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On the typical church calendar, no Sunday can compete with Easter, though Christmas Eve is also a big deal for many congregations. Oddly enough, however, Mother’s Day is also a day when a lot of churches see a bump in attendance and visitors.

That’s certainly the case at the church where I pastor, and if you’ve noticed a similar trend, here are some thoughts to help you plan well for your Mother’s Day service: 

1. Have a woman lead or help lead worship.

2. Dress nicely; say it’s to honor Mother’s Day.

3. If your mom is at a service, introduce her, bring her up and honor her.

4. Honor your wife, bring her up and introduce her. It’s really cool if she prays for your sermon after you honor her.

5. Keep the sermon short—there are tons of brunches and events.

6. Dedicate a lot of babies. People love to see babies on Mother’s Day.

7. Keep the music up-beat, celebratory and happy.

8. For some women, infertility makes Mother’s Day a really tough time. Invite them to come for prayer after the service. Pray that God would help and heal them in their grief-filled journey, give his wisdom to know the next step, and give them the grace and ability to accept whatever his plan is for their lives.

9. For fun, at each service you could also hand out a nice gift to the mom with the most kids, grandma with the most grandkids, mom who is in town visiting from the farthest away, mom with youngest child, mom with oldest child and so on.

10. If you want, you could also tap your budget to give a free book to every mom. Grace loves Wendy Virgo’s Influential Women, Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal, and Jani Ortlund’s Fearlessly Feminine and His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy (on the Ten Commandments for training kids). You could also go with a parenting book.

Mother’s Day is unlike any other Sunday in the year, with a lot of unique variables added to the already complicated stuff of life. But like every other Sunday of the year, it is a day that calls for the joyful proclamation of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Invite everyone—moms and all—to love and follow him. 

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at

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Richard Scotland

commented on May 9, 2014

Be wary of kids whose mother has died.

Alexander Drysdale Lay Preacher Uca Australia

commented on May 9, 2014

As you can see from my name I am a male and a Lay Preacher. If I did what this pastor is suggesting I would be quite correctly accused of patronisation. In this world there is no difference in the church between men and women apart from our shape. God calls us all to follow him and to preach the gospel of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection and to isolate some mothers and/or those who are not mothers for any reason is demeaning in the extreme. Pastor Driscoll should be doing the praying to get rid of this attitude. I am dismayed at his comments.

Chris Moore

commented on May 9, 2014

Hi, Alexander- Is your contention that there is never a time to direct any specific teaching toward certain segments in the Church? It would seem that Paul would differ greatly from your view in that he gave directed teaching toward young men, older men, young women and older women, widows, etc. I would fear that if you truly believe that there is no difference between men and women aside from body shape, there will be much lacking in your ministry. At the end of the article Mark clearly designates that Mother's Day is a genuine opportunity to CONTINUE with the focus of, "the joyful proclamation of Jesus? victory over sin and death." Remember, "Render to all what is due them: btax to whom tax is due; ccustom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." I can't think of a single reason why we wouldn't want to offer a day of honor to our Mother's. And maybe it's time to help the Church understand that celebrating one portion of our population for one day doesn't mean we are denigrating all the rest.

Lisa Bryan

commented on May 9, 2014

Possibly in your denomination or church and in your culture there are differences. I will say that as a pastor I try to honor those who look at this day as special. I will also say that most who are struggling with infertility do shy away from Mother's Day events period. It's just a part of the pain. We remember those who have lost their moms, and instead of just celebrating moms we celebrate women. Aunts, Grandmas, moms, sisters, and friends. As a woman we often choose to minister differently than men and we bring a different pretext to situations. It's part of our femininity and the way God made us.

Dean Johnson

commented on May 9, 2014

Thanks, I found these reminders helpful.

Reverend L. D. Barrow

commented on May 9, 2014

God bless all those who share their thoughts. Even when we disagree, it would be nice that we do so with the Holy tone of God! -- Rev. Barrow

Brad Brucker

commented on May 9, 2014

Thanks Mark! Can't please everyone - even when we do preach Jesus! Look what they did to Jesus! However, on Mothers day, I think it honors God to honor our mothers! In fact, isn't that at least part of what the 5th commandments is all about? Wow Australia... loosen up bro! You are way too tight! Remember, no worries mate!

Keith Roberts

commented on May 9, 2014

We want to honour the mothers so this year after the sermon we will ask the young children to present a little gift to each mother. We will give each of them a bar of hand crafted lavender soap (a hobby of mine), a flower and chocolate. The sermon will be short (20 to 25 minutes) and will centre on Mary.

Michael Garner

commented on May 9, 2014

Mothers' Day can be an opportunity to honor a special segment of our congregation. But, I would like to offer a word in response to Mark's point #8. There is great joy on Mothers' Day for some but there can be great pain for others as well. In my own house, my wife grieved for nine years because she was not a mother until we adopted two children. There are childless women, women who have lost children, women who would give anything to be a mother but cannot, and many people who have lost mothers. There may be some who have never experienced a good relationship with their mother. Going overboard extolling the virtues of motherhood and the wonders of that state can easily bring heartache -- and the pastor will never know it, because those folks will not speak up for fear of disrupting the celebration for the mothers in the church. I don't suggest ignoring mothers, but we need to be sensitive to the fact that not all women (or men either) will find the day joyful.

Ranger Harper

commented on May 9, 2014

Wow! Do you wonder what is wrong with the Church of today? Here it is. #5 kind of sums it all up. Movies, music, and mischief, welcome to our 'modern' Church.

Aaron Swain

commented on May 9, 2014

The author of this article normally preaches for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes...

Lisa Bryan

commented on May 9, 2014

All of the points are good ones and we have done each most Mother's Day Sunday. We try to be sensitive to those who are childless and our events focus on significant women in our lives, as sometimes a mom is not. We celebrate women and encourage women to grow in faith with Christ and grow in relationship with each other. We take a moment to pray for the mom's who have gone ahead of us and the children we have lost. We pray for those who ache in desiring to be a mom, and that God will bless these families and heal their broken hearts.

Billy Mcclendon

commented on May 9, 2014

Mark,thanks for some great ideas,keep up the great work!

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