After several large Messy Fiestas, it was good to have a cosy intimate gathering at St Andrew’s in Paddock Wood near Tonbridge on Saturday. I thought the smaller numbers would mean that we galloped through all the material and would be left twiddling our thumbs at the end of the day – but no, interestingly, the relaxed nature of the day meant that we dwelt more on each part of the programme, not less, and that there was much more opportunity to listen to each other as a whole group, not just in segregated smaller groups. This seemed to have been valuable for the people who came and was certainly great for me, benefitting from all that wisdom, experience and grounded common sense.
The question of discipleship kept coming up, as the host church has been running their Messy Church for four months now and are starting to ask the long-term questions: I wish the next book on Messy Church was out already (called Messy Church 2 – see the resources section) as it kick-starts some thinking on this subject, even if it doesn’t have all the answers.
Some comments about what people felt was most valuable about the day:
Sharing with other people and information/inspiration
Trying out the craft activities; informal approach
Being with people / hearing about Messy Church; doing it; experienced flexible leadership
Having a go at the crafts; hearing from those already running Messy Church; thinking time
Discussing questions with the group
Thinking about the way forward
Lots of enthusiasm and encouragement. Loved it all!
To reflect on our own experience