Tag Archives: all-age

Get them talking – how to encourage the generations to talk to each other

conversation starters

An article from the Aim Lower Journal, which originated on the Building Faith website (thanks, Matthew!):

Conversation starters for mixed age groups ? Regardless of the intergenerational program you have planned (activity, meal, study) it helps to start things off with a good question. Finding a good question is harder than we thought – the question must be interesting and answerable for ALL ages. Here are 12 questions to get you started; they can be answered by participants of almost any age.

Planning Intergenerational Ministry

Intergenerational ministry. The concept is simple: get people of multiple ages and life stages together for formation. To learn more about the theory and developments around intergenerational ministry, check out intergenerationalfaith.com.

Intergenerational ministry takes careful planning. That’s because it is often a new experience for people, and folks don’t always know what to do. As leaders, we can help “grease the wheels” with clear instructions. For example, we posted a way to split people up to have multiple ages sitting together at tables: How to Create Mixed Seating at Intergenerational Formation Events.

But what about conversation starters? Regardless of the program you have planned (activity, meal, study) it helps to start things off with a good question. Finding a good question harder than we thought – the question must be interesting and answerable for ALL ages. Here are 12 questions to get you started; they can be answered by participants of almost any age.

New Resource: The All-In Thing from Big Ministries


The All-In Thing

Here is an exciting resource for you to use as you lead times of worship where the whole church is All-In together.

The idea of The All-In Thing is to help people create worship experiences that actually work for times when the whole church is ‘All-In’ together in a service.

The whole premise for All-In Worship is to take into consideration the massive variety of people with such a variety of needs we have in our churches (regardless of age) and facilitate their worship by making things accessible and inclusive for all.

The book includes the explanation of the vision of All-In Worship, 10 service outlines and all the details, scripts and resources you need to be able to pull this off!

Read more here.

Growing Messy Leaders training and development day

growing messy leaders header

A training day for Messy Church teams of any denomination.

CPAS brings their extensive experience of growing leaders in churches to help Messy Churches. BRF’s Messy Church team and CPAS are working together to help Messy Church team members and leaders of all ages become better leaders through team-building work and leadership theory and reflective practice. This hands-on, fun, fast-moving and action-packed training day will give to those aged 9-99 (and older if required) the opportunity to understand more of the practicalities of leading a Messy Church, develop their teamwork and reflect on their inner relationship with God and those around them.

Take your Messy team to a different level. Come as a team! Bring your leaders young and old! A fun, inspirational, useful and paradigm-shifting all-age training day.

Saturday 14 November 2015, 10.00am at St Paul’s Church, Oak Rd, Bursledon, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 8DT

Cost £10 per adult, children 9-16 free.
All children aged 9-16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

To book please contact Jennifer.fradgley@winchester.anglican.org

Valuing Messy Leaders

messy churchHere’s a big thank you to Messy Church leaders, written by Martyn Payne on the Messy Church website explaining exactly what you all do and the challenges you overcome:

We mustn’t underestimate the challenge of running a Messy Church. This isn’t just about putting on an event every now and then, which in itself would be demanding enough, but it’s about leading a pioneering form of church for which there is little precedent!

Messy church leaders are courageous people, often working in the dark, one step at a time, and juggling a variety of important pressures that include:

  • pulling together a team of volunteers who have had little or no training
  • planning a programme month by month that is within the skill set of those volunteers
  • connecting with the local community beyond the fringes of normal church and negotiating with local schools and perhaps Children Centres on behalf of the Christian church
  • welcoming and befriending adults and children for whom ‘church’ has never really been part of their experience before coming to Messy Church
  • adapting the Bible storytelling and celebration so that it is appropriate for an audience who are mostly only very vaguely aware of Christian stories
  • handling the often suspicious and sometimes even critical comments from a traditional Sunday congregation about the purpose of Messy Church
  • experimenting with sensitivity new avenues of Christian discipleship both within and parallel to the monthly meetings but with few useful workable models to draw upon
  • balancing the demands on their time from Sunday church and the growing opportunities within Messy Church

and alongside all this – as if that wasn’t enough! – coming to terms with the growing realisation that they are in effect unacknowledged, unordained and untrained church leaders within a national and international family of missionary congregations that is one of the fastest growing expressions of church of our day.

No, we definitely mustn’t underestimate the challenge that our messy leaders face and how hungry they are to hear encouragement and affirmation. However on my visits I often wonder just how much genuine support they are receiving within the whole body of Christ at their ‘sending church’. Their ministry needs to be clearly recognised and in fact they may also need to be ‘released’ from many of the things they’re also being asked to do on a Sunday in order to fulfil their messy calling. They would never themselves ask to be set free from those tasks – their loyalty and commitment to the church is too great – so that release needs to come ‘from the top’ and that is one of the biggest challenges for many Messy Churches.

In my experience Messy Church leaders are a remarkable group of lay people who are mission-minded, reflective, thoughtful and committed. Maybe we have spent far too much time, particularly in the established churches, training specialized leaders ‘for the pulpit or the communion table’ when really our focus should have been on encouraging and equipping the women and men who on the whole sit passively in the pews for most of our traditional church services, but who can most assuredly be God’s Spirit-filled movers and shakers in any church.

Hampshire Messy Meet-up

Messy Meet-up

When: Tuesday 19 May 2015, 7.30pm
Where: Church of the Good Shepherd, Four Marks, GU34 5AA

Come and join the Messy team at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Four Marks, Lucy Moore and James Pegg on 19 May at 7.30 for a Messy Meet-up. Time to chat about how your Messy Church is going, share some great ideas (and problems!), catch up with the local and national Messy Church picture, talk with James about teenagers in Messy Churches, pray for each other and generally wallow in Messiness for an evening.

Bring an activity example that’s worked really well in your Messy Church recently if you can, but even if you can’t, just turn up and be reinspired. No need to book but a rough idea of numbers would be useful, so email Lucy lucy.moore@brf.org.uk if you can.

Helping all ages to discuss the Bible reading

Roots logo

How do we bring the Bible to life? Each week in the ROOTS materials include ideas on how to discuss the Bible reading with all ages.

Talk about encourages children to discuss the Bible reading.

Discussion questions in the Bible study help young people deepen their understanding of the reading

Thought-provoking questions form part of our sermon preparation.

All the links above come from the week for 6 April 2014 which focuses on Ezekiel.

Messy Church and Godly Play

messy churchGodly Play





Lucy Moore (Messy Church Team Leader, responsible for developing the work of Messy Church nationally and internationally) writes on her blog:

Martyn and I had a good and helpful meeting the other week with Mary Hawes, National Going for Growth Adviser and Peter Privett, known by many for his work with Godly Play across the world.

I’d compiled a list of similarities and differences between Messy Church and Godly Play and thought they might be useful to ponder on for others who are interested in both approaches. What do you think?

Read more here.  What’s your opinion?

Jonah a Fishy Tale

JonahMary Copping, of St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Hill, Winchester, writes to tell us that the children, young people and adults are putting on a Show at St Paul’s Church, Winchester (just behind the station).  It is called Jonah a Fishy Tale and is on this Saturday 9th Feb at 5pm with refreshments afterwards.  The Show is for all ages so do encourage people to come along if they can.  No tickets are needed.  Click here for a poster.