Father’s Day and the Church

Father’s Day and the Church

June 22, 2015 by

The Daily Beast did a story on Father’s Day and the church yesterday, focusing on bacon. The story explored the history of Father’s Day (rooted in the church) and the efforts churches go to attract men, including free bacon, grills and firearms.

Events like these can be a way to forge a connection, but it’s just as easy to drive someone away.

Bringing Men to Church

We even get a mention and a couple quotes in the story:

Kevin D. Hendricks, the editorial director at Church Marketing Sucks, says, “People are always going on and on about church being too feminine and about how churches need to do more work to attract men.” He adds, “It’s pretty ironic, given the patriarchy of the church.”

But according to Hendricks, the assumption that men might be more willing to attend a “manly church” is the fuel that drives evangelicals to use bacon, car shows, and gun and grill giveaways as bait.

“Churches are willing to bend over backwards to get men through their doors. Mother’s Day is the third most popular Sunday of the year for churches—behind Easter and Christmas—while Father’s Day barely ranks.”

We’ve talked about the popularity of Mother’s Day before. Father’s Day can’t compete (59% vs 4%). And that raises an interesting question about these roles in the church:

“The attendance difference between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is telling,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “Either churches are less effective in affirming fathers, or families believe Christian fathers don’t value their participation in worship services.”

It’s all food for thought as we get those belated Father’s Day cards in the mail (or is that just me?) and look ahead to next year.

Father’s Day Advice

What didn’t make the Daily Beast story was our more practical and hopefully helpful advice. Maybe this can help your church next year:

The challenge for these events is in the details. Some people don’t have a father they want to celebrate, and that can make these events awkward. The stereotypes can also be a turnoff—not all fathers like to eat massive amounts of food and watch sports. Events like these can be a way to forge a connection, but it’s just as easy to drive someone away. Churches need to be careful about the unintended messages their event sends.


When you’re preparing for next year, we’ve got free social graphics for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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One Response to “Father’s Day and the Church”

  • Kevin
    June 22, 2015

    An interesting observation about Father’s Day: We typically put reminder posts on our Facebook page for occasions such as Mother’s Day, DST, Father’s Day, etc. Our Mother’s Day reminder included a prompt to tell us how you celebrate the mothers in your life. Outside of our VBS highlight videos, this was the post with the most reach, most comments, most likes, etc. So, we decided to do the same for Father’s day… 1 like, no comments, and the lowest reach of any post to date. There’s something to be learned here. I’m not saying I know what that is, but it definitely made me reflect.

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