Messy Church

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Messy Church Theology

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Exploring the significance of Messy Church for the wider church
George Lings


Messy Church Theology is the first title to encapsulate the academic theology of Messy Church. Through essays by contributors from a variety of church and academic backgrounds and case studies by Messy Church practitioners, it gathers together some of the discussions around Messy Church and assesses the impact of this ministry, placing it in the context of wider developments within the church community.


  • Introduction

Section 1: Messy questions

  • 1 When is Messy Church 'church'?
    Claire Dalpra
  • 2 When is Messy Church 'not church'?
    Steve Hollinghurst
  • Case study: Messy Church Special Educational Needs
    Trish Hahn
  • 3 How does Messy Church travel?
    Lucy Moore
  • 4 Does Messy Church make disciples?
    Judy Paulsen
  • Case study: Messy Church at St Christopher's
    Alison Paginton

Section 2: Messy foundations

  • 5 Messy theology
    Paul Bayes
  • 6 Messy disciples
    John Drane
  • Case study: Messy Church Fiesta
    Christine Barton
  • 7 From Sunday school to Messy Church: a new movement for our age?
    Bob Jackson
  • 8 What is the DNA of Messy Church?
    George Lings
  • Case study: Messy Church @ Christ Church Primacy
    Kevin Metcalfe

Section 3: Messy practicalities

  • 9 Messy maturity: paradox, contradiction or perfect match?
    Beth Barnett
  • 10 Messy Church: how far can you go before reaching the limit?
    Tim G. Waghorn
  • Case study: the story of the 'Messy angels'
    Sharon Pritchard
  • 11 Some frameworks to explore Messy Church and discipleship
    Bob Hopkins
  • 12 Growing, maturing, ripening: what might an older Messy Church look like?
    Paul Moore
  • Case study: St Andrew's Church, Bebington: the journey of an older Messy Church
    Marie Beale
  • 13 Why we might expect mess, not merely tolerate it
    George Lings
  • Afterword
    Lucy Moore

Published October 2013