Messy Church

Steve Burgess | 26 OCT 2016

Church is messy.

When you take hundreds of people, with all of their mess, and you throw them together, you get mess. And that's ok. Actually, it's better than ok. It's wonderful.

We sometimes have romantic, idealistic ideas about the early church. But I am pretty sure that the early church was full of people like you and I, and so virtually all of the problems and issues that exist in the church today would have existed in the church back then. Do you think that, in a church of thousands of people, there was agreement at every point? Do you think that there was perfect doctrinal alignment across the board? Do you think that they all always agreed with the judgments of the leadership? Do you think there were never any relational breakups, or gossiping, or people blowing it by sinning against others? Do you think that there were no people who felt overlooked or unappreciated?

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
-Colossians 3:14

Let's not be naive. The church has been messy from its beginnings. And it will be messy for a while yet. So, while it's messy, we need these words, governing our mess:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful”. - Colossians 3:12-15

Bear with one another. Forgive one another. Love one another. And be thankful. Thankful that Christ came into our messy world and thankful that He will come again in power to clean up our mess for good...for our good.


Steve is primarily based in and responsible for pastoring our South City congregation. He is married to Dawn, dad to Sacha, Lucy and Wesley and is passionate about the Word, hospitality and sport.