By Alison Zeller
How do you celebrate Father's Day (June 16) at your church? Read on to see how these four churches honor fathers (and all men) on Father's Day--you might get some new ideas!
Dads take the lead
Leeds Baptist Church is small. Close to 60 people worship there each week and Jo Ann Wishert, the church’s secretary and music minister, estimates that they have 20 fathers in their congregation. On Father’s Day, these guys are front and center.
The day starts with “Donuts for Dad.” Then, during worship, the men are center stage. They sing in the choir, take the offering, and lead the morning worship service. At the end of worship, everyone participates in a special prayer for the dads. The church bulletin features pictures of all the dads, and those pictures are shown in a video presentation, too.
“Our whole church celebrates,” said Jo Ann. “At the end of the service, we honor each dad with a special gift. We also honor the oldest father and the youngest father and have some giveaways. The fathers are always most appreciative of those gifts.”
In the past, Jo Ann has ordered Father’s Day gifts from CTA. “CTA products are great gifts and we find them to be top quality!” she said.
Kids show their love
Bethel Baptist Church in Milan, Tennessee, is home to 15 fathers and a handful of men who aren’t fathers but are active in helping with children’s and senior’s ministries. On Father’s Day, the children of Bethel Baptist show their appreciation for all the men.
“The kids are proud to be able to honor all the godly men in our church,” said church treasurer Eliece. In previous years, the children have performed a short program about Christian fathers. They’ve also written about how special their own fathers are to them, and they read those words to the congregation. The kids always hand out Father’s Day gifts, too.
“The children dispense the gifts we have purchased to all the fathers that are present, even to the men who aren’t fathers but support our children and their activities,” said Eliece. “If we have more than we need, we will ask our members if they have special men in their lives they would like to give the extra gifts to, or someone they can share the Gospel with, using the gift as a conversation starter.”
It’s more than just a gift
Donna Kuper, the chairperson of Bethel Baptist Church’s worship board, calls her church “extremely diverse.” The church, located in Everett, Washington, has 20 fathers in the congregation, and the leaders take great pride in personally inspiring faith in each man.
“Some of the children who attend church do not have a father in their household, and we have some men who have no children,” said Donna. The church is aware of worshipers’ various backgrounds, and they don’t want anybody to feel left out. They give gifts to every man that’s older than high-school age.
“Our reasoning is that even if a man is not a father at present, he may become a father in actuality someday,” said Donna. “If not, he still can be a father figure to some young child who needs mentoring. Our church’s motto is ‘We are a family that adopts, nurtures, and prepares people to serve Christ.’ We view the Father’s Day gifts as a way to nurture our Bethel family.”
It’s a lasting message
Just like these other churches, Holly Grove Baptist Church in Cooter, Missouri, has about 15 men in its congregation. Pastor John Lewelling sees Father’s Day as a chance to honor those men and lift up men who are visiting the church that day.
“We award all our men, members or men visiting, with a gift on Father’s Day,” said Pastor Lewelling. “We hope and pray the gift will lead the visiting men back to our church, encourage them, or leave a message on their hearts and bring them to Christ.”
CTA is Pastor Lewelling’s go-to source for gifts and resources for several holidays, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, fall festival, and others. “CTA creates a tailor-made tool for our outreach ministry and for every event,” said Pastor Lewelling. “All the CTA products we use bring positive feedback. I hear a lot of thank-yous from our men, women, and children.”
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