Too many people!

Published 17th January 2013 by lucy moore

OK so what do you do if TOO MANY people want to come to church? One of the Southampton Messy Churches had 201 folk arrive at Christmas plus the team. We were asked for our advice.
Gosh. Alleluia but…
Holy Trinity Claygate got huge and started a parallel one so they have two identical ones running per month. (They’re on the Directory.) Jane Leadbetter’s in Liverpool is big but not that big. Jane may have ideas too so have copied her in.

I’d suggest thinking seriously about working with another local church if they haven’t got enough time/team to do more than one to run enough to cover the need locally.
Christmas may have been bigger than usual anyway, I suppose, but even if numbers were halved, that would still be massive.

Interesting! How long have they been running MC?

Do they have a health & safety checklist? It helps sometimes to show you are trying to get things right. Should you serve hot drinks and so on. Check insurance for room capacity.
Who is coming? Who do you want to come? Own church folk? New families from the community? Both? Adjust advertising. Advertise to those you want to come. Be clear about who you are doing MC for.
Big numbers means you will need a quiet/chill out room. Is there one available? Special needs all ages will definitely need a space.
On the positive side: build a large welcome team and get as many email addresses from the new congregation as possible. Will come in v useful.
Put different methods of meal time on trial: self serve, team serving, hot meal, sandwiches, put out a questionnaire at meal time.
Most larger MCs settle down after a time. Pray about it and rejoice in the challenge.
Share the load with other churches. If every month is too much to ask them, start a local churches rota. This works around the country but needs a good communicator/organiser.
Saturday MCs do seem to attract bigger numbers and men!
If v young children and those with special needs feel overwhelmed by the large numbers, do you have alternative groups/organisations to offer them?

Would love to know more about what they are offering. Can you find out guys? Could be a good story to share. Is this a Messy congregational record?

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