Discipleship Pilot: ‘Doing what we do even better’
As the third of three blogs on our Discipleship Pilot, this blog explores what we mean by just ‘doing what we do better’.
It seems like such a cop-out! But in fact, if your team of lay people and lay-lay peple is already stretched to capacity and probably keeping inherited church going as well as running Messy Church, it makes sense to invest in what is already working well and to make it even better, even more ‘church’.
Discipleship for your team might well take the form of intentionally and purposefully running your Messy Church as a way of making disciples instead of… well… instead of some of the rather spurious ways of running it we have encountered occasionally. It’s surprising how long it takes to convince churches that Messy Church is for all ages, for example – simply becoming more all-age and less child-focused might be a huge step for some churches. For others, it could be as simple as doing Messy Church once a month instead of once a term. Or including activities that are more engaging than colouring in and cutting out. It could be just about doing a Celebration that challenges parents and carers as well as children. Or providing a meal instead of a biscuit. Um… doing Messy Church, in fact, rather than a watered-down version of it.
For some teams, it could mean committing to prayer beforehand or afterwards; for others, it might mean a more thoughtful planning meeting than just bashing through which activities look most fun and are cheapest. For others, it might be about encouraging the team to read the Bible passage before they arrive…
And in some cases, it’s about thinking deeply and creatively about how to reimagine what is valuable in inherited church for a Messy context: Communion, perhaps, or baptism or the Lord’s Prayer. Or maybe taking a resolution to notice what God is doing at Messy Church and share the stories afterwards with each other.
Just doing what we do better. You’ll find the toolkit from Bristol Diocese is a very helpful way to start.