Mother’s Day service programming may seem simple enough, at least on the outside. But when creative teams and pastors plan for these services, they must be aware of what’s happening on the inside – under the surface of the smiles and the hugs.
There are a million different types of mothers in your churches – moms who don’t fit neatly into any programming box. There are…
- Moms who just had a miscarriage. Or several.
- Moms who live with the added challenge of parenting children with special needs. Talk about a world that most of us will never encounter…
- Women who are trying everything in their power, and in God’s power, to get pregnant.
- Moms who are divorced.
- Moms who are protecting their kids from an abusive father, or uncle, or grandfather.
And I’m only scratching the surface here. You can add to that bullet list.
Years ago, the production company I co-own (Floodgate Productions) decided to create short-films for churches that would include most mom-types, not just one or two. Mother’s Day Blessings (really old, sorry about that) and Seen and Celebrated (newer) are a couple of examples.
But what about all men, women, and children in your church on Mother’s Day? Not everyone has a pleasant mom memory, so how can churches provide a voice for those people too?
NOT EVERY SON OR DAUGHTER HAS A PLEASANT MOM-MEMORY, SO HOW CAN CHURCHES PROVIDE A VOICE FOR THEM TOO?
If I were in church leadership, I’d pick out some folks who didn’t have a great mom, and ask them what might help them feel validated and not isolated on Mother’s Day.
The best service programming happens when you’re staring at a cross-section of your people’s faces in your brainstorm space. Literally – pictures of all types of people, on a wall, looking into their eyes. I’ve written the following looking at specific faces, and I’m hoping it inspires you to think outside of the typical Mother’s Day programming box.
“If you have a great mom, or if you had a great mom, then consider yourself blessed. We’ll honor and celebrate them today. You’ll smile and remember and laugh. But it’s important to acknowledge that there are people sitting near you – people in this very room – who did not have, or who do not have great moms. You are sons and daughters who are still dealing with pain rather than comfort, and with tears rather than laughter. While many of us think about our moms and smile, others think about their moms and just shake our heads. The last thing you want to do is remember them. Whatever group you’re in, it’s okay. More importantly, you’re okay. We’re not gonna fake it, and neither should you. So while we’ll celebrate and honor the good moms, that doesn’t mean we’re glossing over the reality of the pain many of you feel on a day like today. You’re not alone – not even close. We’re just happy you didn’t go to brunch instead of coming to this weekend’s worship service.”
Maybe it’s part of a verbal Welcome? Maybe it’s woven into a prayer? Maybe you create a simple video? Maybe you print it as a written leadership welcome in your bulletin?
And by the way – change the word “mother” for “father”, and repeat on Father’s Day. The same reality applies.
Blessings over all you do, and above all – may God be glorified in your midst, and may people find the beautiful fellowship of non-isolation.