I think back to 10 years ago, when there was just one church doing Messy Church… BRF hadn’t even taken it on as one of its ‘programmes’… churches were just starting to ask about it, wonder about starting one too… but basically all the training on offer was me telling my church’s story and all of us making it up as we went along. It was a little lonely at times.
Now there are so many Messy Churches in so many places that have been going for five, six, seven or more years and there are so many and such varied stories to share of what God’s doing in the lives of families and teams – even of whole churches! I’m looking forward to hearing those stories, marvelling at what’s happening, celebrating what’s going well and struggling together with what’s hard, drawing wisdom and experience from such different settings across the globe.
Is it wrong to say I want to gloat with friends old and new over the way God’s growing his Kingdom through something as funny and quirky as Messy Church? I want to enjoy the coming together of God’s people from the UK, South Africa, Australia, Canada, The States, New Zealand and wherever else people come from – a real gathering of nations in Christ’s name: it might be the nearest I get to finding out what heaven will be like.
I’m looking forward to simply spending time with all those Messy practitioners and making new friends, laughing, praying, creating, eating and drinking together in a sort of jamboree of Messiness. I know that George Lings’ talks will give us an intellectual treat that will help us all on develop as a movement: and to share that experience together, not just communicate it later to other countries but to be shaped by those present there and then will be awesome. I know that Fischy Music will bring a dimension of sung worship that I don’t often experience. It’ll be wonderful to relax into the all-age, thoughtfully constructed worship songs from Fischy and just enjoy praising God together with people who share similar preoccupations, values and experiences.
What else am I looking forward to? I think it will be fantastic, too, to be together as a BRF Messy Church team: Jane, Martyn, Sarah and I rarely get the chance to be in the same place at the same time working on the same event, so that will be a real treat, and to have some of our Regional Coordinators there as well will be icing on the cake.
So much in store! Why is it so long till May 2016?