5 Unique Ways to Reach and Engage Men This Father’s Day
Father’s Day will be here before you know it. Don’t find yourself sitting around that morning saying, “Man, I wish we had been intentional about reaching the men this year. Well, maybe next year.”
Here are some practical ideas you can use to reach and engage men:
1. Plan a Father-Child Adventure Day. While Daddy-Daughter Dances have become almost ubiquitous, they aren’t the only way to give dads a fun opportunity to interact with their kids. Think about offering several different options for father-child outings and let people sign up.
Recruit guys to lead small outings in their area of interest. You can send groups out to go bowling, drive go-karts, visit a local museum, go fishing, hike a nature trail—you get the idea.
Then meet back at the church in the late afternoon for a cookout. Have some lawn games to play, and wrap it up with a bonfire and s’mores. Let the kids share their favorite experiences from the day. You could even include the moms at the end!
2. Honor the New Dads. Take a moment during your Sunday morning services to invite the new dads up front. Depending on the size of your church, it could be dads of newborns or dads with kids under the age of five. You decide.
Bring them up front and encourage them to persevere through the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and projectile vomiting. Make it fun and funny. Give them a little gift to encourage them. Then invite all the grandpas in the audience to come down and lay hands on them while someone prays. What a great way to connect generations of men!
You can even “re-dedicate” the dads. Similar to the vows a congregation takes during a baby dedication or baptism, have the congregation pledge to support these new dads as they seek to raise godly children.
3. Give your men a gift. Moms get flowers for Mother’s Day. Why not get a gift for every man in the church on Father’s Day? Give them a men’s study Bible, a keychain with a verse about fathering, or some gift tied to the sermon that helps men remember the great influence they have as fathers and mentors.
Of course, Man in the Mirror has been providing Books by the Box for less than $2 per book for 20 years. How God Makes Men or The Man in the Mirror are filled with great biblical lessons for men that can help a man grow, especially when they are read in a community with other men.
4. Start something new. Don’t sacrifice the summer. While much church programming takes a hiatus at the end of the school year, this can be an advantage for men. For instance:
A summer men’s group—Without the distractions, you can start a summer small-group series or Bible Study that guys can drop in and out of as their schedules allow. Or kickoff a summer series of men’s activities—like golf, fishing, skeet shooting, etc.—and use Father’s Day as a kickoff.
A fall ministry for men and boys—Father’s Day is a great time to start forming a Christian Service Brigade or Battalion unit (similar to scouting) for the fall. Use the summer to train up leaders and build momentum for a great ministry that teaches men to disciple boys and young men. Visit CSB Ministries website for more information.
5. The Dadless and the Childless. Father’s Day can be a difficult day for men without children and kids without dads. Don’t forget to think about how you can make Father’s Day a positive experience for them as well. Ministries like Fathers in the Field, Christian Service Brigade, and A Chosen Generation all have resources that can help you set up opportunities for the men of your church to provide mentoring to boys without dads.
So what about a Father’s Day sermon? Here’s our advice: just don’t.
It’s almost impossible to preach a sermon to dads that doesn’t end up just making them feel guilty. Don’t quote fatherlessness statistics or talk about how men’s spiritual engagement needs to catch up to women’s. Acknowledge them for sure—even use the service to honor them using ideas like the ones above. But save the sermon for proclaiming the gospel to everyone in the church and beyond.
Engage your men this Father’s Day in living the Christian life. Give them opportunities to pursue Christ and to act out their roles as leaders in their families and communities. Strengthen them. Encourage them. And love them.
Happy Father’s Day!