Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson


Messy Church and Messy Christmas

by Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter


If the title, Messy Church, caught your attention and made you wonder what on earth THAT could be, let the authors Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter answer the question for you. “Messy Church is a once-monthly time for families to enjoy being together, making things together, eating together, and celebrating God together through his Word, through music, and through prayer.” The goal is reaching people on the “messy” fringes of life who may be interested in God but not comfortable with the idea of a traditional church.


The authors also help you understand what messy church is not. Most certainly it does not include watering down faith. Nor is it separate from your standard Sunday morning church. Rather it is an attempt to reimagine church in a way that draws people in.


Once they’ve defined their terms and helped you understand what messy church involves, they go on to give you fifteen complete sessions to get you started, including Scripture passages, craft ideas, discussion starters, and menu suggestions.


The second book, Messy Christmas, offers three complete sessions for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, plus bonus ideas in each area. Church leaders interested in connecting with their regular congregation in a different way will find excellent ideas in Messy Christmas.


Moore and Leadbetter tell you themselves that messy church isn’t for everyone. God will not call every church to this approach. But what they offer is well worth considering for a church looking for a new way to reach into the community.