All Age Messy Activity

All Age Messy Activity

Robin Cannon from Deep Creek United Methodist Church, Chesapeake,VA

Wondering how to engage those teens and adults in Messy Church?  Robin shared their experience of creating all-age experiences at their Messy Church in Chesapeake, VA.  Thanks Robin for sharing your story!

Messy Stained Glass created by Deep Creek UMC, Chesapeake VA 

Messy Church Stained Glass 

Our mid-sized church launched Messy Church this past September. Our hope was that we would be able to make connections with the many families who are a part of our church’s preschool and day care ministries and who are not a part of a faith community. We have been thrilled by the response. We average around 80 people and every month we have new, young families join us! Our goal was to reach out to young families and provide for them a non-intimating faith building experience and we have seen that happening each month.

Teenagers inviting friends to join them for Messy Church – it is such a beautiful thing!

We have also experienced some results that we did not anticipate. In our Messy Church planning, we have tried to be intentional about planning activities and stations that teens and adults would also enjoy such as our “stained glass window” painting project. The result has been that we now also have a group of adults and teens that love Messy Church! Each month many of our activities are planned and led by teens. This has produced some very enthusiastic teenagers who love what they are doing and are regularly inviting their friends to join us! Teenagers inviting friends to join them for Messy Church – it is such a beautiful thing!

We have also been intentional about planning a missions/serving activity each month. Our adults really enjoy the opportunities to be doing things for others each month. Thus far we have decorated cookies that were given to teachers at a nearby school, packaged rice and beans for our Food Pantry, packed goodie bags that everyone took to hand out to people who are rarely thanked for what they do, made Christmas cards for sick children, and helped make shoes for children in Uganda through Sole Hope. It has been wonderful to see all ages working together to share the Light and Love of Jesus with others!

We love Messy Church and are so thankful for all the wonderful ideas that come from other Messy Churches all around the world!

How to Make Messy Stained Glass

  • We cut sheets of clear of cellophane (you can buy it in rolls like wrapping paper at Michael’s) the size of our glass doors and taped them over the glass using painters tape.
  • We projected the image we wanted and traced with a black sharpie.
  • We sectioned off the images using black electrical tape – to create sections and give it a stained glass feel.
  • We covered the floor with tarps and prayed that this project didn’t go very badly – what could go wrong painting the doors with acrylic paint in the church gathering space!?!
  • At our Let your Light Shine Messy Church, everyone painted! We used good acrylic paint (the artist kind that comes in tubes at Michael’s). I think this is key to bright colors and paint thick enough not dribble and make a big mess. All 8 of these doors got nearly finished at our Messy Church and they are big hit – we’ve had them up for nearly a month now. We did a little bit of touch up the day after Messy Church to finish a few spots up – but this truly was an inter-generational project with kids, teens and adults all working together!


  1. What a wonderful project, transforming space and could be done seasonally! Can’t wait to suggest it!

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