Do you want to go to the seaside?

Published 18th January 2024 by Aike Kennett-Brown

On Friday 12th January 2024, Aike continued her tour of coastal locations for in-person training. Having visited Worthing, Eastbourne and Clacton-on-Sea last year, Aike started 2024 with a visit to St. Faith’s Lee-on-the-Solent.

She writes, ‘It’s a complete highlight of the job to get out from behind a computer screen and meet Messy Church teams in person.  It’s as much an encouragement for me, as I hear people’s Messy Church stories, as I hope the training session is an encouragement for those who attend.’

Through a bespoke training session, Aike explored with the team from St. Faith’s and their neighbour St. Mary’s, the Messy Church values: Christ-centred, for all ages, hospitality, creativity and celebration, in an interactive fashion including ‘dwelling in the word’ together, an exercise to practise sharing stories of noticing God at work in daily life as well as Messy Church, and a role-play around hospitality at the activity tables.

During the final reflection, several of the team commentated that they felt equipped with new ideas to find ways to better include the parents and carers and not just focus on the children, embracing the ‘for all-ages’ value.

Aike comments, ‘It’s important to recognise that many of the adults that attend Messy Church, have limited or no faith background, so we need to plan our activities and celebration time for people of different ages and stages of faith.  Using ‘I wonder…?’ open-ended questions can be a great way of starting a God conversation with both children and adults.  The behaviour we model as a team, is also noticed by our guests.  If we, the team, come expectant to meet with Christ, both serving and receiving at Messy Church, the adults in our midst will start to see that following Jesus can be for them, as well as their children.’

Aike’s next seaside location is a return to Eastbourne for the Hand-in-Hand conference on 3rd February, where she will be leading a session on ‘Intergenerational Discipleship’.

If you feel your team needs a bit of a reboot, invite them to a morning of online training, encouragement and commissioning at Messtival on Sat 2nd March 10am-1pm.  There’s an option to sign up as individuals or as a church.  You may even choose to finish the session with lunch, to have some ‘in-person’ team bonding and reflection together.

If you feel your team needs more bespoke in-person training, do get in touch.  We’re happy to visit inland locations, as well as making trips to the seaside!  Find out more here.

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