Mom's are legitimate superheroes.
Their powers range from knowing when an older sibling is picking on a younger one even without being in the room, making the world feel right with a simple hug, and having some type of disinfecting substance in their saliva that can get anything off of a child's skin.
Mother's Day is here.
As your church prepares for this memorable weekend here are some tips that will honor the moms in your congregation and leverage the day to bring momentum to your ministry.
Add one special touch
This year my church will have guys from our student ministry serving Moms Dove chocolates from silver platters in our lobby. These guys will be dressed up with matching suspenders and bow ties. It's a small, and inexpensive, touch that makes every Mom feel special. To guests it sets your church apart as one who honors people, has fun and does things with excellence.
Offer family photos
Nothing marks the day better than a family picture. Set up multiple spots around your church for photo booths. 3 keys to making this work: 1) Have a professional photographer. Spend the money if you don't have someone in your church capable. 2) Have a second person to help move things along and to take pictures with phones if desired. 3) Brand the church somehow. Backdrops, signs or hashtags work.
Acknowledge those who may be in pain
Not every person in the crowd is excited about Mother's Day. It reminds some of pain or loss. Others may live miles away from their mom or their kids, others may have lost a mom this year, some are reminded of the scared or absent relationship with a parent.
Encourage hurting people. Don't bend the entire service around it, but let them know you see them and that God is with them in their pain. One or two sentences of acknowledgement helps them feel included in the day.
Serve Moms who may feel forgotten
Coupling a major weekend with a missions endeavor will leverage a large crowd to make a huge difference. Our church is hosting a baby shower for unwed mothers in partnership with a local crisis pregnancy center on Mother's Day. Provide people the opportunity to make a difference in simple ways that combat complex problems.
A hidden secret in a project like this is what you name it. We named ours Augusta's Biggest Baby Shower. Use the name to broaden your scale. We intentionally included our city's name instead of our church's. Why? Because we are pastors to our city. God has called us to reach the city, not just our church. Plus, people want to be a part of something larger than they are.
Treat it like an event
Mother's Day is a day when guests and unchurched people may give you a chance. Before they visit physically they will visit digitally. Create a page on your website just for Mother's Day that answers all of their questions ahead of time. Another tool is writing a fun blog post that helps people connect with your church before they arrive. Use humor, tell them what to expect and entice them to come.
Update the women's restroom
Seriously. I don't need to convince you of how bad a gross restroom experience can be. Freshen up the paint, add fresh flowers, replace dated wall art and install new air fresheners.
Plan for big crowds
Mother's Day is a big day; act like it! One difference between large churches and small churches is their ability to plan properly. Guests grade you negatively when you are scrambling, run out of something or have poorly trained volunteers in place. This Mother's Day my church is bringing in 200 extra chairs to create an overflow venue in our atrium. If we need it great, if we don't, great. Either way, we are prepared.
Have more than enough seats; map out and communicate the plan for overflow crowds; prepare the parking for extra cars; make sure the aisles are wider to accommodate larger crowds leaving the worship space; print extra bulletins; schedule your best volunteers; rehearse your band one extra time.
Talk about what Mom's care about: Their Family. Highlight your church's offerings to families. The timing is perfect to promote your summer camps for kids or VBS, tell a story from a marriage focused small group, or show commercials for student and children's ministry.
Add an extra layer of significance to Mother's Day by dedicating children. This ensures you a handful of additional people on an already large weekend. Layering attendance boosters is a smart way to break growth barriers.
Don't forget the fundamentals!
Big days can cause you to focus on feelings and forget fundamentals. Don't misunderstand, creating emotion matters, but helping people connect matters just as much. Communicate clear next steps for people. Have guests fill out connection cards. Mention the important things, like next steps and guest cards, at least three times throughout the service if you want people to actually hear it.
As a final preparation, here is a wise quote I heard from a mom several weeks ago: You probably do not want to know what that odor is. Now that is some mom wisdom!
Kevin is a coach for couragetolead.com. He is also Executive Pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, and the founder of LeadBravely.org. Kevin specializes in strategic thinking, financial health and developing teams. He lives in Augusta, GA, with his wife, Melissa, and two daughters.