In my opinion, the best family ministry event a church can host surprisingly doesn’t include the whole family.
But in a way, it does.
I’m talking about the Father/Daughter Banquet. Some churches call it the Daddy/Daughter Dance or some other similar title.
My own church in Richmond, VA has been doing this for 3 years now and I have spoken at another one in Bettendorf, Iowa twice in the past 4 years. I actually took what I saw in Iowa 4 years ago and used it to implement the idea at our own church.
I think the Father/Daughter Banquet idea has the potential to become HUGE in terms of widespread outreach and effectiveness in communities across the world.
Here’s how is works (each one will have its own personality):
- Dads or father-figures escort their daughters (of any age) to a formal dress-up evening with other Dads and daughters for a meal, a speaker, and/or entertainment.
- There is a photo-booth area that will take pictures of each party.
- The ideal time of year is February because of the Valentine’s theme and there really aren’t any other huge holidays to compete with in that month (so the decor is pink, red, hearts, bears, etc.).
- The speaker/entertainer can speak on a topic having to do with fatherhood, but also must be interesting and fun at the same time.
- If you’re into dancing, go ahead and get that disco ball turning and crank up the music. What a perfect time for Dads and daughters to break it down!
- I think the best way to end this event is by having the Dads recite a prayer over their daughters while laying hands on them.
Here’s why this is so powerful a family ministry event:
- Traditionally, whether by reality or perception, Dads usually don’t get that special one-on-one time with daughters. This is an opportunity to make space for this special connection between Dad and daughter.
- One of the biggest needs of a woman of any age is to know that her Daddy thinks she is beautiful, strong, and full of God-given talent and worth. And to know that her father loves her.
- I believe that one of the biggest factors (if not, the biggest) that can contribute to strong and healthy homes and societies is the role of the father. When Dad is absent, abusive, or passive, then whole families, communities, and societies crumble. Anything we can do to empower and encourage loving Dads and Dad-figures in the lives of girls and women will do more than we can imagine in terms of uplifting lives, homes, and communities.
- And the best part of all – the people who get the most excited about these events are Moms! They don’t even come, but they are the best cheerleaders for the event. I don’t know if that’s because they get the night off, they get a one-on-one night with Junior, or if they also believe so strongly in encouraging healthy Daddy-daughter relations (maybe all three).
Try hosting one of these at your church next February. Invite the whole community, not just church members. Put out a few promos and watch word spread like wildfire. People LOVE the idea of this event and you might have the problem of running out of seats at your event.