Two conferences and a Fiesta... Welcome to Messy Church USA & Canada

A movement of God in the USA

Outgoing Messy Church team member Martyn Payne, together with Lucy Moore, had planned to travel across the pond in October for the first Messy Church Canada Conference in Toronto, Ontario, where Messy Church is already well established.

In the same month, US pioneers Roberta, Leyla and Marty had finalised setting up Messy Church USA as a not-for-profit organisation, and sold ninety tickets to an inaugural conference in Los Angeles, California.

Meanwhile IVP America had recently published local editions of some of the Messy Church resources.

Everything was coming together to create a significant Messy Church milestone.

As so often has been our experience with Messy Church, God allows things to happen at just the right time

Martyn Payne, Messy Church Team member

A safe place for all

A repeating theme at the US conference was how Messy Church has provided a way back to faith for people who have become disconnected with Church.

Delegates also told of how a Messy Church in Las Vegas has been involved with the aftermath of the recent mass shooting, how a San Diego group near the Mexican border delivers a bilingual Messy Church, called Fiesta Church, how Lutheran, Episcopalian and Presbyterian Messy Church teams are excited by the 'safe place' Messy Church gives families to hear the Gospel afresh.

There were even representatives from some of the USA's largest congregations looking to learn from Messy Church’s intergenerational model.

On to Canada

Toronto, Canada

In Canada, BRF partner and home of Messy Church Canada Wycliffe College hosted the country's first Messy Church conference in Toronto.

Lucy and Martyn delivered three keynote addresses and were involved in five workshops. While a third of the delegates were yet to start a Messy Church, the programme also offered sessions for more mature Messy congregations - on remaining Christ-centred, Messy discipleship and sharing faith at every opportunity.

Watch videos from the conference

From far and wide

People had travelled huge distances to attend - from the Yukon, where Bishop Larry runs a Messy Church in the Cathedral, and British Columbia, where Mark and Jane have started their second Messy Church.

One delegate was experimenting with approaches similar to Messy Vintage, while another is researching what issues Canadian Messy Churches are facing, especially in affluent areas.

Where next?

‘It is almost impossible to predict what God wants to do with Messy Church. But just imagine - if more churches set up a Messy Church: how many new people will be reached for the Kingdom? How many teams will grow in their discipleship as they serve? How well will the next generations come to grips with the Bible? And how differently will church be perceived by the watching world?

Martyn Payne, BRF Messy Church team member


Martyn Payne

Image acknowledgements