I received some feedback about the website last week so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight all the amazing stuff Messy Church has to offer. The team have been very busy recently with various projects, which we definitely don't want you to miss out on.
Here are the top five items that you should definitely take a look at:
Exciting news! New Regional Coordinator for New Zealand, Debbie Smith, has a Messy Church website for New Zealand! Messy Church continues to grow overseas and registrations are still coming in thick and fast. As well as registering on our website the NZ Messy Churches can also register on this new website, share stories, enjoy Debbie's Blog and so much more!
From Richard Shrimpton, Horsley Village Church
Yesterday before telling the story I used a great resource that the children loved: digital Flash Cards on a laptop. There's nothing new about the concept of flash cards but these are available to download as PowerPoint presentations from The Bible Curriculum website. The flash cards tell the whole Bible in 30 images giving a really clear overview of God's big story and helps children understand the chronology of the Bible.
Messy Churches need teams - it's one of the glories and headaches of running one! Bishop Graham Cray has written a useful article about leading teams in a missionary spirit. I particularly like the reminder to keep on looking outwards: Above all accept the responsibility to keep it missional, rather than settle into a pattern of life that is self serving.
Thanks, Jo Birkby from Brookwood for this link to her new blog. And yes, we're planning on making our own Messy blog and other bits of the website much more interactive when the new version pops up in all its glory in early 2013. Jo writes:
Could you use a discount on craft materials? We have arranged with Baker Ross for Messy Churches to receive 10% discount on their purchases and for Messy Church/BRF to receive 5% commission.
1) Set up an account with Baker Ross as 'Messy Church St Freda's, Pontefract' (insert your own location).
2) When you place your order quote promo ref BRF10. A great way of buying quality materials and supporting BRF's Messy Ministry at the same time.
If you're pondering starting a rural Messy Church, do check out the helpful material on the Arthur Rank Centre website.
Have a look at one church's way of being church in a different way, especially with boys in mind (though obviously not exclusively for boys). Sweaty Church is a response to local needs and local gifts in the church and is about God and sport and activity:
'Sweaty Church is a monthly Sunday afternoon service designed for busy and active families. Using both the inside of the church and the adjacent outdoor field, we create an energetic active learning environment aimed at children aged 7-11, their siblings and parents.
An excellent new website from BRF is the Faith in Homes website, run by our colleague Jane Butcher. This is a great and useful resource for Messy Church leaders on the lookout for appropriate ways of enabling families to engage with faith at home, or to provide ideas for those content-hungry Take Home sheets. Have a wander round and see the Lent and Easter ideas already there, and do drop Jane an email with your impressions.
In my previous blog I mentioned Lindsey who's working with me for five weeks as part of her course at Moorlands Bible College. I don't know what the rest of her colleagues are doing, but I suspect Lindsey's Friday in Lincoln might have been slightly different from the experiences of many of them.