Fathers Eve, Father's Day, and a Dad Challenge

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Have you heard of Fathers Eve? It is a celebration of Fatherhood on the night before Father’s Day, founded by John Francis, of St. Paul, MN. What started as a few dads getting together in his garage in 2012, has now expanded to nearly 60 cities across the globe.

This year, I am hosting Rochester, Minnesota’s, first-ever Fathers Eve on June 15, 2019. To help ring in Father’s Day 2019, every city will be toasting to Fathers Eve at 8 pm!


In 1909, the daughter of a single dad heard a Mother's Day sermon at church and began to pursue a similar holiday to recognize dads in a similar way.  The daughter's name was Sonora Smart-Dodd. Although the first Father's Day occurred in Portland, Oregon, in 1910, it wasn't until 1972 that Father's Day was officially embraced and holds its current annual calendar spot on the third Sunday of June.  

Several historical facts strike me about the humble beginnings of Father's Day, especially compared to the current culture of 2019.  

First of all, a daughter sparked the idea for Father's Day--not a self-serving dad, but a loving daughter who wanted to recognize all of the efforts, sacrifices, and memories of her dad.

Secondly, the idea was born in the church while Sonora was listening to a Mother's Day sermon. What's ironic about this fact is that today, according to LifeWay research, Mother's Day is the third most attended holiday church service (behind only Easter and Christmas), Father's Day is the least attended church service. Seriously!

Which begs the question, why don't dads go to church with their family on Father's Day?  Here are my thoughts:

  • Church can be boring for dads and some would rather spend it outdoors doing something active rather than singing, standing, sitting and listening for an hour or more.

  • Pastors don’t often recognize dads like they do moms on Mother's Day.

  • The sermon is usually full of "should-be's" and "not enoughs." Many Father's Day messages are well-intentioned, but come across as a scolding. I can tell you that the last thing I want to do on Father's Day is to listen to someone tell me all of the things I should be doing to be a better dad.


I get it.  I struggle with gathering my family, driving to church, and putting on a smile when I know this is my day to choose how I want to spend it. But for those of you that want to spend Father's Day on the golf course with a foursome of your buddies or alone on a fishing boat in your favorite spot, you are being selfish.  Does that hurt?  Yeh, maybe.  But, Father's Day isn't for selfishness.  It's a day that is set aside to go to church, hang out with your family, and spend quantity time--not forced quality time.  

Dads, this Sunday, let's challenge each other to PACK THE HOUSE at our local churches.  Let's help LifeWay create an up-to-date study that ranks Father's Day church attendance on par with Mother's Day.  Pastors, challenge yourselves to recognize, not criticize the dads in your church and encourage and uplift them in their fatherhood journey.  

So, dads, let's PACK THE HOUSE at church this weekend and then spend the rest of our day giving our family the gift of our time.  

Have a wonderful Father's Day 2019!  

If you are looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift idea or a guidebook on your Fatherhood Journey, I invite you to check out my latest book, The Dad Drift: A Practical Guide to Help You Navigate the 7 Seas of Your Fatherhood Journey.

Please post a comment below about your thoughts on Father's Day and the Church.  What is your church doing for dads?  What do you want to hear on Sunday morning.  What are you doing with your family?  How do you honor your dad that has passed away?  How do you connect with your dad if you can't be with him on Father's Day?

If this article inspired you and you would like to share it, I would be honored. All you need to do is to click the ORANGE social media icons below. I would also love to hear from you. If you have something to share or to ask, feel free to post a comment below in the COMMENTS section. I personally respond to all of the comments. -Mark

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About Mark

I’m Mark LaMaster, and my mission through Uplifting Dads is to offer a place of encouragement and inspiration for men to become the father they’ve always dreamed of being. I believe that all dads have an incredible, God-given opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact on their children, their families, and their earthly homes.

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