Ever since I first heard of Messy Church I have wanted to run one! I have a passion to see people reached for Jesus, and the concept of a church service that would reach out to the unchurched intrigued me.

Kumeu Baptist Church regularly meets for prayer meetings with other local churches and runs the local Light Party together with them. I first approached St Chad’s Anglican-Methodist Church in Huapai last year to ask if they were interested in the concept of Messy Church, and together we went to visit one.

The answer was a resounding yes! We then asked each of our leadership/eldership boards for permission to run it together and to split the costs involved. We put together a planning committee consisting of two volunteers from Kumeu Baptist and four from St Chad’s to decide on the details. St Chad’s had been running a community dinner regularly and the cooks were happy to provide the meal for Messy Church.

Marelize Bester (Kumeu Baptist) put together a professional-looking poster, which we distributed to kindergartens, mainly music and letter boxes, and put on local community Facebook pages. Church members were encouraged to bring along neighbours or unchurched friends and family. Kumeu Baptist planned most of the craft activities and St Chad’s organised games and the meal. We had 11 volunteers from each church, plus members who came along to mingle with the community.

The response was positive—in fact, it was everything I had dreamed of. More than 100 people, including volunteers, enjoyed a great afternoon of activities, worship, celebration and the Easter story from Lost Sheep, Dave the Donkey. Families took home a craft made from wood with the verse “He is not here. He is risen”, made salvation bracelets that explained the gospel message, and received a Scripture Union booklet with the Easter story for children. Over the mealtime, church people mingled with guests and many families were talking about the ‘real Easter story’.

Our second Messy Church was held recently and drew 100 people. We look forward to continuing Messy Church and reaching more people with the good news. For more information please email me, candrmoodie@gmail.com.

Story: Raewyn Moodie
Northern Regional Coach, Baptist Children and Family Ministries and member of Kumeu Baptist Church

If you are from the Auckland/Northland area and would like to know more about Messy Church, contact Claire Wyeth at Church Of The Saviour, Blockhouse Bay, who is Messy Church’s regional coordinator for that area. For other regions, contact Richard Stevens.