For those who were in church this year on Mother’s Day you probably saw a larger than normal crowd as folks came to church to honor their mothers and grandmothers.
But if you go to church on Father’s Day expecting the same larger than normal crowd, you may end up disappointed.
In the May 16 issue the B&R reported on the most attended days of the year in Protestant churches as discovered by LifeWay Research.
As one might expect, Easter and Christmas are the two Sundays with the highest attendance, followed by Mother’s Day.
Last on the list (or at least tied with the Fourth of July) was Father’s Day. Since the Fourth of July only occurs on Sunday once every seven years or so (depending on Leap Year), I would say Father’s Day earns the nod for being last. I suspected as much but had never really thought about it until LifeWay Research came out with their findings.
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, made this observation: “Either churches are less effective in affirming fathers, or families believe Christian fathers don’t value their participation in worship services.”
Those are valid points, but perhaps there is another underlying factor in why people feel less compelled to attend church on Father’s Day than Mother’s Day.
Could it be that over the years the children of these fathers never saw their dads in church on a regular basis?
Could it be that there are a lot of adult children today who think, “Why should I go to honor my dad on Father’s Day when he probably won’t be there himself?”
Or, if the dad is deceased, “Why should I go to church to honor and remember my dad today? He was never there. If I want to remember him I need to go to the lake or the golf course.”
Look around your respective church on any given Sunday. No doubt you will see several (depending of course on size of church) families minus dad.
Let’s face it. Many men, and especially those who profess to be Christians, have fallen short in their responsibility to be the spiritual leader of their home.
Churches need to find ways to help these men understand what it means to be spiritual leaders. That involves discipleship and mentoring by men who are setting good examples.
My desire is that every Tennessee Baptist church will have a good attendance on Father’s Day this Sunday and that there will be plenty of dads in attendance.
But above all, let’s strive to make every Sunday a high attendance day. While it is good to honor moms and dads, we need to honor God first and foremost. After all, He is our Heavenly Father.