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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Don’t have enough plates or utensils? Use paper or ask the large family to bring some of theirs.
- 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.
- Have the large family bring some of the food.
- Make an effort to get to know the children. (Don’t worry, no one is offended if you don’t remember all the names.)
- 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:
This post is part 3 in the 4 Moms series on church and large families:
Part 2: Keeping Little Ones in Worship
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.