One of the advantages of being in a network, rather than trying to go it alone, is the undeniable fact that talking to people about a mutual passion (Jesus, Messy Church, evangelism, chocolate…) takes you further and deeper than you’d go on your own. Chatting with Colin Blake, our Regional Coordinator for the Bristol area, and a GP / minister Gilly we covered a lot of ground, especially about the importance of the chance Messy Church gives you to play.
Many of us (adults) live lives governed by routine and expectations – dwelling in the past or worried about the future. But play allows us to engage fully in the present. We can ‘be’ and ‘do’ in the now. Something about play and its active now-ness helps people balance their inner and outer worlds again and is a way of bringing a glimpse of healing.
Watching too much TV, for example, gives external stimulation but may not stimulate and nourish or activate our inner world: the passive nature of TV-viewing means that it is something done to us or at us and our soul, spirit, imagination, creativity, humanity can be left unmoved.
However, in a person whose life is unbalanced in the other direction, their inner world can take over, leading to a spiral into misery.
Good play re-balances the inner and outer worlds and lets them dance together… perhaps giving God a dance floor too.
The challenge is to play seriously in Messy Church without getting remotely earnest about it, or it stops being play.