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Mess in Ministry

Posted by Lucy Moore on 09 Dec 2019

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It’s a privilege to sit and listen, as I have done recently, to people doing ministry faithfully, generously, unpretentiously but confidently in their local community and church. If you need an example of effective lay ministry, Messy Church simply provides it, unambiguously and across all sorts of situations. Who is taking these ministers seriously in the different denominations to which we belong – not patronising them by saying what a great job they do, while only really valuing the work done through paid, ordained ministry, but genuinely recognising and affirming the sacrificial, wholehearted, passionate responses to God’s call these people are living out and taking seriously? Who in the gatekeeper world of the denominations understands that there are so many of these leaders now that they are having an impact on the shape of the church today and certainly will be shaping the church of tomorrow?

The church needs to weigh up just how much this ministry is a prophetic vision of what the ministry of tomorrow may look like. A ministry carried out by people who provide financially for themselves and who are deeply committed to their local church. A ministry that recognises the constraints of modern life – full-time work for many adults with little time for meetings, incredibly full and scheduled days of activity for school-aged children with pressures from social media that simply did not exist 20 years ago. A ministry that is long-term and relational, not dive-in, dive-out. A ministry that is light touch, flexible, creative, responsive to changing needs, empathetic, humble but confident. A ministry about God and about people, not about buildings and structures.