5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day As a Church
Love is in the air…Retail stores have quickly changed any leftover Christmas and New Year’s aisles into Valentine’s Day everything. Heart-shaped candy and balloons, pink and red roses, cute stuffed animals holding boxes of chocolates, and the list goes on. On February 14th, people around the world will exchange gifts in the name of love. However, this day can also be unintentionally divisive. While it’s a day of love for many, it may be a day of loss or sadness for others—singles who haven’t met their spouse yet, those who have recently ended relationships, and those who have lost a spouse and find themselves without a valentine for the first time in years. Sometimes churches focus so hard on marriage during this time, that they don’t always consider those in the congregation who may be having a hard time.
So the question is, how can this day be celebrated in a way that is unifying and encouraging to everyone?
We put together a few simple ideas.
1. Host a Community Gathering (No Relationship Status Required)
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to foster community within the church and remind everyone how much they mean to each other and what it means to love one another. This could be a time of prayer, worship, food, and fellowship that will lift people up and bring unity to the group. Maybe this is a simple event such as a potluck dinner, game night, or movie night at your church. After spending some time in fellowship you could set aside time for people to tell stories of how they have received sacrificial love from their community in a time of need. Life is hard, and this is a great way to show how investing in people and building real friendships and communities can change lives. (& here are some graphics for that).
2. Serve Your City Together
Serving your community with your local church is a great way to spread kindness and lend a helping hand to those who are in need. Get a small group together and look for ways to serve your community. You could provide food, clothes, and other necessities for a shelter for women who are coming out of abusive relationships, or write Valentine’s Day letters to senior citizens at a local retirement or assisted living center who may not see their own families that often. Coming together to serve and love your community leaves a lasting impact on everyone. It builds relationships, creates opportunities for spiritual growth, and encourages people to go out into the world and demonstrate God's love with tangible acts of compassion.
3. Give a Message of Love To Your Congregation
Make everyone in your church feel welcomed and loved by giving everyone a little gift as they enter your service (who doesn't love a candygram?). Make it more meaningful by attaching an encouraging verse about love such as 1 John 4:7 or 1 Corinthians 13:13. This is a warm welcome that focuses on God’s love for us and what we are unified in. It can be encouraging to everyone (singles and couples alike), and you could even ask everyone to write an encouraging message on the other side and give that to someone in their life who may not know the Lord, and use that as an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
4. Host A Couples Game Night
We can’t write this article without giving at least some love to our engaged and married couples. You deserve to be celebrated too! This article has some really great ideas for last-minute ideas to celebrate couples at your church, but our favorite idea is to host a couples game night. This is a great opportunity for all couples (newlyweds and veterans alike) to have a fun night out with friends and the community. It’s also a great way to meet other couples that you otherwise wouldn’t run into. This can be as simple as asking everyone to bring their favorite card or board game and then providing snacks and coffee (always) for the night.
End the night with a few couples sharing their story of how they met and what the Lord has taught them through marriage (so far).
If you have the resources, take it a step further and get a list of people who would be willing to babysit that night for couples who have little ones.
5. Focus On What Real Love Is
You probably saw this coming. Although all of the above ideas are great for bringing your community together and making everyone feel loved and appreciated, this day can be about much more than that. It is an opportunity to share a message of what real, true, unfailing love looks like…And that we’re not going to find that anywhere except in Christ. This could be in your sermon on the Sunday before Valentine's Day or a special message on your social media. (Here’s graphics for that).
It’s a time to remember that His sacrificial love is the greatest of all and that we are called to love others in the same way.
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, and what greater or more unifying love is there than the love of Christ? Let’s also take a moment and ask ourselves, how can we love others better, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day?
Find more graphics for Valentine's Day