It was a very significant day: our first meeting of the Messy Church regional coordinators. Getting twelve busy people from around the UK, as far afield as Cornwall and Preston, Weston and Maidstone is no mean achievement. To have a Canadian as well was mere icing on the cake. Meeting round a table gave us a sense of belonging to a team with a common purpose.
The idea of having a team of regional coordinators is to have someone enthusiastic and experienced in Messy Church, who is a first port of call for people in geographical areas and who can feed back to the website what we’re learning from Messy Church in the different parts of the country. And this group of people is keen to hear from you!
We spent the morning getting to grips with the necessary administrative issues around the plan for the regional coordinators and making sure that everyone is clear that this is a ‘give and take’ relationship – one from which we hope both sides will benefit hugely and more than that, from which the people running Messy Churches in the different regions will gain enormously.
The afternoon was more of an open discussion about some of the larger questions affecting Messy Church (see below). This has whetted our appetites for further discussions of what can be learned from Messy Church, and our plan is to hold a small 24-hours round-table time away in the autumn of 09, followed by a ‘conference’ on growing to maturity in autumn 2010 for a larger number of people.
If Messy Church gives people time and space to develop relationships in which they can be drawn closer to Jesus and to each other, how can we make the most of this opportunity?
As Messy Churches confront conflict / peacemaking opportunities, how can they help people reflect on what sort of a community they are together?
Finance: how / when do we teach on giving so that the Messy Church is not independent (which would be unrealistic) but full of the grace of giving?
Discipleship: several courses were mentioned; it would be good to have some feedback on how they work with Messy Church families and whether anyone is doing family discipleship courses or whether it’s better to split up into age groups.
Using our established church members: we need to provide training for them to have the guts to get alongside MC families, befriend them and talk about God appropriately.
When does ‘doing things differently’ stop being bold and start being disrespectful?
Do we as a church want to reap too quickly without sowing and waiting long enough?
Faith at Home: interesting that in some cases the initiative to do stuff at home comes from the children themselves.