This is a great way for Dad’s to get an opportunity to have a fun outing with their daughter(s). A great time to do an event like this is a few weeks before Valentines Day. It makes the girls feel really special. A similar event can be run with Mothers and sons. (Another possible time in the calendar could be around Mother’s or Father’s Day-a nice twist from the typical seasonal banquets those times of year.) We give the room a festive, party atmosphere with bright, colorful balloons at each table.
The Fathers are to bring with them:
> Their daughter(s) who are in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
> Any size and shape of cake that is already baked (just 1 per family).
> All the supplies they need to decorate their cake. Be creative.
Encourage the kids to go beyond the typical cake decorating supplies and use even various candies, almost as one would in a gingerbread house contest.
Each Father/Daughter team has 1 hour to decorate their cake. After they have finished, each team has their picture taken with a Polaroid camera so they have an instant momento for the evening and a gift for them from the Children’s Ministry Department. Some years we have also created a souvenir photo mat in which to insert the evening’s picture.
Next, each team then decides which category they would like to enter their cake in. Four extra tables are set up and labeled ahead of time, one for each of the following categories:
> Most Colorful
> Most Unique
> Most Creative
> Best All Around.
Each team will then take their cake and set it on the table designated for the category into which they wish to enter. You may wish to make up number tags ahead of time or have a person to number the cakes as they are put on the category tables. Once all the cakes are on one of the four category tables, each team of Fathers/Daughters go around to all four tables and judge the cakes. Since each cake is numbered, they vote for their favorite cake in
each category by writing down the number of the cake and turning it in.
We then tally all the votes and have the Cup Cake awards ceremony. A special cupcake, apron with the event and date on it, and huge candy bar are given to the winning team in each category. Of course, each team participating also has their own decorated cake and photo memento to take home as well as some very fond memories!
In promoting the event, some consideration is needed in the case of single mom homes. We promoted the event through a sign up sheet at the church information center, snail mail postcards, and email. A special note was included for those whose daughter wished to attend but needed an adoptive father for the evening, and another relative such as an uncle or grandfather were not available. The parent was to contact the children’s ministry department in advance. You may wish to have a place to check on the form to
avoid being contacted last minute. For this situation, the single parent is still responsible to provide the attending daughter with her cake and decorating supplies. Arrangements were then made by the Children’s Ministry Department for an adoptive father from someone who has already been legally cleared as safe to work with children, such as a deacon, or a present children’s ministry leader. We had several men become adoptive fathers for the evening, and they had a blast.
Remember, you can also do this same events for Moms/Sons! It is a great and easy way to provide your parents and children with a memorable, relationship-building experience!
(This idea was spurred from an article by Verda Rubottom called, Family Friendly Ministry. The above details are how Pastor Scott created and ran the event in his own church.)
by Scott Raney, Children’s Pastor