In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (May 9 this year). This coincides nicely with Easter, providing churches a great chance to invite visiting Easter families back to church just a few weeks later.
Considering that Mother’s Day was first celebrated —and really began—in the church, it is not surprising that attendance on this day is usually very high, third only behind Christmas and Easter. The way your church invites the community and welcomes attending families on Mother’s Day can make a big impact on the rest of the year.
Here are some ideas on how to reach out to and retain your Mother’s Day visitors:
1) Be Relevant & Inclusive – I’ll be honest, Mother’s Day church services are my least favorite—I am not a mom, and although I love my mom, she lives in another state, so we don’t attend church together. I have been known to take Mother’s Day “off,” because often these services are not relevant to me—and I’m guessing this is true for single men and widowers, too. I saw one Web site that suggested that, instead of calling the day “Mother’s Day,” churches should plan a “Women of Faith Day” service and talk about faithful women in the Bible; I like this idea. Remember that these days, motherhood can be a touchy subject; make sure your services are planned to appeal to everyone.
2) Be Original – Sure, carnations are traditional gifts to women on Mother’s Day, and they are nice flowers, but would you go to church just to get a carnation? This year, how about offering a nice inspirational or evangelistic book to visitors? Promote the gift on your direct-mail invitations, and see if you don’t get more families coming in to get this much nicer item.
3) Be at the front of their minds – Studies show that it takes up to seven marketing impressions before someone remembers your advertisement. This can be true for your church, too! Even if you have been in the same building for years, it doesn’t mean your neighbors will remember you when it comes time to decide where to go on Sunday morning. To make sure your church is the place they choose to attend, invite them again and again.
- First, send them an oversized postcard invitation—these cards have bright eye-catching graphics and friendly invitational text that is sure to get noticed in the mailbox.
- Second, post an outdoor banner near your church—it’s best if it matches the postcard, so the recipient can put two and two together: “Hey, isn’t that the church that sent us that cute/beautiful/interesting postcard?”
- Finally, have your members go door-to-door on their street and leave Door Hangers with information about your church.
4) Be Ready – Families are looking for places where their children will learn and have fun and where parents can feel comfortable and welcome. Make sure your Mother’s Day visitors don’t feel lost by providing good signs and banners that direct them to the important areas of your church, like children’s areas, refreshments and the worship center. Also, make sure that your church is ready to greet visitors, has a great children’s program that is safe and fun, and every visitor gets information on upcoming events, VBS, or summer kids’ programs and upcoming sermon series. Your visitors should feel excited and interested in returning to church next week, and in the months to come.
With a little planning and preparation, Mother’s Day can be a great connection-point to families in your community! Get started with your plans today!
The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
~William Goldsmith Brown