Alstonville Messy Church, Australia
Trent Minton, a Messy friend in New South Wales wrote an encouraging email recently and in it mused on his Messy Church’s efforts towards discipleship:
The challenge of discipleship was something the Messy Church core team wrestled with all year. We had the difficult task of considering how to grow as a discipling community and also how to grow each individual member, regardless of their age or stage. With 214 people on the Messy Church ‘Soul Roll’ by the end of 2012 (our first year), this was quite a mission. Outside of the actual gathering (which we tried to treat as a discipling event), we intentionally used ‘take-home’ cards. These A5 cards simply promoted Christian principles & practices (‘godly ruts’) in a fun and challenging way. It was particular exciting to see an indigenous family (with 4 children) take up these Messy Church challenges. ‘Messy Men’ formed, intentionally seeking to inspire transformation in the missing demographic to most church life (men in their 20-40’s). ‘Messy Youth’ was a growing idea but is yet to develop. Seven families that became regular (not previously part of our church life) took home ‘Big Picture Bibles’. These are some of the little things we are trying to live into Messy discipleship. May God bless and ‘bring on’ the growth only His Spirit brings!
And here are some stats to praise our Father about. Stats are about souls, so it’s worth looking:
The Lord kept providing and bringing fresh faces across all the Messy Church gatherings. The Plaza promotion/awareness proved very useful in raising the profile and connecting with families. Nearly 1000 souls came together over all gatherings (includes Easter and Christmas Eve). 215 are currently on the soul roll and the average Messy Church gathering has 75 souls (currently our largest congregation). The biggest gathering was Messy Easter, nearly 100. Smallest was 40 on Show Week. God has a sense of humour: this gathering had by far the most coverage although smallest numbers but still the Lord brought new people to that more intimate Messy Church night. Praise be to him!