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Viewpoint from Lieutenant Georgina Symons 11/11/11

Lieutenant Georgina Symons
Salvation Army
Dove rightI write these thoughts after spending the evening with 15 children and 12 adults at our church – an evening that we call ‘Messy Church’. It is neither for children exclusively, nor just for adults. It is not conventional church as many expect, but it certainly is ‘church’! We sang, we danced, we made things (and got rather messy!), we ate together, we prayed and we talked about how Jesus came as the light of the world, and how he can shine in our lives. We looked at a Jack O’lantern and thought about how Jesus comes and cleans us up, scoops out all the nasty, messy stuff in our lives and shines through us. Of the people attending, maybe a third were Christians. The remaining two-thirds have had little or no experience of ‘church’ or Christianity. They came because we have built up relationships with them through youth club and Brownies and Rainbows. Did they try to escape when we talked about God? No. In fact, we couldn’t get them to leave! It was a real privilege to be a part of it. It was a real encouragement to see families dove leftlearning about Jesus together. We are still in the early stages of this thing we call Messy Church and are finding our feet, but are very excited about it!
Not all churches do ‘Messy Church’, but I was wondering - aren’t all our churches ‘messy’? They are made up of broken human beings, people with all their human failings, places where relationships are made and broken, full of hurting people. I am conscious that outsiders look in at the church and expect it to be perfect – full of ‘godly’ people – and are put off by the thought that they could never be good enough to belong to a church and be loved by a God who is perfect. How we need to get across the message that God is there for all humankind, despite their flaws! How many people do you know that need to hear the simple message that God loves them and that they matter to him? I recently saw a car sign that showed the Christian fish and read this; I’m not a Christian driver – I’m just forgiven. We all lead messed up lives in some way or another, but God loves us just the same and forgives
Back to ‘Messy Church’…it’s not on Sunday, so is it really church? It might not be traditional, but it certainly is church! The early followers of Jesus met together everyday;
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”(Acts 2v46-47)
Our Sunday congregations might not be increasing in number, but the number of people of people regularly hearing and seeing the word of God preached is definitely on the up! Praise God that he is the same today as yesterday, and that he is just as present and relevant in our more formal times of worship as he is during our midweek gatherings


Feedback: (Guest) 16/11/2011 18:31
Have you let the local schools know about messy church?