Should Churches Participate in April Fool’s Day?

Toyota, in the guise of a baptismal font recall, was the target of my church’s annual April Fool’s Day stunts. (I’ve covered some of these parodies before.) April Fool’s Day usually falls during Lent and in 2010 it was on Holy Thursday. Is it appropriate for a church to celebrate April Fool’s Day during Lent?

Baptismal Font with Unintended Acceleration from StCharlesChurch.org
Baptismal Font with Unintended Acceleration from StCharlesChurch.org

Yes.

Our goals:

  • Increase traffic to the site.
  • Show that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • Give members of the community a reason to share the church’s web address with others. It’s difficult for some to overtly evangelize, but sharing a link to a funny site makes it a lot easier.

We’ve met all of those goals the past several years.

At the same time, we’ve focused on spoofs and parodies rather than outright tricks that could legitimately fool someone. You don’t want newcomers showing up for a non-existent event because they weren’t in on the joke, especially during Lent. It’s a balancing act, but based on the traffic and feedback it’s been worth it for us.

Would your church consider putting on a stunt for April Fool’s Day?

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