Firy-welcome

Messy Church: Keeping it all going …

As another year begins and you plan for your Messy Church, it can be helpful for your team to think about the way you do things and consider some new ideas.  You started with great enthusiasm a year (or three) ago, but now it has possibly become a bit stale, stuck in a messy rut.

Think about all the parts of Messy Church which need to work together well.  Starting at the street outside your venue, is there clear, inviting signage?  Can new people see which door to enter and where to park? Is the entrance area littered with cigarette butts or weeds, or is there a welcome sign on the door and a safe doorway?  This may seem obvious, but I have visited churches where the steps are crumbling, the signs are missing or contain wrong information and where there have been broken seats and litter at the doorway.  When a building is so familiar to you, you may miss what it looks like to ‘new eyes’. If people don’t know your Messy Church is on, or can’t find the entrance, then they can’t come and join you!  Some Messy Churches meet at the rear of a big church building, so make sure you can be found.

When I talk to families at Messy Churches, they are sometimes new to the area, or even to Australia, and it is important to introduce yourself and ask some questions and explain what is expected of them, in a friendly way. For example they might think someone else will ‘teach’ their children, so you may need to clarify that at Messy Church parents or carers and children all learn together and stay together, and that adults are responsible for the children they bring.  Look carefully at your welcome brochure – is it bright and friendly with up-to-date contact details and clear information? Don’t forget to ask:   “How did you hear of us?”

Judyth Roberts, blogging in her Messy Church development role for VCCE

Part one of a series on Messy Church: Keeping it all going

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