Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community

Discipleship

One team was asked whether they needed a chaplain for their Messy Church. They came up with the following jobs that a chaplain could do for them. It's an interesting list as it seems to demonstrate how far removed Messy Church is from a craft club or social circle:

In response to the questions 'Do we need a chaplain?' 'What would we want this person to do?'

These are some ongoing thoughts springing from our discussions about discipleship in a messy context at the regional coordinators' Round Table.

Discipleship is a huge issue and will carry on being one. We’re all learners and what feels right at the moment may not be in the long run, but we need to be faithful to what we think God is revealing to us in our context at the present time.

Lots of queries at the moment: anyone any thoughts on Cara's question below? Do let us know at messychurch@brf.org.uk.

I can only say unhelpfully that when we offered an Alpha Course in the early days we had zero response and felt rather stupid and pushy for offering it at all. But we weren't very imaginative and hadn't suggested doing it as a family. I know the Youth Alpha material is good, though we haven't tried it in an all-age context. Any wisdom? Cara writes:

Jane Butcher (Regional Coordinator in the Midlands) and Chris Rees (Regional Coordinator South Yorkshire), together with our dear friend Helen Proudfoot (Children's Adviser in Derby Diocese) had a great time on Saturday. Jane writes:

'The beautiful town of Matlock in Derbyshire was the location for the first steps and next steps Messy Fiesta.

We were joined by twelve people which included one man all keen either to learn about starting a Messy Church or how to develop an existing one.

Janet Tredrea, our Cornwall regional coordinator, brought this to my attention and you might also find it interesting: a blog page in which Jonathan Creber from near Truro is trying to work out more about messy discipleship. You can find it here if you scroll down to his entry for 21 December.

Discipleship? Training? I'm not sure what Messy Tea would best fit into - it's such early days that it might be better not to pigeonhole it yet. It's our attempt to grow Messy Church here in Cowplain.

What a fantastic time we had - 18-20 of us, regional coordinators and sympathetic friends - gathered together to talk 'mess' for 24 hours. It was such fun, such a luxury to be able to concentrate on some of the big issues and to glean each other's wisdom thereupon. I came away thinking how privileged we are to have such thoughtful, wise and experienced people taking an interest in Messy Church.

A thatched pub in the New Forest in the sunshine: there are worse places to meet, and it was excellent to find out about the Sophia Network from one of its founders, Sharon Prior. You can read all about Sophia here. It's an organisation that exists to connect women in youth work and ministry to access training, develop skills and share wisdom.

It was a privilege to be invited to speak at the Mothers' Union Faith and Spirituality Conference. Not often do I get a Bishop as a warm-up act, either. There are so many links between what we're trying to do in Messy Church and the aims of the MU! And what a resource, what a huge pool of committed people across the UK and overseas, all with a concern for supporting families.

Chatting with Ben Mizen, our Diocesan Children and Youth Advisor, we were both struck by the importance of the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30) in the context of Messy Church. It picked up on what was said at the Regional Coordinators' Day -someone commented there that we often want to 'harvest' too quickly (that is, reap the benefits of our church systems, evangelistic efforts and discipleship courses). Actually in the natural world, the sowing and the growing take a long time.

Pages

Share