It’s official: Sarah registered the 3000th Messy Church this morning. It’s a real milestone. God isn’t just on the move, he’s on warp speed.
Back in 2011 I wrote this on a vision document By October 2016:
Projected figures suggest there may be around 2500 Messy Churches on the Directory, some having stopped and others started
It’s not even October 2015 and we’ve hit 3000 registered Messy Churches – and goodness knows how many unregistered ones there are on top of that.Yes, of course we have the same caveats as you: numbers aren’t everything; some of the registered ones may no longer be running or may not be ‘doing it properly’; it’s depth that matters not breadth; there are lots of other ways of being church: we are with you on all that.
But our core value of ‘celebration’ means that those of us involved in Messy Church have a discipline of shouting the good news of a good God from the hilltops (or in this case, from the screens and smartphones) so that in a world where there is so much darkness to bewail, the joyful moments get their fifteen minutes of fame. We need to notice those God-moments and this is one of them! It’s glorious that his sense of humour has meant that this month’s theme (planned around 2 years ago) in Get Messy! is ‘The Biggest Party Ever’ and an exploration of the parable of the Great Banquet. A celebration indeed.
God is on the move in 3000 churches of all denominations in more than 24 countries. 3000 churches are delighted to offer hospitality and fun to ‘outsiders’. 3000 teams of lay people are doing a fantastic job at bringing more families into a relationship with the Christ who meets them in their messy lives. 3000 ministers are seeing the joy of their churches turning to face outwards. People are being baptised as they discover through the fun, fellowship and food that God is good all the time. People are even bringing a Messy element into weddings and funerals as churches’ eyes are opened to new ways of serving families and outsiders.
This is good news, everyone! Be happy with us! Thank God for his invitation to the party!