This was first part of a series of three Messy Churches we ran, Who is Jesus? Who is God? And Who is the Holy Spirit?
We really wanted to encourage discipleship within our families, so we always need to keep going back to basic and not just assume that everyone knew the things we did!
In this Messy Church we wanted to explore the different aspects of Jesus’ character and the different well known stories about His life, which is reflected in the crafts and activities.
Welcome – 10 minutes
We often have a washing line hung up in our entrance with some pegs and a6 pieces of scrap paper (usually left over Messy Church flyers). We often invite people to answer a question and hang it up on the line. This month we asked people to think of a Story they know about Jesus, to write or draw about it on the paper.
Crafts and activities – 50 minutes
Finger print cross – Jesus died for me
For some reason I don’t have a picture of the one we made, but I did find this craft on pinterest! On this station we talked about how Jesus died for everyone in the world, and our finger print can remind us of how Jesus died for US.
Who is Jesus Poster
We like to go simple sometimes with a poster! Using A2 coloured card, felt tip pens, and some stock images of Jesus. We let the families come and and write on our poster anything they know about Jesus. It’s then a great thing to display in church so other building users can see what we get up to!
In this activity we filled a washing up bowl with jelly and jelly babies! The idea here is that Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, and Jesus is trying to catch us. The kids come up and dip their (CLEAN) hands into the jelly to fish out a jelly person!
A LOT of the stories we read are about Him in a boat! So with a LOT of junk, some parcel tape, string, and scissors we let the families create!
I am the bread of life key ring
On this station we were thinking about Jesus being the bread of life, and how he can fill us with love. To have a daily reminder of this we made keyrings with Shrinkable paper. Again I don’t have pictures for this. But all you need to do is draw a bread outline, with the words ‘Jesus is the Bread of Life’. You will want to use sharpies for this and use a hole punch before putting the sheets in the over. Place the sheets cloudy face down on a baking tray in an oven. Keep a good eye on them and take them out once they’ve shrunk 7 times smaller.
Popcorn – Jesus Changes me
We sent out a shout out before Messy Church to see if anyone owned a popcorn maker, and someone did! We got some popcorn kernels and got the families to help us set up the machine and fill it with the kernels. We had little paper bags for the families to fill with popcorn. They could design the bag whilst waiting for their turn with the words ‘Jesus Changes Me’. We talked about how when we meet Jesus he changes us from the inside out!
Jigsaw – healing
This is a brilliant activity which we haven’t done for AGES! We chose to think on this station as Jesus the healer. We thought about how sometimes when we’re healed we need to be put back together, like a jigsaw.
You can use this for loads of different themes. All you need is an appropriate picture/adult colouring sheet (pre coloured) for the theme you’re doing, or if you’re artistic you can make one yourself! Make a few copies of it, laminate and cut them into pieces! You can cut them into smaller or larger pieces to change the difficulty and then make it obvious on the station which is the harder and which is the easier.
Celebration – 20 minutes
After our Welcome and Crafts and Activities we go into a time of worship, which we call the ‘Celebration’.
As people are coming in we always have a song playing. We usually have a Fischy Music song playing.
Welcome – We start by welcoming everyone, asking people what they’ve done today in Messy church and what they’ve enjoyed.
We sometimes have both of our worship songs at the beginning of the celebration and sometimes one to begin and one to end. This time we had them both at the start.
I would start the story with a little explanation of what’s coming in the video.
‘Here’s a video which will help us to learn more about Jesus, I wonder how much of this we will already know. Listen really careful and see if you learn anything new! It’s called a very special Easter, didn’t we just have Easter the other day? That’s a time where we think about the really special things Jesus did for us.’
‘Right at the end can anyone remember the ways they said we could be close to Jesus?
Invite Him into our hearts…
Yes we can invite him into our lives, but how do we do this…? (Give the families a minute to talk about this in their groups)
Reading the bible, praying, coming to church…
So it’s like we’re giving him our hearts, so we’re going to do a bit of a prayer time now, you can decorate this little heart and make sure you put your name in the middle. Parents can you make sure everyone’s getting on alright and that you get to do your own.
Once you’ve written your name on the heart come and bring it to the front where you can place it on our big picture of Jesus. When you stick it on with bluetac if you like you can say Amen. And that will be your prayer to God that you will let Jesus into your heart as your friend.’
For this you will need an a3 poster of Jesus and lots of cut out hearts and bluetac. Invite everyone to write their name on the heart and bring it to the front and stick it on. Parents always need an extra nudge, but it’s important to be gentle as there may be people (parents and children) who aren’t ready to pray this prayer yet!
We always finish our messy celebration with the Messy Grace with actions which can be found in the Messy Church books.
Food – 30 minutes
Then we come together for food! We always do party food as we meet on a Sunday afternoon. Families generally help us tidy away which is great!
This theme was used at Grangewood in April 2016