Similar to the reminders that Mother’s Day can be a very difficult time for women who are not biological Mothers, Father’s Day can be a challenging time for men.
There are two categories that you want to be sensitive to, men without biological children and single fathers, a group often almost completely ignored in the church. First I’ll talk about them and then I'll give you some ideas for how you can positively address this situation.
Remember Single Fathers
When my husband and I led a single adult group, one of the core operating principles of the group is that children were welcome at all events. We often had babysitting or separate activities for the kids, but singles knew they could always show up with their children and they would be welcomed and cared for. And the childcare was free.
Needless to say, not only was this a huge draw for singles, but one group especially appreciated it and couldn’t thank us enough for it. That group was single fathers. They told us repeatedly how they felt they were totally invisible in most churches. Churches would do all sorts of caring things for single mothers, but a single father was on his own.
They told us they weren’t able to attend many events because childcare was never provided for men’s events—most churches assume the wife at home will take care of the kids. Many divorces result in joint custody and more and more men are granted sole custody (as was the case with some of our singles). This is most likely one reason why, unlike many single adult groups we had more men in the group than women.
Single adult groups aside, when you plan your Father’s Day activities remember single dads and don’t assume every Father has a family that is part of the church or that their family unit has built-in childcare.
Remember those without children
It is no easier for a man who has tried and tried to have children with no success or the single men in your church who desperately want to be married and have children.
There are no easy answers for this pain and there is no way any token thing you do can take away the pain but pray for sensitivity to not hurt without thinking.
There are three ways you can do this:
- Celebrate all the godly men in your church, not only specifically fathers. I was very conscious of this when I was putting together printables and other ideas for the ministry for Father’s Day and one way I did this was to have the primary saying be “one of the good guys” (like the image at the start of this article) and it has a little Christian fish by the saying to quietly show one thing that makes them good. It doesn’t say, “special DAD” or whatever. This is a great gift for the men in your church and can be reproduced for very little cost. The Printable itself is free for a limited time around Father's Day. It is available at this link: https://payhip.com/b/Gf9Ol
- Take this day to remind all the men in the church of the value of being a spiritual father. There are children in every church who may have lost their biological father or for whom perhaps their biological father is not able to be all that is needed. Perhaps the father is deployed, disabled, or absent. The reasons aren't important, but the children who don't have a father are. For these children, this is where the church, the Body of Christ can step in. Keep this in mind as you plan your Father's Day Communications so that the men who are not biological fathers will be encouraged to be spiritual fathers to the many children who need them in our churches and communities.
- Remind everyone that neither the Apostle Paul nor Jesus himself was a biological father. Being a father encompasses much more than biology. Do a meditation on the life of either one of them and how they nurtured and loved. Father’s Day can be a fantastic time to challenge fathers in this way.
Take Father’s day as an opportunity to provide specific ways all the men in your church can be involved in ministry and celebrate, challenge, and connect each of them into your church body. Everyone will be blessed when you do.
This article is from the eBook, Father's Day Strategy, that is currently free at: https://payhip.com/b/N4M9n
The eBook contains additional strategic articles for a successful Father's Day as well as previews of numerous resources for your church for Father's Day. Click on the image to go to it.
Please share your thoughts, comments, questions!