In a national poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors, LifeWay Research asked what the three highest attendance Sundays were throughout the year. Mother’s Day (59 percent) ranked third behind the standard religious powerhouse holidays of Easter (93 percent) and Christmas (84 percent).
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, said, “Clearly, mothers want to be present for the affirmation that is typically offered in most churches, but families also are present knowing their attendance will honor their mother. Many families make church attendance on Mother’s Day nearly obligatory.”
The study asked the question: “At your church, which day typically has the highest attendance for worship services?” In addition to Easter, Christmas, and Mother’s Day, four other days were listed: Homecoming or anniversary of the church (16 percent), a special day to invite friends (14 percent), Fourth of July (4 percent) and Father’s Day (4 percent), and 26 percent indicated another day.
There was significant variation in responses when filtered by geographic regions and by educational level:
- Churches with less than 50 in attendance are least likely to select Easter (41 percent) and most likely to select Mother’s Day (9 percent).
- Protestant pastors of churches in the South are most likely to select Homecoming (9 percent). No other region has more than one percent of pastors making this selection.
- Churches with attendance up to 49 people (8 percent) and between 50 and 99 people (7 percent), are more likely to select Homecoming.
In a video for Pastors Today, Craig Webb, pastor for vision & purpose at The Glade Church and contributing editor for LifeWay’s Pastors Today e-newsletter, offers some tips for honoring moms in your Sunday service.