Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fresh ideas for Mother’s Day

by Diana Davis


No pressure, pastor, but how will this Mother's Day be different from last year's celebration?"

 - Diana Davis, author of Fresh Ideas: 1,000 Ways to Grow a Thriving and Energetic Church


It happens every year in May, and pastors anticipate it eagerly. Mother's Day promises a high energy, high attendance Sunday, with a smiling, eager congregation. There'll be extra guests galore – sons, daughters, and grandchildren attending worship with their mother. There will be new mothers, pregnant moms, substitute moms, stepmothers, foster moms, grandmothers. What an opportunity!   


No pressure, pastor, but how will this Mother's Day be different from last year's celebration? How can your church esteem mothers, yet point the worship service toward God?   It's time to get creative. Need a few fresh ideas?


Advertise "A great Mother's Day gift idea"

An advertisement in the local newspaper may encourage readers to bring their mom to church.


"Mom & me" video

Ask the tech team to interview children and prepare a montage of testimony clips explaining why "My Mom's the Best!" Or invite the youth group to prepare a short video to honor their mothers. Or gather dozens of photos of church members with their mothers for a slide show set to music. Use the video for pre-service viewing or play it along with an appropriate music special.


Here's your daisy

If your church presents gifts on Mother's Day, it's a good idea to give one to each woman present. (Many childless women have been like a mother to other children.) Each year's gift can be unique and meaningful, such as a:


Single flower





Multi-ribbon bookmarks for her Bible

Corsage made by children in your church

Laminated copy of an original Mother's Day poem

Scripture bookmark with original art by a church youth

Recruit a different group of people to present the gift each year, i.e. teen boys, deacons, fifth grade girls, new members, elderly men or church staff.  


Old women, please stand

Not to be a fuddy-duddy, but pointing out the oldest, youngest, and most prolific mothers during worship is not always flattering. As an alternative, consider recognizing mothers with a new baby since last year, great-grandmothers, mothers of teenagers, or mothers of those serving in the military. Then include all mothers in a thanksgiving prayer.  


I was born

One pastor announced a special prayer time for mothers, asking everyone in the congregation who had been born to a mother to stand. That's everyone!


Preschool parade

Prepare signs for all preschoolers, such as "I thank God for my mom," "Honor your mother and father," or giant MOM letters. While worshippers sing a chorus, the joyful Mother's Day parade of preschoolers marches in one door and exits another. Delightful!   


Senior adult BYKTSS

If it fits your church, plan "Bring Your Kid to Sunday School" for senior adults. The oldest adult Bible class invites their adult offspring to join them for class, arriving early for snacks and studying God's Word together.


Children's scripture shout

Choose an appropriate Scripture to teach elementary age children. Kids march into worship during a congregational song, spread out around the worship center, then quote the Scripture in unison.   


Mom's brunch

Youth can pamper their moms by planning and serving a lovely brunch. Guys carry a towel draped across their arm and wear an eyebrow-pencil-drawn curly mustache. Plan a program of poetry readings, serenading, and prayers.   


No Cooking

How about a catered picnic for a church-wide Mother's Day lunch at the local park? The pastor of a Filipino church in New Jersey excitedly told me about their top-secret plan for Mother's Day. The men of the church have reserved an entire local restaurant for lunch, and they'll surprise their mothers and families with a special meal. Don't tell.


Sense and Sensitivity

Scripture instructs us to honor our fathers and mothers, but use discretion. Some in your congregation may dread Mother's Day because of marital status, childlessness, death, or problems with parents.


Worship Jesus, not Mom

Many unchurched family members will attend worship with their moms today. Tell them how Jesus can change their life! It's a great day for a baptism, baby dedication, or children's choir song. Joyfully honor mom on Mother's Day, but focus on the only One worthy of worship – our God.  


This article has been adapted from Diane Davis' upcoming book, Fresh Ideas: 1,000 Ways to Grow a Thriving and Energetic Church (due out in June 2007).



"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers." - Jewish proverb


"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible." - Ruth Bell Graham


Around 96 percent of American consumers take part in Mother's Day in some way. - Source: Hallmark


"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson

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