Why start a Messy Church?
- We want to make disciples.
- The people in our area who don’t belong to church would like coming to a Messy Church.
- We want to share the love of God in Jesus in a way that’s as accessible as possible to families.
- We believe that the best way for people of all ages to come closer to God is by journeying together.
- We want to share Jesus more than we want to share our particular denominational traditions.
- We want to model who Jesus is to those around us.
- We believe God is in Messy Church and we want to follow where he leads.
- We think Jesus is the person to give people in our community life in all its fullness
Messy Church is :
- Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.
- It’s primarily for people who don’t already belong to another form of church.
- It meets at a time (and sometimes in a place) that suits people who don’t already belong to church.
- It typically includes a welcome, a long creative time to explore the biblical theme through getting messy; a short celebration time involving story, prayer, song, games and similar; and a sit-down meal together at tables. All elements are for, and should include, people of all ages, adults and children.
- It’s all-age.
- It’s fun.
- It’s a church for people at all stages of their faith journey and of any age – a congregation that is as valuable and worthy of investment as any of your other congregations.
- It models and promotes good ways of growing as a family: a nuclear family, an extended family, and a global and local church family.
- Its aim is to introduce Jesus, to give an opportunity to encounter him and to grow closer to him.
- Messy Church is resourced, supported and enabled by BRF, The Bible Reading Fellowship.
- Most Messy Churches meet once a month, although a few meet more frequently or more occasionally.
Messy Church isn’t…
- … just for children – It’s much easier to aim a Messy Church at one particular age group, but do stop and reflect on whether the non-verbal messages that this sends are what you want to say about God. If your Messy Church’s teaching, crafts and food are all aimed just at the under-11s, think what message you’re giving both children and adults: church is only relevant/fun/meaningful/interested in you until you’re 12? God is for babies? No, Messy Church needs to be constantly creative in its thinking about how to involve very different people: young and old, families and single people, male and female, academic and practical, poor and rich.
- … a club – The whole of Messy Church is about worshipping God, having fellowship, exploring faith matters. It welcomes everyone, involves everyone, values everyone, is always there for the outsider. It’s a church.
- … a way of getting people to come to church on Sunday – There are examples of people starting in Messy Church and deciding to join Sunday church as well but these are the exception rather than the rule. If people wanted to go to established church, they would be going by now. Messy Church is interdependent with established church, but will usually operate as a separate congregation or church.
- … just for church families – Anyone already belonging to church should be thinking about serving on the leadership team of Messy Church, however old or young they are, and helping others come to know Jesus.
- … just for families – All are welcome: single, widowed, childless, divorced. Church is inclusive, not exclusive.
- … a quick fix – Growing disciples takes time. Messy Church has only been going a few years anywhere. It usually only meets once a month. Growth will probably be slow.
- … an easy option – It takes money, time, prayer, commitment and energy from the church and leadership team.
- … a drain on church resources – Yes, it will take money and time, effort and gifted people to run it, but it will give back in return a group of people who are fired up for mission, empowered by using their God-given gifts. It will spark off ideas and inspiration about what church is all about and will renew vision. It will grow goodwill in the neighbourhood towards the church and, most importantly, provide the opportunity to do effective mission in your own community.
- … set in stone – We’re learning all the time. As the network of Messy Churches grows and develops, so the best ways of delivering Messy Church will develop and grow. BRF has deliberately chosen to have a ‘non-controlling’, ‘hands-off’ approach in the way it promotes Messy Church in the hope that this will give God space to grow his church as he wants to, and that it will give everyone encouragement to experiment and innovate.
Christ-centred: Messy Church is a church, not a craft club, that helps people encounter Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
All-age: It is for adults and children to enjoy together - every element should be relevant and accessible to all ages.
Creativity: It uses hands-on activities to explore Bible stories, to reflect a God of creativity and to give people a chance to play together.
Hospitality: It reflects a God of unconditional love and is a church for people outside church, providing an oasis of welcome and a safe space in which to thrive. Messy Church is about hospitality, expressed most evidently by eating together – whether it’s a plate of sandwiches to share, or sausage and mash.
Celebration: It reflects a God of joy who wants his people to have life in all its fullness.
Our homegroups provide opportunities for spiritual growth in an atmosphere of fellowship and support. Each group lasts about 1½ hours; the evening groups start at 7.30 pm.
at Anne Smith’s house (fortnightly); contact details: mob 07834154840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
at Janet Wood’s house (fortnightly at 1.30 pm); phone her on 0161 792 4694, mob 07763575203 or email@example.com
(fortnightly); contact Sarah on 773 0818 or Tracy on 0161 792 2450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other house groups which meet regularly are:
Alpha: a course for those who would like to explore Christianity.
at Andy Smiths house on Tuesdays (weekly)at 5 Heathland Road, Kersal M7 3GD contact Andy on 0161 792 8878, (mob)07824461427 or email Smudger1275@gmail.com
Time Out :an afternoon (1.30pm) craft/discussion/leisure group on Tuesdays (fortnightly) at Eileen and Chris’ house :- 5 Moorside Road, Kersal. M7 3PJ. Contact Eileen on 0161792 9960 or 07752882245 or email email@example.com
You’ll find a warm welcome at any of our groups – give it a try!