November 2019

Parents coming to know Christ through Messy Church

Reaching the people in your local community with the good news of the gospel can be challenging without a strategy. Discover how Wakefield Elim Community Church is successfully sharing the love of Jesus with those in their community.

Sue Nichols who is the senior pastor of Wakefield Elim Community Church, felt a clear calling to the north of England and was passionate about ministering to the local community even though urban estates can be challenging to reach with the gospel.

When she discovered Messy Church, a way of running a church that is Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration, Sue knew that she just had to do it. She soon discovered that it’s so easy to reach out to families in Wakefield and show them that love of Jesus in a non-threatening environment.

As a result, Sue has seen whole families coming to faith and getting baptised.

Discover the story of how Sue's Messy Church has reached new families with the gospel.

With the Messy Church formula appealing to all ages, Sue has seen transformation take place in entire families holding weekly meetings, rather than monthly, so people would get to know each other quickly and build trust.

“The parents love it and the children love it. We’ve seen parents coming through the door and impacted with the love of Jesus, and then down the line, they've committed their lives to Christ.”

To her surprise, Sue found parents who had never been to church before lining up to get involved.

“We have some who willingly just come and prepare the meal, help serve it, and do all the washing up. We have other parents who are happy to attend one of the craft tables or just to sit and cut out. It’s about the parents and children just getting involved and helping together.

“Quite often they belong before they believe, and they take ownership.”

A place of acceptance at a time of need

For a while, complex PTSD had affected Patricia and her ability to look after her children. When they returned from foster care, she needed somewhere welcoming and non-judgemental to take them.

“I've spent a lot of my life looking for love,” Patricia shared, commenting that at Messy Church, “I found love. God has given me a lot of love from this place. It's come in friendships. It's allowed me to build relationships with my children. It's just been amazing. I found a family.”

Patricia is now baptised and explains how being a Christian has changed her family.

What is Messy Church?

Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality. It's primarily for people who don't already belong to another form of church.

It typically includes a welcome, a long creative time to explore the biblical theme through getting messy; a short celebration time involving story, prayer, song, games and similar; and a sit-down meal together at tables. All elements are for and should include, people of all ages, adults and children.

Founded in 2004 by Lucy Moore, and supported throughout its development by the Bible Reading Fellowship, Messy Church now numbers over 2,800 registered groups in England and some 3,500 worldwide.

Read the Playfully Serious report which evaluates how effective Messy Church really is.

Find out more:

Videos: Bible Reading Fellowship

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