Church and Large Families

moms of many manage

This week the  4 Moms with 35 Kids are talking about  churches, whether our churches are friendly to large families and some ideas to help a large family fit into a church body.

Our family is a member of a reformed Presbyterian church. Our particular denomination is the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches or CREC.

Our particular church is large family friendly. We don’t receive any criticism when we announce that we’re having another baby and several of the families are larger than average (5-6 children).

In the past our family has been accustomed to Sunday as a time not only to gather as a congregation to worship our God, but also an opportunity to visit with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to encourage one another as we seek to bring every thought captive to God’s Word. We enjoyed the amazing, refreshing iron sharpening iron fellowship of the saints each Sunday and throughout the week as we shared in hospitality with our church family. Our best friends and our children’s best friends were found within our church body.

I think that these types of deep and edifying relationships are what nearly everyone desires. They are beautiful and with a little effort they are possible.

Sometimes when your family is one of the largest in your church you may find that the opportunities to visit and get to know other families are limited because many are uncomfortable or overwhelmed at the idea of inviting a large family to their home.

Here are some things that you can do to attempt to overcome some of these logistic problems in order to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with others in your church family:

  1. Be friendly – If your family wishes to develop relationships make the effort to hang out after the worship service.  It can be a wonderful time to fellowship and visit with others and your dinner will still be there when you get home.
  2. Be the host – The burden for hospitality will usually fall upon you as the large family. You will need to make the effort to invite others into your home if you want to have the opportunity to get to know them. Don’t hesitate, it’s well worth the effort.
  3. Be realistic –  Sometimes, some people don’t have the time or desire for a deeper relationship. Sometimes personalities don’t mesh. So while it’s important to continue to be hospitable to those within your church family, don’t kill yourself trying to build relationships with those who don’t desire them. Sometimes God provides those close, edifying relationships with those outside of our particular congregation.  Be sure to make time to get together and enjoy with those sweet, God-sent friends.
  4. Be available – Obvious, right? If someone invites you over, go and enjoy!

If you have a large family in your church, you will make their year if you  invite them into your home. Here are some tips to help with lack of space and food concerns when hosting a large family:

  1. Remember that large families rarely receive invitations, so if you’re brave enough to invite 12 people to your home, we’re grateful, not picky. Being a large family in a small family world can be lonely, so please reach out.
  2. Don’t have enough plates or utensils? Use paper or ask the large family to bring some of theirs.
  3. Not enough seating? Spread out a blanket and have the kids sit on the floor, let them eat on the coffee table or outside OR have the children sit at the table and let the adults eat in the living room.
  4. Have the large family bring some of the food.
  5. Make an effort to get to know the children. (Don’t worry, no one is offended if you don’t remember all the names.)
  6. We’re not super moms, we’re moms just like you who get overwhelmed, have successes and depend on God’s grace to make it through each day.

Where do you go to church? Is your church large family friendly? Are you?

Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read about their churches:

Headmistress at The Common Room
KimC at Life in a Shoe
Connie at Smockity Frocks

This post is part 3 in the 4 Moms series on church and large families:

Part 1: Getting a Large Family to Church on Time

Part 2: Keeping Little Ones in Worship

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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36 Responses to Church and Large Families
  1. Betsy Cross
    June 2, 2011 | 8:47 am

    We have 9 children and have always gone to church. The Hardest part for us is being a distraction with our fidgeting during “quiet” time. A once-a-month Cookie Night was a tradition with church members and friends before we moved last Sept. We’ll start it at our house because we know how vital socializing is for the singles, those who have large families, and everyone in between. We just open our home from 5-10pm. once a month on a Friday and bake cookies all night while people talk, play board games or movies (the teenagers), or play outside. It’s the most fun event of the month and never gets crazy. We don’t allow smoking or alcohol which makes it a really nice event for all.

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  2. Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox
    June 2, 2011 | 9:32 am

    We have attended the same church for the past 14 years (it’s where we were “born (again!) and raised”. We were expecting #5 when we joined. Our congregation has watched us grow to ten children (and prayed with us through several miscarriages). There were tears of joy when we announced our last baby (he’s 21 months now). We are the largest family, but as most everyone receives children as blessings, others’ are gaining! Our small congregation will welcome a total of 6 babies this year! (We’re gonna grow our church one way or another :)).

    Knowing how intimidating it is to invite a large family, we have become very hospitable; hosting several large gatherings in the summer, plus inviting individuals and families over nearly every week as long as the weather permits (we have a small house!).

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  3. Christie
    June 2, 2011 | 9:41 am

    Our Baptist church is fairly large-family-friendly. So far the largest family is only 5 kids, but there are three families with 5 kids. Our family of 6 has been invited over to many homes, which has shocked me each time. I grew up in a family of 6, and can count on one hand the number of times my family was invited to a home.
    We try to invite families over. I built a bench for our dining room table, which can hold 6 young children. That helps squeeze in a few more people at the table. :-)

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  4. Nicki
    June 2, 2011 | 9:49 am

    Our church is growing into more of a large-family church! There were a couple of 6-kid families, but now we have 5, and another family is expecting their 4th, etc.

    And as another commenter stated, we are a bit of a distraction with our little circus, so we race to get the back row before anyone else!

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  5. amber
    June 2, 2011 | 10:23 am

    We attend an Apostolic Pentacostal Church, UPCI, here in cincinnati, OH. We are the largest family there. One of the senior ladies had seven kids when she was young, she thinks we are nuts for having a large family. She knows first hand the struggle to provide and she had health issues due to the pregnancies. Most people will say they love our kids and how good they are but no one invites us over. We used to host a young marrieds pot luck game night a few years back, then everyone of those couples moved or left our church and got busy in their new churches. It has been lonely these last few years, we really only hang out with family if we do anything. With our 7th child due in the next few weeks I just wonder what will happen from here. After #6 I went through a very hard time, not like depression but stressed. 5 kids, new baby that cried unless I was holding her, and hubby working 2 jobs starting the week I came home from the hospital. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to, to encourage me, to just be there that understood that some days in a large family are, well, hard. I love each one of my kids and pray God gives us many more. I just keep praying for another “like minded” family that understands. It gets lonely sometimes. sorry to be so sad here, I really just needed to get it out.

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    Stephanie Reply:

    I am so sorry, not sure what that I have any advice that would help, I just wanted you to know I prayed for you.

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    Chris Reply:

    Pentecostal churches are famous for being non-family friendly. We attended one briefly and the pastor constantly asked people if they were done. It sickened me. The pastor preached once and talked about how too many kids get in the way of God’s ministry success in your life and how two was good. We were done. Done I tell you.

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    leigh Reply:

    I am sorry Amber…I too am lonely for like minded believing friends. We are raising our 6 yr old grandson….me being 50 and my husband 60 we don’t quite “fit in” with young parents .

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    Katie Reply:

    My husband and I are childless (much to our dismay)in our congregation filled with young families. We too are lonely and long for people who understand our pain. However, God is teaching me that even though others are not in *exactly* the same place we are, we can still bond and carry each others burdens and share each others joys. Please continue to persist in reaching out!

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    elaine foisy Reply:

    Hello Amber,

    I too attend an Apostolic church, in RI. We are on our 6 child and we are currently the largest family in our church. Oh and the only homeschooling family. For quite sometime we would get criticism from a few individuals but over time God has changed the heart of the people. He has sent another like-minded, homeschooling family to the church and people are really on board with out decisions. The Pastor often talks to the congregation about the benefits of homeschooling and how children are a blessing from the Lord. Maybe the tides are changing. You are in my prayers.

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    Carol Reply:

    Amber,
    I was just doing a search relating to Apostolic home schoolers and came across your comment. I would encourage you to check out http://www.ApostolicHomeSchoolers.org. We work to connect families like yours who are longing for fellowship. If you are interested, contact us through this website and we can give you more specifics.

    God Bless.

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  6. Laura
    June 2, 2011 | 10:27 am

    Well, our parish is large fazmily friendly. As Catholics, I think you have to be! As a good friend once said, you can’t preach pro-life, open to life and NOT be welcoming and accepting of lots of kids!
    That said, our parish is made up of many young families. It is a new parish so while there are some 4-5-6 kids families, most parents are young. They haven’t been married long enough to produce lotsa kids! :)
    I understand being lonely. I was just chatting with some friends about being lonely and no one in our extended family understanding what life is like with four closely spaced children. We send our kids to public school and most of the families who think like we do (open to life, conservative, etc) send their kids to parish school or homeschool.
    I like your ideas for being more welcoming and open. I was thinking of starting a family rosary night where families come together, bring snacks and pray the rosary. Kids can pray with us but it will be more relaxed and informal- a good environment for littles to learn prayers.
    We also get together with another family after Mass. We go to a park or indoor playgroud for coffee and donuts. The kids love it, I love learning and sharing with the other parents and we all look forward to it each week.

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  7. Bonnie
    June 2, 2011 | 11:39 am

    Thanks for the tips on hosting large families! We only have 4 children but many of our friends have 4, 6, or even 9! Our dining room table maxes out at a very squished 10, so we’ve often set aside our plans to invite due to lack of space. Thank you for inspiring us to be hospitable to all families…especially the large ones.

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  8. Julie
    June 2, 2011 | 11:57 am

    We travel an hour and a half Sunday morning to attent a CREC church near Houston. As a family of nine it is refreshing to blend in . Not to worry about being asked the question that makes me cringe”Are you done? ” There are closer family friendly churches the CREC doctrine fits us . This is new to our family.So until recent we were the weirdos in the churches we were apart of.How I desired to be with those with the same family convictions. But one danger that has come to view is that large family , children can become an idol in some circles. You become know as so and so with X amount of kids. So the irony that my distaste of the sin of those whom criticized my larger that average family. Now I can see my sin of pride ( which now I feel is worse ) in a larger than average family . I find myself cringeing at the question “You have seven children?” I need to remember I did not create them. They belong to the King of Glory.

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  9. Lauren
    June 2, 2011 | 1:12 pm

    Our family goes to a large baptist church. Most of the families have only 2-3 kids, there are several families with 5-6 and the number of large families seems to be growing. Thanks for the tips on showing hospitality to large families!

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  10. Annie
    June 2, 2011 | 1:34 pm

    Aside from the central part of the post being about inviting large families into our homes and being hospitable, I want to comment on the part of the post where you described your church as being one where you experience wonderful fellowship with those in the Body. I must say that I am so blessed to hear that you are apart of an edifying church. Our Southern Baptist Church is a medium sized congregation with families ranging from 2-3 children. We have a handful with more than 3 but your typical family will have 2.
    I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to open our home to families, mainly young moms, and invite them in for fellowship or a Bible study or just to have lunch only to be turned down again and again. We struggled for a season as to what the Lord would have our family do: stay or go? My husband and I prayed and believed the Lord was wanting for us to stay.
    As my family serves in the church and serves others, we find that there will be those who will accept and those who will reject. My heart yearns for a church where everyone is on fire for the Lord and families are helping families, older women are teaching younger women, etc… Right now I would catagorize our church as prodominatly lukewarm though we pray for a Spirit led revival. Maybe that is why the Lord has called us to stay?
    Anyhow, I just wanted to comment on your church and say how blessed you are!

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    Liz Reply:

    Hi Annie,
    I really resonated with your comments. We only have 2 kids right now but are praying for more. We are also praying for the Spirit to move amongst our church family! There are a number of issues which we feel are not Biblically handled, but we also feel like God wants us to stay where we are right now. I don’t want to air these specifically in public but I would be very interested to know what has led you to consider your congregation lukewarm, and what God has been saying to you about how to move forward.

    blessings,
    Liz

    P.S. not sure if it displays email addresses but mine is lizzikins29@hotmail.com :)

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  11. Emily
    June 2, 2011 | 1:54 pm

    I would agree with the commenter who talked about loneliness. At our church we are accepted as a “large” family (currently expecting #5) and our pastor understands our convictions, although he does not share them. My husband is employed by our church so that adds another element. While most people are accepting of us, they certainly don’t understand us. It is difficult to explain to other believers how we feel and yet letting them know that these are *our* convictions and we certainly don’t judge them or expect them to feel the same. We have NO friends who share our feelings on not using birth control. While this certainly isn’t a core issue for us, and we love all of our friends dearly and always enjoy our time with them, it would just be nice to have some friends who understand us and that we can relate to. It can be disheartening when Christians treat us just like everyone else does, like we are crazy. And I have to agree, that once #4 came along, many people quit inviting us over, it has been difficult to find a small group to be in, and a few of our Christian friends have all but written us off. I suppose that makes me all the more grateful for those who love us no matter what!

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  12. Martha Artyomenko
    June 2, 2011 | 1:59 pm

    One thing I found when I was really lonely to look outside my church group and beyond. There are many other lonely people out there. I know we as moms, often do not have alot of time, but we can use one or two days a month to minister to others, outside our comfort zone and it really helps the loneliness. For me, I volunteered as a MOPS leader. I know many moms in our situations do not like those types of groups where children are separate, but you will not believe how many people started homeschooling, and asking me all sorts of things from me being involved with this. My older children helped with the little ones, and were able to bless others and influence their lives. Volunteering once month at this type of group or at a nursing home, singing, playing piano, being a tray aid, doing the activities with them is very rewarding. They love getting volunteers! I used to do chair exercises once a week and go on their summer picnics, help with getting food for them, just talk with them. They love seeing children…….it helps so much.

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  13. Martha Artyomenko
    June 2, 2011 | 2:02 pm

    I meant to be replying to Amber above….= )
    Anyhow, we are not a large family, but my husband has some mental disabilities and many people are scared to have us over and it hinders me from having people over as I never know if someone will be okay with it. Look for the other outcasts to invite over, the ones with children with disabilities, single mom’s often are forgotten, or the single people without children.

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  14. Cindy Jones
    June 2, 2011 | 4:53 pm

    I am praying for you Amber. I too at times feel left out at our church and right now we only have 4 kids with one on the way from China. We are also told of how well our kids behave but then we are never invited over. I am constantly looking for a place that we fit in as a family.

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  15. (the other) mama olive
    June 2, 2011 | 5:04 pm

    We go to a small “community” church. They do have a Sunday School class for the children, but don’t seem to mind that we don’t use it. We are the only large family attending, but we are loved and welcomed by all. Our founder’s wife is dresses only (as are we), but not headcovering; no one else is either.
    We have a large group of preachers who take turns.
    We’re still moving in, so only invite people over when we are between loads of boxes in the living room. :-)

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  16. Gabe
    June 2, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    We are military, so with moving around quite a bit we’ve had several experiences with different churches. In the past we’ve been in churches that were large family friendly (in fact they had a HUGE impact on our beliefs on family size and homeschooling as we worked through those things in our marriage/family). However, at this assignment we’ve had a hard time finding that locally. Oh sure, they think are kids are sweet and well behaved, but why do they need to stay with us in the church service? Why wouldn’t we want them in Sunday school? We love the people in the church, but we realized the “system” was not cut out for our family. We still attend this church regularly and enjoy fellowship with our friends there however….
    We regularly (once or twice a month) drive 2 1/2 hours to a family integrated church where we have developed some very dear friendships! In the past year this church has been such an encouragement to us while we have not had that locally. We will be moving in a few months, and will miss dear friends from both churches.

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    Christina Reply:

    I agree with Laura. As a member of the Catholic Church, everyone that I know of, in the church, is very welcoming to large families. We have a few families with 7- 9 kids, with many having around 4 or so (at least so far). I have never known of a problem with families feeling welcomed, but I do appreciate all the advice on how I could be more hospitable to larger families. For all those families that are not feeling welcomed in their own church I will continue to pray that you find peace in you place of worship and I am very sorry that not everyone sees children for what they are, blessings from God.

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  17. Michelle
    June 2, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    After much prayer we have decided to leave our church of 2 years in search of a more family friendly church. It is barely tolerated to have your children sit with you in the congregation no matter how well behaved they are and when I wanted my 9 yr old to help in the preschool class with me while I served I was told she wasn’t allowed in there. We have tried so hard to make connections in this church and have been rejected at every turn. So we are visiting a church that is known to be family friendly, especially large family friendly (we are expecting #5 soon). We have been very lonely in the church situation but are grateful for the few like-minded friends we do have that our outside of the church. Anyway, thanks for the ideas on welcoming a large family. And the suggestions for being the large family! Very much appreciated!!

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  18. created2bholy
    June 2, 2011 | 9:49 pm

    This post was so refreshing! My husband and I are expecting our 3rd in 4 years, and have a feeling God has much in store for us down the road. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and have given you an award. Click back to my blog to receive it! http://lifewellloved.blogspot.com/2011/06/thank-you.html

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  19. Dawn@OneFaithfulMom
    June 3, 2011 | 10:34 am

    We attend a very large non-denominational church about 40 minutes from our home. We’ve been there for 13 years now. We have the largest family in the church(10 children), but there are other families with 6 or more. Our pastor and his wife are believers in letting God control family size, while not judging anyone who doesn’t.
    He is an exegetical preacher, and we have learned so much under his teaching.
    For the past 7 years, my husband and I have worked in the Sunday School dept in various roles, and for the past 3 years, we and all our children have taught the first grade SS class. Yes, we had our other children in there with us!! It was great.
    We are taking a break from that this year, and Daddy has decided no more age integration for the kids on Sunday mornings. So we will all be attending worship together at 11, while at 9, ny husband will decide on a family SS class for us to attend. All of our “adult” classes are family friendly, even though we are not labelled a Family Integrated church. I always tell folks, “Our church can be as family integrated as you want it to be.” We have made it totally family integrated for our family. Other families take full advantage of all the various children’s ministries available…and there is very little judgment or questioning of either side!
    I think we are very blessed with our church, and wish everyone could have such a great experience!

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  20. Celee
    June 3, 2011 | 12:33 pm

    When your husband is the pastor, you don’t get to choose your church, it chooses you : ). We didn’t know we were going to have a large family when we came to this church 12 years ago. I don’t think I was particularly large-family friendly. My experience with large families was limited and I was my parent’s only child. As the Lord changed our hearts, and as our family became larger, our church began changing, as well. We are now listed with the NCFIC and I’m blessed to be able to worship with my children and parents. My husband is the one who feels the most alone. He doesn’t fit too well with most denominations. We’re baptist because we’re credobaptists and dunk, though we don’t feel as strongly about that as many in our congregation. My husband would love to be OPC and may begin the ordination process. Then he would be an OPC ordained pastor of a Reformed Southern Baptist Church. I bet that would be a first! We love our church family and are blessed to be part of a multi-church Reformed fellowship in our city. I look forward to the evenings we worship with these other churches and my husband gets to sit with us! When we combine with these two other churches there are many of us large homeschooling families. It’s a lot of fun. God has really blessed us.

    Celee

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  21. Kandi
    June 3, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    Over the years we have attended 4 Apostolic UPCI churches. All have been wonderful. After our 3rd, we adopted 2 older children bringing us to 5. I am 40, my husband 48 next month and we are a few weeks away from our 6th child at home. I have never felt unwelcome. I do recognize that we don’t get those invites like others, but we make up for it by inviting others over. We always hang out after service and visit and get to know others in the church. When it happens that we are around for any projects, like church cleaning or yard work, everyone is grateful when we are there, it usually doubles the numbers of hands available! I won’t allow anothers opinion of my family to affect my participation. I am not sure what you consider a ‘large’ family, but we have been the largest at each church we attended. Ihave been asked when we were stopping and my reply is the same, “when God is done, we are done”. You have to make your mind up to not let others opinions determine your mood. You are not responsible for their attitude or actions, just your own.

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  22. Brandi C.
    June 3, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    We attend a small Idependent Fundamental Baptist church. We drive about 45 minutes to get there “whenever the doors are open”

    Our church sees children for the blessings that they are. The largest families, currently have only 5 children, but there are many families who are very open to letting the LORD control their family size.

    Some families keep their children with them at all times, other families use the nursery, Sunday School classes, and/or children’s church. Sunday evening service and Wednesday night is always family integrated except for the nursery.

    Most of the families homeschool, some public school. Some of the families are skirts only, some only wear skirts at church.

    There is always fellowship, before, after, and in between church services. It’s nothing for us to stay at church talking for hours after the service has ended and then all end up getting coffee after that. Our pastor says that our fellowship is just as important to the church as the church service itself.

    We are very happy to attend this church, its worth the drive. But so much more than being with like-minded families, its the growth that DH and I have had while attending. Its the edification and encouragement that our family has recieved.

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  23. Mommy learning as I go!
    June 4, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    God is so good to put the right things in my path when I need them! We are expecting our 4th baby with our oldest only 4. We are odd ducks in our extended family and our church. We always get those comments..”you know what causes that right?” etc. We are just now feeling God lead us to visit other churches and has showed us to take our blinders off! There are other wonderful Christians we can fellowship and grow relationships with other than where we are and be happier and spiritualy more blessed as a family as well. I have been praying also for other “like minded” families to grow friendships with and share encouragment with. Thats why I go to these blogs, its the closest I get to other moms like me. Its a blessing! So glad to read the comments and see we are not alone! In addition to growing a larger family we also homebirth and homeschool so we really get looked at like we have a third eye as it seems many of you experience. God Bless all of you for your Faith in Our Lord and living out His will in your lives!

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  24. Jill
    June 5, 2011 | 1:38 am

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re also known as LDS or Mormon. Our church is very supportive of large families which I am thankful for.

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  25. Penelope
    June 7, 2011 | 8:18 am

    I think in our hurried world, too many folks are neglecting the practice of hospitality. Add in the apparent intimidation of inviting a one-family crowd, the invitations are few indeed.

    We have also learned to open our own home more to others, with the hope of eventually having over every family in our church, one or two at a time. It works well to invite two families that normally wouldn’t be in the same circles to enjoy enabling them to get to know each other as well as us as the hosting family. The variety of conversation with 3 families present is surprising and refreshing, too.

    We live in the Knoxville, TN, area and are very pleased with the growing number of large families and encouraging, biblical fellowship we are enjoying at Basswood Baptist, formerly SBC and now reformed. Basswood is also family-integrated, but that is not the primary focus, Jesus is.

    I appreciated the remarks about being careful not to develop a pridefulness as being a mother of many, when finally finding sanctuary out of churches where you had been an oddball and the butt of jokes and other barbs (we endured that for years).

    I am unnerved sometimes how younger moms look up to me, but it challenges me to seek the Lord’s wisdom in encouraging them and mothers of few in where they are in their journey with God. It also drives me to always be thinking of how to make my home and backyard more hospitable, because mothers with just littles hunger for those invitations, too.

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  26. Audrey
    June 13, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    We attend a non-denominational church that we love. It has one large family (of 7 children) and most others are between 2 and 4 children. I am pregnant with my third (was not yet pregnant when we found our church) and our church body is SO receptive to little ones. There are four moms who are pregnant right now and not only do they throw fantastic baby showers, but they go out of their way (at retreats and gatherings–even just at church services sometimes) to pray for the pregnant mommies and babies. The kids program is fantastic, the workers are so incredible–our church is very receptive to children in general and genuinely holds them in high regard, and they know that children are a blessing. It is SO nice! My old church was great, but the largest family was probably a family of 5 children (blended family), and the average family size was the typical 2-3 children. The childrens ministry really struggles because no one ever wants to volunteer to help in that department, and in the church, children are to be seen and not heard. We still go to visit at times (even though we moved away and have a new church, it IS the church we grew up in), and we get plenty of “Don’t you know what causes that?” and “Boy, how many kids ARE you going to have?!” type of comments…. and I’m only pregnant with our third! We had two girls first and are pregnant with a boy now, and people at our old church are assuming we’re done…. it’s nice to belong to a church where people ask, but when we say probably not, they are very excited for us.

    I’m also very excited that our new church has another family who is trusting God with their family size (they have 7 children so far). It is not a popular choice in this area of the country (the only family I’ve met that has made this decision is my aunt and her husband, but she lives in the south–I live in the northwest), and this family has been such a blessing to us–they’ve allowed us into their lives to see how they manage and run, and she is an incredible Titus 2 woman–she’s an open book and is happy to answer any questions I have about large families (as mine is just getting started!).

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  27. Natalie
    June 21, 2011 | 4:19 pm

    I am so glad to read the article and also all the comments. We are expecting our 6th, and we’ve also been shunned by extended family and have a difficult time fitting in at the churches we’ve visited. Our children are homeschooled and quite sensitive in the ways they look at the world compared to other children who are used to being in a “system-set” world (with school, television, etc.). Our younger children are looked upon as “disabled” when they have taken Sunday school classes, vacation Bible classes, or even during the Community Bible classes because they have a much more open and innocent look at the world around them. I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one out there who is being “rejected” by Christians. I miss our old Baptist church down South for the Christian love and fellowship that they gave us…we were always invited to church dinners, etc. Here, we have the largest family, and we’re quite “excluded” by any activities (we always find out about them after they happened). I wish there was a website with a list of churches who love big families. We are currently non-denominational but are open to Baptist, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches.

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  28. Liz
    July 18, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    How interesting to read all these comments. I find it a real struggle to be gracious to people who question what we are doing. The funny thing is, we only have 2 kids (so far)! But we keep them in the Sunday service with us, and we are beginning homeschooling this September. I was nervous about telling people were are homeschooling, but generally that has been okay, and people for the most part have been politely curious (if not in harmony with our values!).

    The thing I am struggling with now is the idea of having more. We want more, but I’m not sure how our church would handle it! There are 2 or 3 families with 3-4 kids in our 200-member church, but most families don’t want more than 2. Of course they love their kids, but the prevailing attitude seems to be that the kids are in the way, and people cannot understand why we would want our kids in with us. They think Sunday School (which runs at the same time as the worship service) is the only place for kids to learn about Jesus (maybe that’s the problem – kids should be able to learn *about* Jesus but not get to know Him??); I have even been approached and asked to take my son out. We were under great pressure to put our 4-year-old daughter in Sunday school, even though (at the time) one of the leaders wasn’t a believer.

    Okay rant over. But prayers greatly appreciated! We need God’s wisdom on how to proceed.

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