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Anyone belong to a Foursquare church?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this goes here, but it's not really a spirituality question.

I'm asking because I'm looking at putting my boys in a preschool associated with a Foursquare church and I'm wondering if I will be subject to proselytizing. I am also worried that there will be messages I strongly disagree with in the classroom, but I can figure that out when I go in.

So I guess I'm asking if trying to convert non-members is a major tenet of Foursquare religion? Hope that makes sense!
post #2 of 8
Eh, well...it depends on the church. Some are really into the preaching to others, some are not. I personally don't have very much experience with Four Square but after reading about their beliefs system have decided it's not a good match for us.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK, that's good to know. They have something about "soul winning being the one big business" on their website, and that's what's got me worried. I know it's not the church for me (no such thing), but the preschool is very convenient, has a small class, and the director seems great from the email conversation I've been having with her.

BUT, I also am concerned about the biblical marriage stuff they have on their website, and whether they'll try to indoctrinate my kids or convert me. Not that they don't have every right to do so, it's their preschool, after all!
post #4 of 8
Could you ask the director?

My daughter attended a Methodist-run preschool, and while we are Christian, we aren't Methodist. I talked to the director about it. As it turned out, the religious-ness was along the lines of "Jesus loves me", golden rule stuff, and celebrating Christian holidays. Very generic. No effort at converting DD or me, no theologizing, no church-related requirements, etc.

I believe that 4 Square is a very conservative, fundamentalist religion. You might want to inquire about their discipline policies.
post #5 of 8
Moved to Spirituality
post #6 of 8
I am not (and never was) foursquare BUT I have an extremely fundamentalist conservative Christian background.

IME, most churches, even the hardcore one, do not go Fred Phelps on the littles, especially when they are trying to make money off the parents. So while, yes, that congregation may very well hear anti-marriage equality and anti-"homosexual agenda" and dominionist messages on Sunday, by and large people totally shield their young children from ALL references to sexuality. So they're likely not going to be preaching against gay people to 3 and 4 year olds, they don't want them to know they exist. Will they tell the kids they'll go to hell? I doubt it.

But here's the thing. Part of preschool is also socialization, and there will be a high percentage of kids in that class that likely DO hear their parents talking about stuff in the news, ect. If you have, say, a rainbow sticker or a darwin fish on your car--your family may be ostracized or seen as a "project". I say MAY because some groups are not like that. But it could happen.

I too put my kids in a preschool run by a church, for much of the same reasons you cite. Small classes, great environment, minutes from my doorstep. However, before I put down my money I attended several church services to gauge things, read backissues of the church newsletter, ect. As it turns out, most children at that preschool do NOT go to the church (I don't even think the director ever was a member, not sure about that though). They do not have an evangelism-through-all-things-associated-with-us approach in a formal sense (though of course, as a Christian, you're supposed to be an ambassador at least 24/7, so in a round about way they do I guess).

But because of my background, I NEEDED to get a feel for the church associated with the school. I felt at home and comfortable with that preschool program. But I ended up dropping a mom's group because of the church they met at and some of the things that I observed during the child care portion. I think this is something you have to judge on a case by case basis.

But I would say, if you attend two services and look around a bit and feel uncomfortable, I would not send my child there. For two reasons--because there very well may be some values crossover into the preschool, but also if they are doing things that you don't feel are ethical or represent values you believe in, why would you help fund that?

It could work, and I would not automatically say no. I think even if you hate church it's one of those things you'll get the most info from if you actually go there once or twice, and see if it's a welcoming, gentle, respectful place. And you can ask if the preschool is considered a ministry or is it run separately.

Anyway, that's what worked for me. I was so close to not enrolling my kids because I was extremely damaged and gunshy at the time. But I'm glad I went to the service, talked to the pastor, talked to the director, and I felt comfortable there. It ended up being a great experience, I have no regrets, even though I have some doctrinal disagreements with that particular church they are good, sweet, respectful folks.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the thoughtful post, Tigerchild! You really helped me solidify my feelings on it. And, I have to say, after looking over their website and their "core values", that I can't contribute to their cause.

Their discipline system sounds great, they're cheap, they're small, but if my money is going to go towards fighting gay marriage and I can stop it, I will. So I guess that's that! Onto the other schools in the search!
post #8 of 8
I know you've made your decision, but for anyone else reading this, the other thing to consider is not only their core values, but their core teachings. I would never be comfortable, for example, sending my child to a program where the church believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

We had a parent in our church preschool (we're liberal Lutheran church) who was looking through our church's children's library for books on dinosaurs "that didn't say that the world was millions of years old." I had to gently explain to her that our denomination didn't interpret the Bible that way and that we were perfectly comfortable with the notion that the world was millions of years old. She was a bit taken aback. She left the preschool when we hired a gay pastor - clearly our program wasn't a good fit for her core values.
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