19 Kids And Counting Life Behind The Scenes: What Is the Duggars' Church Like?
By James Lam
The following is from Proverbs Mama, a blogger whose family attends church with the Duggars:
I know plenty of Duggar fans who would very much like to know what it's like to go to church with them. Because others have posted something about it, I thought Proverbs Mama might share the story as well.
At this time, they are meeting in an empty store front type place. The inside is very simple. I would imagine you could honestly say it is an Acts kind of church. Concrete floor, mismatched seating, paper plates for bathroom signs, broken podium...we love it!!! Jesus Followers of old didn't have fancy, mega-churches. : ) We love the decor! You can now add really rough looking pews from a flood inside the building as the roof leaks. Fun!
Someone at some point while you are there will let you know that this church does NOT accept the government's tax status. This gives them freedom that many churches do not have. Praise God!
There is no real preacher. Sometimes, certain men in the church will share something that God has put on their hearts. Other times, there might be a special speaker or missionary. Still other times, the congregation will go through seminars together that teach Biblical life principles. The church has three elders, one of which is Jim Bob Duggar.
Anna is even sweeter and more friendly in person than on t.v. She is a lovely, beautiful young mom with a very sweet spirit.
Before Josh and Anna moved to Washington D.C., Proverbs Mama says that Anna Duggar would always be one of the first people to greet newcomers, while Josh was usually found setting up to lead worship. According to Proverbs Mama, Josh did an "amazing job leading worship" and had "such a loud voice, no fancy microphone [was] needed."
Obviously, this changed. Josh's family moved away. It could be any number of nice people in there who will greet you when you come in. It is rather informal as to who sets up as you never know who will be there when, but it all gets done. Most everyone pitches in somehow.
Proverbs Mama says that when Josh was the worship leader, he took the time to "get everyone REALLY thinking about what the song [was] saying." She also says that Josh did a fabulous job leading the young children in songs like King of the Jungle, Jesus Loves Me, and This Little Light of Mine.
The church recently finished Bill Gothard's Basic Seminar and is now working through the Advanced Seminar.
It is nice they do this so that others in the church can get a feel for the ATI programs. Again, the dads are welcome to share. They always have a Testimony time for everyone to share, and it is not only the men that participate in this. Many a time, Grandma Duggar will have something wonderful to share!
The families here are beautiful people. These are folks who truly just want to serve the Lord and raise their children to do the same. You'll see a family with 21 children who sit up front and behave amazingly well. The Duggars sit in the back generally, and we like that too. When someone is as popular and in a leading position, it is always nice to see them put themselves in the back seats and not be on display as if important. Well done, Duggars.
Their little ones, for the most part, are very well behaved in church. We know this is probably due to Michelle's blanket training. Now, that does not mean ALL of the kids in church sit like little statues and never make a peep. Pretty much in all services, you're going to hear little ones making the noises that little ones do, and, it's really not a big deal at all. All through the service, well....you had just better be a parent who is used to tons of noise if you want to hear what is going on! We absolutely love this. The children are allowed to be normal children, and that's just fine with everyone. : ) If they get too crazy, someone will eventually take them outside to just RUN!!! So fun!
It is worth noting that this church will not pass around a collection plate for you to fill, by the way. They also do not embarrass new people by putting them on display. Very nice.
After church, they won't let you escape without eating and fellowship! If you try to get to your vehicle, they are going to sweet talk you into staying for sure and for certain. Besides, you can't get out anyway. There are babies all over the place! : ) So, you stay and eat. You do get an invitation to eat, of course, before you try to run away. They encourage guests to go first, which is always nice. You will see the children line up next, the adults eat when they can. It is a very wonderful time of fellowship. Most of the older Duggar children are friendly and will make small chat with you. The younger ones are much more shy.......can you say normal??? Everyone, for the most part, is super nice and friendly in this group. You'll meet lots of nice people who feel like family from the very beginning.
ALL are welcome to have fellowship in this church. There are many visitors at all different times. However, I did put a few guidelines down below just in case someone might think about going....
Who do we think might really enjoy this church?
If you believe that children are a blessing and trust God with your fertility, this is for you.
If you homeschool and believe it is God ordered to do so, this is for you.
If you are serious about raising children who love the Lord, this is for you.
If you believe in dressing modestly, this is for you.
If your family is your first ministry in life, this is for you.
If you are a dad who has given up career goals for your precious family, this is for you.
If you want a simple church that is not like the worldly churches of today, this is for you.
Who do we think would not really "enjoy" this church?
...those who believe children should be entertained by teachers instead of staying with their parents in church.
...those who do not see children as a blessing. (Seriously, please don't go if you don't like children....we had one horribly hateful experience with a woman like this and it really hurt our youngest child.)
... those who just want to go to stare at the Duggars! (1. That's rude. 2. They are absent a lot during filming season.)
...those who want fancy churches, business connections, or even comfortable seats!
...those who have a worldly family only out to gain what the world offers.
... those who are not serious about raising a family that follows Christ in ALL things.
Overall, it's a nice little place to be. Whether you come for a visit or choose to stay awhile, I'm sure you'll make a friend or two. While we are not always there these days (other ministry going on!), we would love to meet you. No matter where you are, though, please do find a church body that you can fellowship with. It is so good to have that like-minded connection in Christ.
(source: a post from Duggar Family Blog)