Messy Church


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My presentation to the Being Church in the 21st Century Conference at Linton United Reformed Church. 7 June 2008

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Messy Church

  1. 1. Messy Church Dovercourt URC
  2. 4. If the current rate of decline is not arrested the Methodist Church will have zero membership by 2037. Philip Richter & Leslie Francis: Gone but not Forgotten (London: DLT, 1998) If it continues to shrink at the present rate, the Church of Scotland will close its last congregation in 2033. Callum Brown: The Death of Christian Britain (London: Routledge, 2001) Unless something happens to reverse the decline it is experiencing, the Church in Wales will be unsustainable by 2020 Heather Wraight: ‘Strategic Thinking from a Christian Perspective’ (London: Christian Research Association, 2002) Melt down :
  3. 5. Percentage of child population in Sunday School UK, 1900-2000 ©UK Christian Handbook Religious Trends 2001/2001 No.2
  4. 7. What is it? <ul><li>Messy Church is a once-monthly time when families come together to enjoy being together, making things together, eating together and celebrating God together through his word, through music and through prayer. </li></ul><ul><li>Messy Church is a worshipping community of all ages, centred on Christ, showing Christian hospitality—giving people a chance to express their creativity, to sit down together to eat a meal and have fun within a church context. </li></ul>
  5. 8. P rinciples: <ul><li>To provide an opportunity for people of all ages to worship together. </li></ul><ul><li>Help people of all ages to feel that they belong in church and to each other. </li></ul><ul><li>To help people have fun together. </li></ul><ul><li>To give people a chance to express their God-given creativity . </li></ul><ul><li>To invite people into an experience of Christian community. </li></ul><ul><li>To introduce people to Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories and worship. </li></ul>
  6. 9. A typical session: <ul><li>3.30: Doors open. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People arrive, play board games and have a drink and biscuit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>4.00-5.00: Creative time </li></ul><ul><li>5.00-5.15: Celebration time </li></ul><ul><li>5.15-5.45: Hot meal together </li></ul>
  7. 23. <ul><li>From: S Davies [mailto:-----------------] Sent: 03 June 2008 14:39 To: ------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Subject: Messy Church </li></ul><ul><li>Hi Marc, </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>I would be delighted to give you my views about messy church. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Here goes:  It took me alot of courage to attend the first session of Messy Church because i had not been part of a church for over 16yrs and now i </li></ul><ul><li>have two very young children Jack who will be two at the end of the month and Alyssa who has just turned four. I went to a children's Easter </li></ul><ul><li>service a couple of years ago with the children and they enjoyed the craft side of the service however when it came to the Easter Story and the </li></ul><ul><li>stations of the cross this was far to overwhelming for them! The children were separated and asked to sit at the front which was also very </li></ul><ul><li>overpowering for Alyssa to cope with so i decided that she was not ready for chruch.  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>In Feb this year I decided to give it another try this time at Messy Church at Dovercourt Central Church and Wow what a difference! a very </li></ul><ul><li>welcoming and open hearted church especially towards the children.  We all felt very welcome and were not separated from one another a chance </li></ul><ul><li>to celebrate and worship god at all levels and for all ages. A way to access Christ from a very young age and feel part of a church community </li></ul><ul><li>again.  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Messy Church has now become part of our regular routine making new friends and learning about Christ as a family.  What a lovely start with a </li></ul><ul><li>warm welcome a cup of tea and craft based around the theme of the month e.g Pentecost, Easter, Shepards etc followed by circle time in the </li></ul><ul><li>church with some Show and Tell, A story from the Bible and song from Mission Praise and of course Messy Grace which i am still learning </li></ul><ul><li>followed by tea.  Jack and Alyssa both happily participate in the whole service.  Jack now loves the singing the best getting up a dancing and </li></ul><ul><li>clapping.   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Messy Church is a great service for families with children of all ages lots of fun craft idea's, great support from the congregation, a very welcoming </li></ul><ul><li>atmosphere for all, lots of drama/actions put into the stories and hymns from the bible for all to participate a lovely home cooked tea to finish what </li></ul><ul><li>more could a family want when coming to church  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>On a sad note the only thing that Messy Church does not have is MORE families! </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>However we all love it, Thank You! </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sam. Alyssa and Jack </li></ul>e- mail:
  8. 24. gone for good? <ul><li>Leslie J. Francis </li></ul><ul><li>and Philip Richer </li></ul><ul><li>Epworth 2007 </li></ul>
  9. 25. fifteen reasons: <ul><li>Losing faith </li></ul><ul><li>Growing up and changing </li></ul><ul><li>Life transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Life tensions </li></ul><ul><li>Life-styles </li></ul><ul><li>Not belonging and not fitting in </li></ul><ul><li>Demands vs returns </li></ul><ul><li>Disillusionment </li></ul><ul><li>Being let down </li></ul><ul><li>Problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>with relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with worship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with conservatism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with liberalism </li></ul></ul>
  10. 26. multi plex <ul><li>church context: </li></ul><ul><li>`multiplex' is </li></ul><ul><li>a multiplicity of </li></ul><ul><li>separate </li></ul><ul><li>congregations </li></ul><ul><li>within </li></ul><ul><li>the </li></ul><ul><li>same premises </li></ul>