Global Leadership Network UK & Ireland

GLN UK & Ireland

Messy Church – John Burke

Messy Church from Out of the Culture on Vimeo.


We have a certain view of church that certain people sit in certain seats every week and they behave a certain way.

We’re not willing for it to get messy… for there to be a blurring of where attenders are really at, so that we might not really know whether they’re following Christ. There’s a certain amount of mess to that.

When Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house, it caused a huge stir. Why? Because Zacchaeus was far away from being associated with following God, he was stealing from people, but something about Jesus was attractive to him and Jesus saw it, and that God was at work behind the scenes with him, and so he moved in close.

That created a mess – the religious people didn’t like it and Zacchaeus invited his friends along who were far from God – and yet Jesus entered the situation very comfortable in his own skin. He was confident that God was already at work and was going to make something beautiful out of something messy.

Unless we as the church are willing to enter into that place, we will not see God make something beautiful out of the mess of life. If we think that the way God does things is to make things look neat on the outside, we’re falling into the trap of the Pharisees.

We’ve got to be willing to enter into the mess of the culture and allow God to do something beautiful.

Further Reference:

‘Come As You Are But Don’t Stay That Way’ – UK Conference with James Emery White and John Burke, April 5-6
Listen to John’s talk on ‘A Culture of Grace’ from his previous UK visit here
No Perfect People Allowed, by John Burke