Helping a small church make a big difference

Resourcing churches to show God's love

What do you do when you have a heart for mission, and there’s an opportunity right on your doorstep, but your church resources are limited? When the need is huge, but you’re a small church, how can you start to make a difference?

For some congregations, all it's taken has been just one or two instrumental people catching the vision of what Messy Church is all about.

The Messy Church values

It's church, but not as you know it!

Messy Church is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to enjoy food and fellowship, and explore a personal walk with God, through creativity and celebratory worship. Its informal, friendly and inclusive approach offers a unique way to welcome ‘hard-to-reach’ families into the church.

How Messy Church has equipped one church for mission

London cityscape

In a small church on the edge of a large London council estate, one Messy Church has been running every six weeks on a Friday afternoon.

We heard from one of the leaders about some of the families who have come along – who might otherwise never have crossed the threshold of a church.

'It's clear they are seeking the Lord'

Messy Church South London

One single mum has been coming with her teenage son since we started five years ago. With no other family to speak of, they have found a much-needed 'extended family' here. Having joined us at Harvest, Christmas and other special events, they are also starting to attend church on Sunday mornings. It’s clear they are genuinely seeking the Lord – hallelujah!

'I really appreciate what you do'

Then there is a father and young son who live apart, but from the beginning have come when they can. Recently the dad said, 'I know we’re not here every time, but when we do it’s always so special! I really appreciate what you do.' For them, that means providing somewhere they can have fun together: dad enjoys fellowship while the boy learns about our Saviour.

Messy Church South London

'God alone has brought us this far'

Messy Church South London

A good number of people have been introduced to Messy Church from our midweek play group. Another single mum with a young daughter started to attend Messy Church regularly, then came along to our Easter services. Very quickly they became part of our church family, as a few weeks later the mum gave her heart to Christ. Since then they have been through the worst of times, but mum testifies it is God alone who has brought them this far, and will continue to uphold them.

To discover more about what God is doing through Messy Church, watch our latest inspiring Messy Church video testimonies.

BRF's Messy Church mission

Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter

A key aspect of BRF’s purpose is to resource the local church for mission. Providing a non-stop stream of new materials and ideas; encouraging, training and supporting Messy Church leaders in 25 countries; recruiting and empowering regional coordinators: that’s the job of BRF’s Messy Church team. It’s what gives small churches like this the confidence and means to run this inclusive, welcoming form of service in their local communities:

‘The excellent Messy Church training has been second to none, helping us consider the purpose of our Messy Church, and how to develop it. A single word on a training day gave me a whole new way of presenting the Bible story: “monologue”! Since then I’ve been dressing up as biblical characters, to seemingly great effect! Long may we continue to meet, share and inspire each other at these unmissable events.’

Find out how to start a Messy Church

Could you stand in the gap?

Around the world Messy Church is providing a non-threatening place where people from all backgrounds, and of all abilities and ages – from 0 to 100 – are meeting with God. BRF depends on donations to cover the costs of running and growing the programme. Each year we ask Messy Churches for £100 contributions; many are unable to afford it. Could you stand in the gap and donate on behalf a small Messy Church in a difficult area? Even if you can only give a little, it will help. Thank you.

Donate now

Image acknowledgements

Tooting cityscape © Thinkstock

Messy Church photos © Summerstown Mission E. C., SW London