Every year I remind church leaders not to forfeit Father’s Day. Because of this, I want to ask Men’s Ministry Leaders and Pastors this question, “What are you planning to do to target your men on Father’s Day?” I know not all men are Dads, but a good number are. And all of us have Dads.
Father’s Day is a great day to reach out to all the men of the church and community. So, I have a statement for you – Do Not Forfeit Father’s Day! It is a great time to target men intentionally. They will be expecting something.
As a Men’s Ministry Leader, I believe this day is a great day to target our men, and we should take advantage of the day.
To give you a little history about Father’s Day, it began when Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington, who were one of six children raised by a widower, had the idea of having a day to celebrate our Fathers while sitting in church on Mother’s Day. She went to local churches, the YMCA, and others to gather support for her idea. As a result, on June 19, 1910, Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day. Though Father’s Day has become a commercial entity in today’s culture, it does have its roots in the church.
We can bring the original idea of Father’s Day back into the church as we honor our Fathers, reaching out to the men of our church and community. But to do so, we need to start planning now.
When I was a Men’s Ministry Leader in a local church several years ago, we gave books to ALL the men who came on campus that day. It was a book for all men, not just for dads. We also invited the men to attend a six-week book study that would begin a couple of weeks after Father’s Day. We had over 30 men take advantage of that opportunity. As a result, we had several success stories from that book giveaway and study.
One man took the book to work and met with some of his coworkers to work through the book. Great things came out of that experience. And, after finishing the book, the men wanted more.
This is just one activity you can do to reach your men through Father’s Day. But there are others, and here are some thoughts on some actions you can take. It is my hope this will whet your appetite for more. As you ponder on these, maybe you can visualize other activities your church can do.
- If the morning message is tailored for Father’s Day, be sure it targets ALL the men encouraging them to be the men God designed them to be. This is one most churches do. But be sure you talk to ALL the men and be careful of isolating a particular group. But to be honest, I would recommend not doing a message that calls out dads. However, there is nothing wrong with spending a few minutes communicating gratitude and thankfulness for dads being dads.
- Have a Father/Son/Daughter outing sometime during the weekend. Men whose children are grown or men who do not have children could adopt a fatherless child for this event. This way, you are inviting all men to participate. If you have a military contingent in your area. Think about the children whose dads are deployed during this time.
- Reach out to those men in your church and community in the military who are deployed. Find out from their families what they would like to have and see if you can make it happen.
- Give the men a book that will encourage the men and offer a class relating to the book.
- Arrange an outing to a sporting event all men can participate. Or maybe a sports watch night in the fellowship hall or someone’s house on a big screen TV.
Here are some additional suggestions that may not be associated with Father’s Day weekend but can be done in conjunction with;
- Reach out to Dads whose children are attending your local church’s VBS. Maybe provide a gift certificate to a local restaurant or sports event or Fair they can take their child to. Or maybe a father/child Hot Dog dinner.
- If your church has a summer daycare ministry, think on the same lines for the men whose children are involved.
- Think about the Dads whose children are involved in the youth ministry or other children’s ministry activities.
These are just a few of the ideas a church can do to reach out and target men. If we desire to reach our men, we have to be intentional in our efforts. Look around your church, and you may see many other opportunities to reach your men.
So, ‘What are you doing to intentionally target your men during Father’s Day weekend?’ Intentionality is one of the areas most Men’s Ministries lack in their quest to reach men for the kingdom of Christ. If you want to reach more men and get them involved, you must be intentional in your efforts.
Just remember, on Father’s Day, don’t make it all about fathers but develop opportunities for ALL MEN!
To the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike