ThE DEN - update Jan10

Friday, 1 January, 2010

Tina and Chris Adams talk about ThE DEN, a fresh expression for young people in a garden shed.

Duration: 4:50   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: In the Warwickshire town of Kenilworth there's a rather special green hut in a back garden. Until recently it was just that, somewhere to laze on a hot summer's day. But now it fulfils a very different role, as its owner explains.

Tina Adams: Hi, I'm Tina Adams, and my husband Chris and I are directors of Kenilworth Youth for Christ. We've been doing that for nine years now. I used to be a drama teacher, Chris used to be a scientist, so it was quite a change really. And we've been working with children who are used to going to church, through those nine years, but also children who have never had anything to do with church. And about six months ago I was praying that God would really really help us to connect with the really needy hurting young people.

Chris Adams: And we'd been concerned about the fact that young people find it difficult to get into church and we'd been looking at the idea of setting up a spiritual centre or eden hut. And as it happens we have a large summer house and we were just thinking of turning it into a place of meditation and prayer and getting round to doing that, when we had a word of prophecy from somebody we met at an evening meeting.

Tina Adams: And a lady that we know, but we don't know her terribly well, she's never been to our house, came up to Chris in the meeting and said, do you have a green painted wooden structure in your garden? And our first thought was woah, something's coming here and a sort of feeling of excitement of God knows about this. And she then said, I just want to tell you that it's going to be central to what God is doing, central to your ministry, and the Holy Spirit is all over it, flowing out of it, all over it.

Chris Adams: So we got very excited in that, continued to do up our summer house and started inviting people down. And we started a Tuesday evening meeting for people to come along, not just young people but adults too. And we had a time of amazing ministry when God really did show himself powerfully to us and do things to people who came for prayer, but in addition we've really been using it with the young people. But we've been very careful to make sure we have parental permission, that the parents do actually know about it.

Tina Adams: So, out we go. It's just down the path here. And this looks like a bit of a beach cabin doesn't it, it's like a great big green summer house, with doors and windows and a little veranda. Inside it feels like you're walking into a sort of holiday lodge because of all the pine wood.

Here we go, it's never locked, here we go. Ok, we're now inside ThE DEN and we've got it lit by fairy lights, we have carpet, rugs down and then just lots of different… beanbags, it's very informal, there's beanbags, there's different sorts of chairs, there's a bookshelf with lots of CDs and books on it, there's some worship art on the walls.

We have a journal in ThE DEN for people to write in and this is… a young girl wrote this to God. When he touched me it felt like magic. I love the feeling you gave me. I'll be coming to ThE DEN more often. I love you God, thank you for everything.

Basically we do church, but we don't really call it that, and we also started prayer ministry straight away with them, with them also praying for each other, and it was actually amazing, that these young people with no preconceptions, they were able to then start praying for each other. And we've had such beautiful things happening. There was one girl who was praying and she was holding her hands out, and her friend was cupping her hands underneath. And her friend took her hands away and this young girl, she dropped her hands and then she felt another pair of hands take hers, when there was no-one there. And just beautiful little experiences like that have been happening.

We're doing church and we're encountering God and God's working, but it's in a very real way that actually is connected with their real lives, you know, they come with their arguments, they come with their problems, and they don't leave them at the door, they bring them through into the door. And that can make it quite hard for us, but at the same time God's working in that very real situation for them. And if they went into a normal church service that would be a very difficult thing, because you know the church has a certain structure it has to go through, we don't have that. So although that is a pressure and it can be a difficulty, it is also a freedom that we have that an ordinary church perhaps wouldn't have.

Introducer: Tina Adams talking about ThE DEN in Kenilworth, that rather unusual church for young people in her back garden.

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