Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community

Discipleship

Nancy Rowe in Georgetown, Canada, writes about her church's group formed to help people go deeper in faith:

More ideas for Messy discipleship, published resources from Jo Gill, a Messy Church leader, and Paul Griffiths, a missioner, author and evangelist.

Jo Gill writes:

'It was good to see you and Messy Church at the Big Church Day out!

Our thoughts on discipleship continue. Here is the summing-up that I wrote after recent discussions with people wiser than I am. By no means the end of the story but another step on it.

We are coming to see that discipleship in the Messy Church context is about some of the following:

It's been a brain-wringing time for Jane, me and the rest of the BRF Messy Church Team as we've had two events recently to focus on the question of discipleship in Messy Church. The first was a gathering of Messy Church leaders and church growth / discipleship course experts at St John's College Nottingham for a full day's discussion. The second was a morning with the Church Army Sheffield Centre Research Team in Sheffield.

Some people ask if people are becoming Christians through Messy Church, or whether they really become members of the church through it. Here's one answer from an Anglican church in the Diocese of Derby. Lots to give thanks for, lots to ponder.

In March 2011 we're holding a consultation on Messy Discipleship and we need your help.

We'd like to hear what strategies you have put in place to try to grow discipleship among your messy families and what the results have been - stories of failure are even more helpful than success stories.

There are some interesting discussions going on about discipleship all over the world. Andrew Smith from New Zealand recommends a good book and has some good thoughts:

This is Andrew, chaplain to messy NZ !

'I've just completed a quick read of George Lings' 'Encounters on the Edge', no 46 Messy Church: Ideal for all ages? ... A very positive critique, I feel. George draws out the challenge of messy discipleship very fairly and squarely.

A Messy Church leader near Swansea made this imaginative suggestion for those teams looking for ways to connect life and TV outside Messy Church with God-talk within it:

Don't know if you're aware of the programme The Big Silence which is being broadcast on BBC2 in the UK on Fridays at 7pm. Also on BBC2 Wales 7pm. Note also available on iPlayer.

Last week I had a bit of a quiet day to reflect on discipleship in the messy context. This is what I shared with Jane and the rest of the BRF Messy Church team. As ever, work in progress rather than definitive answers:

As you know, we're pondering what Messy discipleship is all about, if indeed there is such an animal. The best thing is getting stories like this one from Jo Birkby in Knaphill to throw into the melting pot. To me it says something about steps towards discipleship - they can mean sensitively and imaginatively responding to a lead from your own messy congregation and to a prod from God. This could be different for every Messy Church. Jo emails:

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