Messy Church Theology book released
News Release: 19 September 2013
Church Army’s Research Unit is celebrating the release of a new book, Messy Church Theology, which has been edited by its Director, George Lings.
The book examines the phenomenon of Messy Church, which since its outset in 2004, has become established in many countries worldwide, with more than 1,900 churches currently registered. Messy Church is a new form of church for all ages that offers families the chance to enjoy a time of food, craft, games and worship.
Such growth has generated much response and debate. And therefore, the book is made up of a collection of essays from a wide range of contributors to provide theological reflection.
The essays look at the impact of Messy Church as a new form of church, how it builds discipleship, how it sits within the wider church and what the future might hold. All the contributions add to the debate showing that Messy Church is much more than crafts and food for children.
The team from Church Army’s Research Unit have contributed to four chapters in the book. These include “When is Messy Church ‘church’?” by Claire Dalpra, “When is Messy Church ‘not church’?” by Steve Hollinghurst and “What is the DNA of Messy Church?” by George Lings. Evangelist, Kevin Metcalfe, who ran a Messy Church at Christ Church Primacy in Northern Ireland, is also featured as a case study.
George said: “When Lucy Moore, the founder of Messy Church, asked me to work on this book I was more than happy to agree as I believe the Messy Church phenomenon has much to teach us about the nature and practice of church. I hope it will be a real encouragement to existing Messy Church practitioners and advocates, but will also serve as a helpful examination for theological students, interested outsiders, those not yet convinced about Messy Church and even those who are deeply suspicious of it.
“This is the only book so far that takes a serious, theological look at Messy Church and what it says to us about the nature of church, discipleship and leadership. This is part of rescuing Messy Church from the false stereotype that it is only activities and food for children. There is a lot to be learnt from it.”
To buy a copy of Messy Church Theology and to find out more, visit www.messychurch.org.uk/resource/messy-church-theology