4 Moms talk about church

4 Moms 35 Kids answer questions about big families

Welcome to 4 Moms.  It’s Thursday again and the 4 of us are talking about church.  Some of you have been wondering what kind of church we attend, and how friendly they are to our personal convictions and large families.

One of Kimberly’s readers asked, “I’m curious about the kind of churches you all attend.  We are protestant and can’t seem to find a church that teaches or even accepts our convictions about birth control. Do you all go to churches where there are other large families or do you just accept the differences?”

There are no easy answers to these questions, but I can share our own experience and reasoning.

Our family attends a CRE congregation, where we have been members for about 6 years.  It’s an hour drive, and we drive past many other congregations of Christian brothers and sisters on our way.  We spend a lot of money on gas and put a lot of miles on our van, but we believe it’s worthwhile to be in fellowship with like-minded believers whenever possible.

That’s not to say we never associate with others who disagree with us – we have friends in our home almost weekly who don’t agree with us or each other on many points of doctrine.  Even at our church, not everyone thinks or walks in lock-step agreement on every point.  Our large family is welcome there and in good company, though not all the families are large.  Homeschoolers are in good company, though not every family in our group homeschools.

We chose to worship with this congregation because we are likeminded on the issues that are most important to us and while it is not insignificant, our position on birth control is not what we consider a core issue.  Nor are homeschooling, large families, skirt-wearing, or other such outward signs of inward convictions…Instead, they seem to flow out of other issues.

Families worship as families in our church, and Sunday school is age-integrated.  This is important to us, so we are thankful to worship with Christian brothers and sisters who agree.  Our church baptizes infants of believing parents, welcoming them as communing members.  This, too, is a priority to us.

There have been times when we didn’t know of any like-minded congregations within driving distance.  In these cases, we worship with the Christian brothers and sisters around us as we are able, trusting that our worship is pleasing to God and seeking encouraging fellowship where we can find it – in the company of local Christian brethren, online, in visits to long-distance family and friends, etc.

The other moms are talking about it too:


Upcoming topics for June:

  • June 9
  • June 16 – Homeschooling the challenging child
  • June 23 – Q&A
  • June 30

Recent topics:

  • May 26 – 4 Moms Q&A: toothbrushes, internet filters, taming the stuff monster
  • May 19 – 4 Moms try to lose the baby weight
  • May 12 – 4 Moms practice hospitality, and YOU are invited!
  • May 5 – 4 Moms talk about you-know-what
  • April 28 – 4 Moms Q&A: sleep, exercise, and making do with one bathroom
  • April 21 – Large families & church, part 2: keeping them quiet
  • April 14 – Eating inexpensively on the road
  • April 7 – 4 Moms teach history
  • March 24 – Large families & church, part 1: getting there on time
  • March 17 – Bread baking linky
  • March 10 – Spring cleaning
  • March 3 – Books for early readers
  • February 24 – 4 Moms Q&A: my first audio blog on potty training and more
  • February 17 – Individual time with children: scary stuff here.  Just kidding.  Let go of the guilt.
  • February 10Cooking with little ones without losing your sanity
  • February 3 –Teaching reading, because it’s so much easier than teaching them to use the toilet.  Do not request a 4 Moms post about potty training, do you hear me?
  • January 27 – Q&A: Must-have baby equipment and other nitty gritty stuff
  • January 20 – Top 10 Books for Preschoolers
  • January 13 – Soups and Stews
  • January 6 – Teaching Bible
  •  

    Comments

    1. You were in my dream last night. You and your 4 oldest had come up to Canada for a trip and you made us some angel food cake for breakfast…lol, don’t ask. 🙂

    2. I always enjoy your 4 Moms posts, Kim.

      Are you taking ideas for your next Thursdays that are blank? Potty training!! I know, I know, you’ve mentioned it a bit before, but I’d love to hear more ideas….

      I’m about to start pt with our #7 and despite being an “experienced” mom at this, it’s still one of my least favorite “mom” jobs and I’m always up for new ideas. (like sending her to grandma for the week??)

      Also, I love it when you share the love and post a Linky!!! Are you doing one again soon??

    3. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I am a pastors wife. We homeschool our children and also have a large family. Here in the north east there is not a church on every corner. Finding a church to attend can be difficult but I believe that God calls us to serve in our local communities.

      We have had people drive an hour to attend our church and it just doesn’t work ( most of the time). Distance, time, money, all play a part in most of these families giving up the travel and finally leaving. ( which can be devestating for a small church)

      I agree with Reneta. Church is NOT about US. It is not what we can get out of it but what we bring to it. We have lost that. So many people now make church all about themselves and forget that there are lost people out in their communities who are in need of a savior.

      I have seen families tare each other a part because they disagree on convictions. As Christians we need to live in harmony with one another and NOT make our convictions absolutes. Some of the most judgmental families in our church have been homeschool families who want to make the other congregants feel bad for not following their convictions. This leads to division!

      “Like minded” has become a sour tasting word in my mouth. I used to pray that God would send like minded people into my life. I soon found out that like minded people want you to believe everything that they believe. If you don’t, then some how you are less of Christian!

      Just like the secular world the Christian world has trends and fads. Some are good and some are not. Let’s make sure we are following Christ and not a formula. Let’s raise our children to love people and to share the message of salvation with a world that is in great need of this message. Let’s be accepting of those who don’t share our convictions.

      I hope this comment does not come across in a negative light. Being in ministry full time allows me to see the good, bad and the ugly. My fear is that churches will become a thing of the past if we continue to sit on our hands as we church shop for the perfect church. It doesn’t exist.

    4. My family is the odd one at our church but for different reasons. My husband is Jewish and I am Christian raising our child in both faiths. We had to deal with finding two places of worship that we find comfortable, as we attend each twice a month. To my surprise, finding a temple was the easy part. Overall, the faith is so welcoming of all, including children in services. I even get comments on how wonderful it is that we include our daughter in services. Love our temple! We are still searching for that really great church, but attend one that is suitable for now.

    5. “Our church baptizes infants of believing parents, welcoming them as communing members.”

      Where is the like button?!

    6. I too am wondering about the infant baptism. Like the reader above stated, I have always seen it as an outward expression of when a person makes an internal spiritual decision. I am wondering what your beliefs are on this issue. Is this just like a baby dedication thing, or is it considered their baptism and salvation? Also what scripture you have. Thank you so much for being open and putting yourself and your beliefs out there. I love your blog and enjoy reading it. Hope you have a blessed day.

    7. Great post. I think no matter where you worship you will find people who agree & disagree with you on different issues – just as God places different things on different people’s hearts. The most important issue of course is are they teaching from the Bible – without adding or taking away from it.
      Our church is a wonderful, Bible teaching congregation that accepted us with open arms when we moved down here. However we certainly at times still find it frustrating when there are people there who will challenge us on different issues (such as keeping our children in instead of sending them out to creche during the service). We are the only ones who homeschool & who are quiverful minded and I know there are people who completely disagree with it, but we fit in because they are such a welcoming, accepting congregation. I think it’s important to remember we don’t attend church for what we can get out of it, but rather what we can give.
      Great topic & I look forward in reading what the other ladies have to say as well
      Blessings
      Renata:)

    8. We currently drive 2 1/2 hours once or twice a month to a family integrated church that we love. The other weeks we go to a local church. We are military and will be moving soon, so this is a temporary situation, but something we had to do. I’m used to being “odd” out in the “world” enjoying being a homemaker, homeschooling my kids and having many of them! However it was getting so hard being “odd” at church too, a place that I should have been able to find rest and fellowship!

    9. I agree with Sally. I’d like to know your beliefs regarding infant baptizism.

    10. I too was interested in hearing of the importance of infant baptism. I have always understood baptism to be an outward expression of one’s inward spiritual dicision to be re-born in Christ Jesus. How can an infant make that dicision? Or is it just symbolic and then they are baptized later as well?

      • Infant baptism is based on the understanding that the children of believing parents are sanctified or set apart, meaning they are a part of His people. I Cor. talks about this.
        Ezekiel also quotes God when He says that His people bore children to Him – i.e. the children of His people are His children.
        That doesn’t mean that they get a free ticket to heaven, but it does mean that they are full members of the church and as such they receive the same outward mark: baptism.
        Also, since baptism in many ways replaced circumcision in the New Testament as the mark of the covenant, the followers of Jesus at the time probably would have understood and assumed that it was to be applied to infants as well as adults.

    11. I just wanted to say thank you for such a timely post. We had attended a church for 7 years. I was pregnant with our third when we started. We just had our 7th and it seemed to bring about much discussion as to why we were still having children. I started to feel a little out of place. Our children sit with us in church and our oldest didn’t go to youth group. And so began our search for something else. Your posts have generated much thought and emotion. I just wonder should we go back and just be different or keep searching. I have come to the conclusion that a large family will be different anywhere these days. Thank you so much for sharing your life challenges, struggles and blessings!

    12. Do you mind giving a quick explanation of your beliefs regarding infant baptism?

    13. I was wondering for the next time you guys answer reader questions if someone could answer this one; what if anything do you guys do to help the kids keep occupied in the summer? Is there anything in particular you keep on hand to aid them and help them keep themselves busy yet learning and such? I know it may be the same as the rest of the year because you homeschool, but wanted to check anyways. We are thinking about homeschool, but my hubby is hesitant still and I’m just really praying about it, that if it’s what is supposed to happen that my hubby will have a change of heart. We also have a babe with some major medical issues so things have been a bit nuts, but I’m determined that we will have some semblance of structure and learning and such going on this summer. I’m also working on fostering respect for each other and helping them relearn how to care for and be friends with each other. Thanks for your thoughts and time!

    Don't just think it: say it!

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