Great Dads (Father's Day)
To look at what makes a good father and to explore the idea of God as the perfect parent
by The Revd Catherine Williams
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To look at what makes a good father, and to explore the idea of God as 'the perfect parent'.
Preparation and materials
- Warning: Approach this subject with sensitivity. Not everyone's experience of 'Dad' may be positive - be guided by context.
- You will need some pictures of famous dads and their children.
- A flip-chart or OHP.
- Remind the children that Father's Day is 20 June. The first Father's Day was held on 19 June 1910 in Washington, USA, when a young woman suggested that there should be a special day, like Mother's Day, when we can say thank you to dads.
- Play a game where the children match famous children to famous dads. You could do this either using pictures on the OHP, or as a quiz with clues. You could use the following families:
Children / Dad
Bart, Lisa, & Maggie / Homer Simpson
Brooklyn & Romeo / David Beckham
Charles, Anne, Andrew & Edward Windsor / Prince Philip
Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn & Leo / Tony Blair
Shem, Ham & Japhet / Noah
Isaac & Ishmael / Abraham
Use other examples appropriate to your local context. Make the point that you don't have to be famous to be a 'great dad'.
- Ask the children what they love best about their dads. Make a list on the flip-chart of the qualities that go to make a 'great dad'. Cover ideas such as love, trust, availability, as well as practical things like playing football, cooking the tea, etc.
- Ask the children: Who was Jesus's dad? This is a trick question, so make sure you get both the answers: Joseph and God. Joseph was Jesus's adopted dad and looked after him, and cared for him while he was on earth - Joseph was a 'great dad'. But Jesus had another 'great dad' too, because Christians believe he was God's son.
Like Jesus, many faiths believe that God is like a parent to us. Sometimes our fathers get things wrong, but God is the perfect parent. He is a really good father and mother to all of us. God will always love us, whatever we do. God never lets us down, and is always there for us. We can trust that God will always care for us, whatever happens.
- Explain that when Jesus taught his friends to call God 'Father', he used the word 'Abba', which means 'Daddy'. Suggest that on Father's Day the children say thank you to both their earthly father and their heavenly father, both of whom are 'great dads'.
Time for reflection
Thank you for our dads, and all they mean to us.
Be very close to those children who don't have dads this weekend.
Help us to remember that you are a 'great dad' for everyone.
Our dads mean a lot to us. Not everyone has a dad living with them but everyone has a dad. Spend a few moments thinking about your dad and what you'd like to do for him on Father's Day.
'The Lord's prayer' (Come and Praise, 51).