We started a Messy Church venture at Claremount church in September 2014. We knew we needed to introduce the amazing stories from the Bible to people who may never have heard of any of them before.  As with all such initiatives, there was a lot of dedicated hard work from church members, learning through our mistakes along the way.
We soon found that some people from outside the church discovered us through the power of Facebook, became invaluable helpers, and enjoyed the fellowship and the benefits of being part of a church.  So after a few months I decided to set up a Facebook Page to see how that might help us develop further. Many other Messy Churches have them, with lots of ideas and hints to be borrowed. It’s good to share!
I started circulating the Facebook address, and we now have nearly 200 members in our group. I use it to advertise the next event so people remember to come.I also post it into as many Facebook groups as I can find each month who will allow us to advertise in their groups or pages. It takes hours but is so worth it. We get people who just watch us online for a few months to see what goes on, then come along and try us out. Other people love the idea of Messy Church, but are a little worried about the first visit, so they ask questions to be sure it’s right for them and their family.
I try to thank every single person who has worked to make that particular session such a success. I also include photos of crafts we have enjoyed doing and notices about special events, like the two outdoor Messy Church sessions with Village Churches Together and Praise in the Park at New Brighton. You can read about these – of course! – on our Facebook page. Search for Messy Church, Claremount Methodist Church, Wallasey.
We have had lots of families visit us who have never ever been into church, never heard the Bible stories, who thought “all those strange people in that strange building” were some kind of aliens but have now found a whole new interest. They enjoy doing crafts and eating together, and sharing in conversations with their own family while having others around them.
We are providing a huge service to families and the more we learn to use Facebook to our advantage as a church, and not be afraid of it, the better for us all. – Sue Noonan