August holidays can be a good time to step back from the push and shove of routines and do a little reflecting. It’s also for many of us in Messy Church a month off without the urgency of a new session to plan, crafts and activities to prepare, a story to write, a meal to buy for. So, before these lazy days disappear, here are my messy summer reflections - some of the reasons I want to say thank you for Messy Church:
There’s been some comment recently in the press and on social media about church planting. It’s been in the context of the undeniable need for the church to find ways to retell the gospel afresh in our increasingly secular, post-Christian western world. The articles have however highlighted just one particular approach in the UK to such church planting.There are of course many different models for helping to grow the Kingdom of God and one way isn’t necessarily better or worse than another.
We mustn’t underestimate the challenge of running a Messy Church. This isn’t just about putting on an event every now and then, which in itself would be demanding enough, but it’s about leading a pioneering form of church for which there is little precedent!
Messy church leaders are courageous people, often working in the dark, one step at a time, and juggling a variety of important pressures that include:
It has been great to visit Messy Churches up and down the country and get a feel for what God is doing through Messy Church. Great things are happening and I am sure there are greater things to come! Some of these great things include what is going with the teenagers who are involved with Messy Churches. I have heard testimonies from young people who say that Messy Church is giving them the chance to share their faith with others. Messy Church is giving young people the chance to evangelise and draw people into a deeper faith in God. How fantastic is that?
The following reflection and discusion starter comes as a result of some conversations at our recent Regional Co-ordinators' Round Tables and also from a seminar on Messy Church in Sweden. Each of the following definitions of church contains some truth and reflects the range of churchmanships and traditions among Christians down the ages up to the present day. But where does Messy Church sit in all this?
Record of discussions from
The 2nd Godly Play/Messy Church Conversation Day
2nd September 2014
held at St Bertelin’s Church, Stafford
Following the interest in the first Godly Play/Messy Church conversation day which was held in London in June, a second gathering was planned in the Midlands.
There were 28 delegates in total, most of whom were Godly Play practitioners and/or leaders in Messy Churches, although there were a few who had very little experience of either. Our furthest travelled participant came from the north of Scotland!
Feedback from the second conversation day
Following the interest in the first Godly Play/Messy Church conversation day which was held in London in June, a second gathering took place last month in the Midlands.
The day was facilitated on behalf of Godly Play by Kathryn Lord who is a Godly Play trainer based in Sheffield; the chair of the Godly Play Trust, Alison Summerskill; Lucy Moore and Martyn Payne from the BRF Messy Church team; and Cerys Hughes who is the Messy Church Adviser for Lichfield Diocese.