Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community

Spiritual journey

Nancy Rowe from St George's Church, Canada and her church have been growing people from their Messy Church using 'A Spirited Study'. Nancy writes:

Nancy Rowe in Georgetown, Canada, writes about her church's group formed to help people go deeper in faith:

Our thoughts on discipleship continue. Here is the summing-up that I wrote after recent discussions with people wiser than I am. By no means the end of the story but another step on it.

We are coming to see that discipleship in the Messy Church context is about some of the following:

Last week I had a bit of a quiet day to reflect on discipleship in the messy context. This is what I shared with Jane and the rest of the BRF Messy Church team. As ever, work in progress rather than definitive answers:

Well obviously it's plagiarism but with any luck, blatant enough to be acceptable. We're going to try out a series of 60-second 'testiomonies' in our Messy Church, based around physical objects, with the idea that personal stories give the congregation something easy to respond to and ponder on and relate faith to everyday life.

An interesting query on the website and I found myself writing at length, probably incoherently but here we go:

'Hi, and congratulations on an innovative idea. I understand the ethos of Messy Church but wondered whether the broader longer-term aim was to integrate the members of Messy Church into the mainstream activities of the 'mother' church, i.e. Sunday school for the children and Sunday worship and midweek Bible study etc. for the adults. If not, how will those that attend Messy Church develop and grow their understanding of Church and being a Christian?'

I'm just back from the Fresh Expressions Associate Missioners' Conference. Lots to ponder and unpack, but for starters, it really is a good thing that Messy Church is so closely tied to Fresh Expressions: it gives us a deeper pool of wisdom to draw on than just Messy Church (check out the FE website for starters) and it gives Fresh Expressions a huge pool of practitioners to see in action on one particular form of fresh expression.

One discussion the regional coordinators had at the Round Table in September was about the value of small talk at Messy Church. One person even went so far as to say it can be sacramental and should be valued as such.

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