By Brian Doyle
Founder of the Iron Sharpens Iron Network.
Father’s Day is the 3rd Sunday in June. It is a special day to honor dad and communicate appreciation to the many men in our church congregations who are dads. Church services on Father’s Day can also inadvertently drive men away from church and from God. Here are some tips based on what we have learned over the years on what to include and not to include in a Father’s Day Service.
- Communicate gratitude and thankfulness for dads and to dads. The culture marginalizes fatherhood both in media and in. Father’s Day should celebrate fatherhood.
- Men who are not dads. They will be fine. They will not be offended if you show appreciation to the men who are fathers. Even the culture blesses fathers on Father’s Day.
- Be careful about challenging the fathers. Please save the exhortation to dads for a men’s gathering or a men’s conference like Iron Sharpens Iron where there is critical mass and the context is different and a man’s wife / kids are not sitting next to him.
- Be careful about instructing the fathers. Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21 are not texts for Father’s Day. Save those texts for the men’s conference or men’s breakfast.
- Consider a sermon NOT on fathering. It may be best to invest 5-10 minutes communicating gratitude to dads and have your sermon on a topic outside of fathering.
- Tell a personal story. Share a positive story about your own dad or a dad you know. Not a ‘super dad’ story that will convict men but a story of provision and protection and love. The result of the story celebrates the dads who actually came to church that morning.
- Give a gift. Thank the men with a gift. It can be anything from a book to a CD to a gift certificate to a local coffee shop or restaurant. Join the celebration and thank Dad with a gift and card.