You are thinking we are still almost two months from Father’s Day so why are we talking about Father’s Day now. Well, let me ask you as Men’s Ministry Leaders and Pastors this question, ‘What are you doing 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. What a great day to reach out to all the men of the church and community.
Some would argue that we should not celebrate Father’s Day as it is awkward for those who do not have children. But the Bible tells us to honor our mothers and fathers (Exodus 20:12). As a Men’s Ministry Consultant, I believe this day is a great day to target our men and we should take advantage of this day.
Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington, who was one of six children raised by a widower, had an 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. On June 19, 1910 Washington State celebrated the first statewide Father’s Day in the nation. Though Father’s Day has become a commercial entity in today’s culture, it does have its roots in the church.
If we are going to use Father’s Day to reach out to the men of our church and community, we need to start planning now.
A few years ago, when I was a Men’s Ministry Leader in a local church we gave out 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 study of the book that would begin a couple of weeks after Father’s Day. We had over 20 men take advantage of that opportunity. As a result, we had several success stories from that book give away and study. One story was a man who took the book to work and started meeting with some of his fellow workers before start time to work through the book. Great things came out of that experience. 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 of some activities. It is my hope this will whet your appetite for more and as you ponder on these maybe you can vision other activities your church can do.
- Deliver a message that targets ALL the men encouraging them to be the men that God expects them to be. Use this time to encourage the men on the hard work it is to be men of God in today’s environment. Be sure you talk to all the men and be careful of isolating a particular group of men. Nothing wrong though to spend a few minutes communicating gratitude and thankfulness for dads to be dads.
- Have a Father/Son 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 and 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 them and offer a few weeks study of the book.
- Arrange an outing to a sporting event that all men can participate. Or maybe a sports watch night in the fellowship hall or someone’s house on a big screen TV.
The suggestions below may not be associated with Father’s Day weekend but can be done in conjunction with;
- Reach out to Dads who 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 day care ministry think on the same lines as above for the men whose children are involved.
- Think about the Dads whose children are involved in the youth ministry or other children 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, once again, ‘What are you doing to intentionally target your men during Father’s Day weekend?’ Intentionality is one of the areas most Men’s Ministries are lacking in their quest to reach men for the kingdom of Christ. If you want to reach more men and get them involve you have to be intentional in your efforts.
Just remember, on Father’s Day, don’t make it all about fathers but develop opportunities for ALL MEN!
Together in the adventure and challenge to disciple men – Mike.