Messy Church Missionaries?
8th March 2018
Chesterfield Seventh-day Adventist church dared to believe that they could impact their community in an unconventional way. And so, they invested in paints, arts and crafts materials, messy things like soil, seeds and plant pots, ensuring that there was lots of yummy food to eat, as once a month they open their church doors wide to the children of the community.
Little by little the children have come in ever increasing numbers. They even enacted the enacted the passion of Christ. Many may consider this a little bit of fun, but this week at school, the impact of 'Messy Church' was quite amazing.
This is what my youngest son had to share about a day at school: In a class of Religious Education, the teacher said that, "The Pharisees called Jesus to say stop these people praising You, because they were getting jealous and wanted the people to praise them instead. If Jesus stopped the people, there would be silence." But she was interrupted by a little girl who said, "Oh you've got it all wrong Miss, because even if they were quiet the stones would cry out!" The teacher proceeded to show a picture on the screen; it was a cartoon of the Last Supper. At this another pupil put their hand up, this time a little boy, followed by yet another boy, stating that "this was not the real picture, as the real one was painted by Leonardo da Vinci, he painted Jesus and His twelve disciples." The teacher was astonished, she picked up the Bible and started reading about the cock's crow and Peter's lies. She proceeded to read "Jesus was carrying the cross and a friend came and carried it because it was heavy and then Jesus died."
Once again, the children began to fill in the missing details of the story, the dark sky, earthquake and the temple curtain being torn in two. The teacher was amazed! The children began to share that they learn all these things by attending Messy Church and acting in a play. The other children were so excited that they said, "We want to attend Messy Church." When my son told me this, I couldn't help thinking, 'Wow, Messy Church missionaries'. It's amazing what God can do with the unconventional.
[Pastor Patricia Douglas NEC Children’s Ministries Director]