow up with them?
  • Are we using any language that would confuse or exclude someone who hasn’t been to our church before? (Hint: Children’s ministry names are common culprits.)
  • Is there any part of our church service that speaks directly to new people and gives them clear next steps? If not, where and how can we build that in?

#5 – They try to satisfy everyone.

It can show up differently for every pastor, but many church leaders share a common struggle that keeps their church from growing: people-pleasing.

Satisfying the personal preferences of everyone in the church is not only impossible, but it can also steal attention and resources from relevant areas that help the church move forward.

For example, there might be a ministry or event that is under-performing and off-mission in every way, but one church member wants to keep it because it’s been on the calendar for 20 years.

But in order for growth to happen, sometimes we have to shift resources in a different direction. And more important than satisfying everyone is reaching more people for Christ and keeping the church on mission.

As the pastor, your job title is also “Chief Clarity Officer.” This includes making sure volunteers and staff are in the right roles, providing clear direction, having a key role in shaping the church’s strategy and goals.

It might seem unrelated at first, but clarity in strategy is essential for church growth. A firm focus on the strategy and mission might disappoint some people, but it helps everyone in the end.

If you’ve recognized that some parts of your leadership might be keeping your church from growing, don’t dismay. You’re not alone in struggling to delegate, wanting to please everyone, and needing a solid plan to put in place.

You are called by God and equipped with the grace you need to live out that calling and pursue the mission of your church. And there are also resources available that provide the guidance you need to clarify key areas in your ministry and see your church grow in a healthy way.

As we’ve seen, pastors can hurt church growth, but they can also contribute to it greatly. Excellent leadership can break down barriers to growth and bring people in. With a few changes (and openness to change), you can drive your church in the direction of growth.

What’s Next?

Building Your Ministry Plan is an insanely practical course to guide you and your team through the process of creating a two-page “business plan” for your ministry.

The course will guide you through what to put in each box of the Two-Page Plan®, show you examples from other churches, and help you use your plan in real-world ministry settings.

How Volunteers Can Use Church Fuel

How Volunteers Can Use Church Fuel

As a volunteer church, you may not get to determine the mission or set the ministry goals, but you’re instrumental in making things happen.

You might not be on staff, but you have a lot of responsibility and influence.

And while the church staff will find a lot of value in the courses, resources, and community, volunteers can also benefit from the program.

In fact, there are many church volunteers who pay for a Church Fuel subscription and share it with their church. 

That’s an amazing gift and a great way to invest in the health of your church.

Here are three ways you can use Church Fuel as a volunteer at your church.

#1 – Use Church Fuel for Personal Growth

We’ve seen it so many times…the health of the church often mirrors the health of the volunteer base.

You set the tone for much of what happens in the church.

When you get better, the church gets better.

Church Fuel gives you a way to invest in your own growth. Think of it like professional development, a resource to help YOU get better. 

  • Sign up for a live class on a topic that interests you, put it on your calendar, then come ready to learn something useful.
  • Download a resource like the Personal Growth Plan and create a real plan to get better.
  • Go through one of our on-demand courses on your own schedule.

#2 – Use Church Fuel to Make Your Ministry Better

As a volunteer in the church, you have a unique perspective on the ministry.  You’re doing it.  You’re getting your hands dirty. 

Of course, you care about the overall mission of the church and recognize all the ministries matter.  But you’re up close and personal with a part of the church that’s particularly important to you.    

When you tap into Church Fuel resources, you’re learning with your ministry in mind.  Sure, you’ll hear about things that could help the church. But you’ll learn practical ideas and strategies to help you right where you are. 

You can go through any of our on-demand courses and apply the lessons to your ministry.

You can grab any relevant resource from the Resource Library and use it to make your ministry better.

Learn how other churches are approaching the challenges you’re facing and share the ideas with others.

#3 – Use Church Fuel to Lead Up

One of the toughest things to do in leadership is leading up – influencing those who technically are in charge.

Maybe that’s another volunteer. 

Or maybe that’s a staff member.

Maybe it’s the Pastor.

You will learn things from Church Fuel that you can share with others, even those who have influence in other parts of the church.

Remember, one membership covers any and all leaders from your church.  If your church has an account, ask them to add you so you and learn and report back.  Or if you’re signing up on behalf of your church, add other leaders and volunteers at no extra cost so they can learn, too.

How Church Staff Can Use Church Fuel

How Church Staff Can Use Church Fuel

As a staff member of a church, you’re in a unique position.

You may not get to decide the mission, but your job is to make it happen.

You have a lot of responsibility and a lot of influence, even if you’re leading from the second chair. 

And while Senior Pastors will find a lot of value in the courses, resources, and community, other leaders on staff might even find more help.

That’s because the practical nature of what we discuss applies to everything that happens in the church.  We don’t live in the land of vision; we dive into the operations and strategies of real-world ministries.

It’s also why every Church Fuel membership comes with unlimited logins for team members. We WANT church staff to have access to everything in the program.

Here are three ways you can use Church Fuel as a staff member.

#1 – Use Church Fuel for Personal Growth

As a leader on staff, you take direction from your leader.  But a lot of people look to you for guidance and support.  A lot of responsibility rests on your shoulders.

Leadership is hard.

But the hardest person you lead is yourself.

Church Fuel will help you invest in your own growth. Think of it like professional development, a resource to help YOU get better.  As you’re out there investing in so many others, Church Fuel gives you a way to invest in yourself.

  • Sign up for a live class on a topic that interests you, put it on your calendar, then show up ready to learn.
  • Download a resource like the Personal Growth Plan and create a real plan to get better. Share it with your leader as an FYI and watch your value increase.
  • Go through one of our on-demand courses on your own schedule.

Church Fuel is a great tool for your own personal and professional development.

#2 – Use Church Fuel to Make Your Ministry Better

As a church staff member, you wear two hats.  On one hand, you care deeply about the overall mission of the church.  You know every ministry and program is important.

But you also provide leadership to a specific ministry. 

When you tap into Church Fuel resources, you can go through them with both angles in mind.  Sure, you’ll hear about things that could help the church.

But you’ll learn practical ideas and strategies to help you right where you are.  Apply the lessons from The Follow Up course to your ministry.

Use the Ministry Action Plan from the Resource Library to help you clarify your ministry plans and goals.

Take a live class on a relevant topic, even inviting a few volunteers to join you.

You will find plenty to help you lead in your specific ministry area.

#3 – Use Church Fuel to Lead Up

One of the toughest things to do in leadership is leading up – influencing those who technically are in charge.

Church Fuel will expose you to ideas and strategies that you can share with other leaders in your church.

By learning and growing, you’ll get ideas that will help others.

Remember, one membership covers everyone in your church who wants access.  If you’re paying for Church Fuel from your ministry budget, you can add others across other teams or departments. 

As you can see, there are a lot of practical ways you can actually USE Church Fuel.

Like most things in life, the power doesn’t come from signing up.  The power comes when you sign up, show up, and actually use the tool.

How Pastors Can Use Church Fuel

How Pastors Can Use Church Fuel

Church Fuel contains on-demand courses, hundreds of actionable resources, live classes, and labs.

Even though everything is helpful, it’s understandable how you might feel overwhelmed and wonder where to start. 

Here are some best practices on how you can actually use Church Fuel. 

#1 – Use Church Fuel for Personal Growth

 As a senior pastor, you led a lot of meetings, ministries, and programs.  People look to you for guidance.  People turn to you for help.

But the hardest person you lead is yourself.

John Maxwell says leaders are the lid in their organizations.

That’s why some of the best pastors turn to Church Fuel to help them grow. Think of it like professional development, a resource to help YOU get better.  As you’re out there investing in so many others, Church Fuel gives you a way to invest in yourself.

  • Sign up for a live class, put it on your calendar, then show up and learn.
  • Download a resource like the Personal Growth Plan and use it go guide your growth.
  • Go through one of our on-demand courses on your own schedule.

 Church Fuel is a great tool for your own personal and professional development.

#2 – Use Church Fuel for Leadership Development

Over and over again, we hear from pastors who know they need to find and train leaders, releasing more and more ministry to others.

Leadership development is one of the biggest barriers most churches are facing. 

That makes it one of your biggest opportunities.

To move leadership development from something you desire to something you do, you need two things.

First, it has to get on your calendar.  You’re the only one that can do this.  There’s no tool or hack. 

Second, you need content. We’ve got you covered here.

Resources like the Staff Evaluation and the Task Matrix will help you have important conversations with your team, giving them the tools they need to get better.

Because you can add other leaders to your Church Fuel account at no extra cost, it’s easy to assign courses and resources to them.  Have them go through a course or sign up for a live class. 

Church Fuel is a way that you can give your team access to world-class training and resources and help them get better.

#3 – Use Church Fuel in Team Meetings and Retreats

 Several pastors find that taking time during existing meetings is a great way to use Church Fuel content.

You’ve already got the meeting on your schedule…just repurpose part of it to watch a video or talk through a resource.  A lot of things inside the program work well in this kind of setting.

 You could use the Staff Devotionals to kick off Elder’s Meetings or Staff Meetings.  You could ask your team to use the Service Evaluation form one weekend then gather to talk through the results.

You could also work through one of our courses at a leadership retreat.  For example, you could go through Building Your Ministry Plan over a couple of days and take a huge step forward.  This particular course makes for a great schedule. 

Or maybe you want to take your team through Rebound or focus on follow-up.  Those courses work well as retreats, too.

As you can see, there are a lot of practical ways you can actually USE Church Fuel throughout your church.

Like most things in life, the power doesn’t come from signing up.  The power comes when you sign up, show up, and actually use the tool.