Five Marks of Mission

Published 26th March 2009 by lucy moore

Just back from the National Children’s Advisers’ Conference, bulging with food for thought (and the other sort too – cooked breakfasts etc). It was all about the Five Marks of Mission:

  • to proclaim the the Good News of the Kingdom
  • to teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  • to respond to human need by loving service
  • to seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Questions for messy people:

Proclamation – in our Messy Church are we tempted to dumb down or water down the Good News, which is for adults as well as children? Do we expect to learn from our congregations and hear God in what they say and do? Do we expect the outsiders to challenge us and transform us into more godly people? (Do we ‘do’ pain as well as joy? How might someone bring their everyday concerns into Messy Church for God to meet? Who listens in your Messy Church?)

Teaching – are we learning from the children and adults who belong to our Messy Churches? Do we think we have all the answers? Are we baptising new believers in Messy Church and encouraging them to journey on in their faith as families? (Are we praying about how to help the people we have here and now, in this place, at the age they’re at, people we know, towards a deeper discipleship?)

Service – do we ‘do’ Messy Church just to get bums on seats for our own satisfaction or to serve our community by putting its needs first? Do we remain open-eared to listen to new needs that will transform what we do in the future in Messy Church? Do we hold on to the power by seeing ‘them’ as the needy ones and ‘us’ as the providers, or are ‘we’ open to receive from ‘them’ too? (If the local school put on a popular club at the Messy Church time, would we be prepared to change day or time? If lots of local people eat unhealthy diets, would we think about running cooking sessions for them during Messy Church, or sharing our recipes? What would we say if someone ‘from outside’ wanted to lead the celebration?)

Justice – do we equip our congregations to see their local and global world through God’s eyes? Do we try to see church through their eyes? Do they know more about justice than we do? (When did we last mention God in school during Messy Church? When did we last include an activity about another country?)

The Earth – do we do what we can to expose people to God’s creation and give them ways of expressing their love for it and wonder at it? Do we use resources responsibly and combine lavish generosity with good stewardship? (What happens to the leftover jacket potatoes? How much reverence do we demonstrate towards the art materials we use? Have we asked children how much they know about the planet and the way it works? Most of us would be amazed at the extent and depth of the average primary-aged child’s knowledge about how trees work, for example.)

Lots more to ponder on, but it’ll have to come out later.

You may also like

Embracing Difference

7th Feb 2024
by Lucy Moore

Last Friday was Culture Day at my daughter’s secondary school in SE London. Digging into my German family history (how else did I get a name like Aike?), I went to join in the festivities armed with my donation of cultural food – 35 large pretzels, freshly baked from a German supermarket chain. Arriving on time, the school hall was packed like I’ve never seen before, with students dressed in a colourful array of traditional dress from over 18 countries.

Read more
by Lucy Moore

At the start of a New Year, it’s good practice to pause for a moment and reflect on the year that’s past, giving thanks to God for both the opportunities and challenges. Noticing where we see God at work in our ministry serves as a good reminder of God’s faithfulness in all we do, as we prayerfully ask the questions: What went well? Even better if? Where is God at work?

Read more

Beauty for Brokenness

2nd Jan 2024
by Lucy Moore

Beauty for brokenness, hope for despair…

Read more

Stumbling after a star

18th Dec 2023
by Lucy Moore

In October I was lucky enough to take a group of the older young people from my Messy Church to 3Generate the Methodist Church’s, children and youth forum.

Read more