Messy Learning: Learning from the Church

“The hall is buzzing with conversation. Around a table adults and children burst into laughter as they wrestle with metallic tubing and googly eyes and their teenage helpers despair of ever creating the promised artefact.
A toddler slaps green paint on a huge sheet of card under the watchful eye of a Granny (not sure if they’re related or not – it doesn’t really matter). A five-year-old watches wide-eyed as an enthusiastic leader shows her how to bang in a nail.
There’s a delicious smell wafting out of the kitchen. The ten-year-olds, intent on their glass-painting, agree it must be jacket potatoes. The vicar takes a photo of the surreal result of the junk modelling and two mums catch up on the gossip as they drink welcome cups of tea and slowly decorate gift bags while their children make something unidentifiable but very chocolatey upstairs.
The cooks should be getting the plates stacked, but one of the mums needs to talk about her problems with her foster children.
I would be panicking about the story for the celebration later, but there’s a huge collage of The Great Banquet to assemble before five o’clock, the powder paint has proved a formidable weapon of mess creation in the hands of Jack, and we’ve barely got started on the lettering and whoops, someone’s kicked over the gluepot…
Just another Messy Church.
Messy Church is the church’s attempt to be a church for families who might want to meet Jesus, belong to their local church and bring up their children as Christians but can’t cope with traditional Sunday morning church services.”
The Messy Church Website…
My thoughts…
Is it possible, that the church, an establishment usually criticised for being ‘behind the times’, is actually ahead of our schools in its thinking when it comes to ‘engaging’ the customer?
My dad’s church is one of hundreds across the UK to start Messy Church. Once a month, his church that attracts around 60 people to its weekly service, opens its doors to over 100 children and family members for Messy Church. The church is engaging the customer! Is your school?
If our schools stop focussing on traditions, ticking boxes, following rules and GET MESSY: we will transform learning, our schools and the lives of individuals across the country.
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One comment on “Messy Learning: Learning from the Church

  1. hnaylor62 says:

    I grew up in a church like the one you describe. We should compare notes one day. Life is messy…and so is learning. Control is essentially for the comfort of the adults in a classroom. What seems to be missed is that relationships that are honest and healthy encourage pupil engagement which then minimises the need for adult control of little people. What we want to strive for is a room full of kids who are so engrossed in their learning that misbehaving just doesn’t even occur to them. I know this is possible. And yes…it can look messy.

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