- Make sure all children are honored and included. Consider highlighting “Fathers” or those in a “Father-like” role to the children. Remember, this can be a difficult day for those who don’t have a dad around.
- Help the children make up a song that you can sing to all the dads in the congregation. Keep it simple and fun. You could also make actions to go along with the song.
- As a group write a poem or put together a skit highlighting and honoring dads.
- Give out special dad gifts: Cans of WD40, Coffee gift cards, root beer, golf balls…
- Interview some Dads.
- Interview kids about what their dad means to them.
- Have a Dad photo shoot. Dress them up as “Superdad” and take their picture with the children. Take some fun "Dad selfies".
- Produce special craft gift items: Paint and decorate “my dad rocks” paperweights; produce a cut out tie with words that honor the dads; make thank you cards; make decorate father’s day mugs with dishwasher safe paints. This takes more work but my favorite dad mug actually has father / child pictures printed on the mugs. Produce “super dad” t-shirts.
- Discuss with the church pastor how you might set up a mentor program for kids that don’t have a dad around.
- Discuss with the church pastor about setting up special prayer support ministry for those who find this a painful day.
- Have fathers or father figures in the church pray a blessing over the children.
A Father to the Fatherless -Psalm 68:5
"The Father's Love Letter": Share a printed copy of a personalized letter from God to each child. Highlight passages that emphasize God's love, care, and fatherly presence. Encourage the children to keep the letter as a reminder that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally. They may or may not have a earthly father in their lives but they all have God the Father who loves us and is with us always. Emphasize that for those who have a dad around, they still need to know the love of our heavenly father. Afterall, earthly cannot be everywhere at all times. However, our heavenly father is always present with us.
Other “Father’s in the Lord” - Find some compassionate men in the congregation who are good role models. Ask them if they would be willing to be seen (or play a role) as “Fathers to the Fatherless”. Bring them up in front of the children. Explain how we are thankful for our fathers and for those who don’t have a father in their lives, we are thankful for those (like these men) who can be like a father to us. You could bring forward all the father’s in the congregation and ask them to pray a “fathers blessing” over all the children. This could be powerful if done right. (Ideally this needs to be an ongoing organized and valued ministry in the church)
"The Missing Puzzle Piece": Show a puzzle with a missing piece. Discuss how sometimes they (the children) may feel like something is missing when they don't have an earthly father present, but God fills that missing piece in their lives. Display a piece that symbolizes God's presence and love.
"The Guiding Light": Use a small flashlight or a candle. Explain that just as a light guides and leads the way in the darkness, God's love and guidance are always there for them. Encourage the children to take turns holding the light and sharing ways they feel God's presence.
"The Loving Arms": Have a large pair of open arms drawn or cut out of paper. Explain that even if they don't have an earthly father to hug them, they can always find comfort and love in the arms of their Heavenly Father. Invite the children to write or draw things they would like to share with God in the open arms. They could also draw a picture of themselves and place it (along with the other children) inside the love arms of God.
"The Shepherd's Care": Use a picture or a small figurine of a shepherd and sheep. Discuss how God is like a loving shepherd who cares for and protects His children, just as a shepherd does for his sheep. Emphasize that God's care is available to everyone, regardless of their family situation.
"The Love Tree": Draw or create a tree shape on a large piece of paper. Have the children write their names or draw pictures on paper leaves and attach them to the tree. Explain that just as a tree provides shelter and support, God's love is a constant presence that provides support and care for them.
"The Unbreakable Rope of God's Love": Bring a strong and sturdy rope. Explain that sometimes in life, people may feel alone or without an earthly father, but they can still hold onto the unbreakable rope of God's love. Demonstrate by tugging on the rope to show its strength and reliability.