What if – my mind throws the juggling balls up in the air one by one – what if, in Messy Church, we’ve done something more than just devise a robust way of introducing families to the Christian faith and community?
What if we’ve inadvertently stumbled on a completely new way of being church? What if this Messy way of doing things actually has everything it takes to carry the faith far into the 21st century if we run with it wholeheartedly?
What if we just need to have confidence that what feels so right really is right?
What if I listened to that voice inside me that says rebelliously, ‘I don’t want to do church as I’ve always done it: I want to do nothing but Messy (missional, outward-looking, creative, fun, attractive, biblical, generous, hospitable) Church’?
Let’s put caveats in place right at the start: no, Messy Church isn’t for everyone, and yes, we still need church in all its different forms to meet the needs of different people at different times of life. But what if Messy Church is just as viable as the ones we’ve been using for most of this century? What if it’s just as good a vehicle for sharing God’s story, accompanying each other on a discipleship journey and transforming our communities – just as good, just as deserving of resources, respect and prayerful support from the Church and maybe in some ways even better?
I suspect that somewhere deep down in the heart of those of us who have been brought up in inherited church, there is a little voice that still would love Messy families to ‘come and do church like we do it on a Sunday’. I know it’s a voice I hear inside myself. It’s what we’ve accepted for decades as the right way forward and the voice isn’t going to be silenced overnight. But what if the Messy way inherently contains all we need to go on with Jesus, to support others on their journey and to share him with those who don’t yet know him? What if Messy Church teams were to take the step of treating their Messy Church not as a bit of ministry on the sidelines of ‘real’ church, but as a church plant? What if we behaved as though Messy Church were our main, our only, congregation?
Excerpt from an article by Lucy Moore in Get Messy magazine