Remix – the story!

by Lasse Bech 

This is a story worth reading. Remix is an emerging church plant for teenagers in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Background

In January 2000 the idea of beginning a missional work for teenagers in North-West Copenhagen was born. Four people from the newly planted (1998) CaféChurch in Copenhagen began vision casting and planning how to reach out to teenagers. The CaféChurch target group was what some call GenX, but these four people felt their gifts and talents were better used to work with teenagers. Two of them taught at the Adventist School in NW-Copenhagen, where there is also an Adventist congregation – but no Adventist kids! Although the local church was not geared to take on that role, it was clear that the school was a great opportunity for mission. So the group planned to begin a Youth Club with the vision of later conducting teenage seeker sensitive services. 

Launching Plug In

Besides targeting the teenagers at the Adventist School the Club was launched with a week of outreach to the other schools in the area. Through the Baptist Youth Association it was possible to have two Christian college basketball players from California come and spend a week. Prior to the summer school break letters were sent to all the schools telling of the new youth club starting soon. Schools were informed of the opportunity to have the basketball players visit for an English or P.E. lesson – for students to practice their English skills or learn new basketball tricks.  During a week (at the beginning of the school year) with the basketball players four schools were visited and the idea of Plug In was shared with more than 200 teenagers.

Two of the leaders of Plug In hosted the lessons and built relations with the teenagers. The teenagers were also invited to join in basketball activities in the local public park in the afternoons and two evening barbecues at the Club. This idea was repeated at the beginning of 2001. Since the summer of 2000 Plug in has had activities every week. To start with club activities took place in one of the classrooms at the Adventist School, but later Plug In got their own room in the building. A core activity is basketball and football in the local park (in warmer weather) – for this provides an ongoing opportunity to meet and invite new people to join the club. Many have become part of Plug In this way – and they bring their friends. 

Getting deeper

Plug In is a “proclamation free zone”, where teenagers can come and share fun without being preached to. However the club is run on Christian values and the good news is shown in practical ways – through genuine care for each individual and a loving environment. To give the teenagers an opportunity to have better tools for their journey in life a weekly discussion forum was offered as an option for those who were interested. The forum received the name Explorer and had the purpose of helping teenagers explore the “big” questions (like God, wars, AIDS and stuff like that!) and the “near” questions (like teenage-pregnancy, racism, violence and stuff like that!). The idea is that everybody can express their opinion – and so can the leaders.  

Remix takes shape

By the summer 2003 it had become clear that the way to follow up on all the good contacts and friendships would be to plant a new church. At a Church Planters X-change in Finland a mission statement, vision statement and core values were formulated for the new church. The core group consisted of adults with the vision to be missional in the local community and teenagers from CaféChurch who wanted to plan worship programs for their own age group. The monthly service was launched in the spring of 2004. The teenagers attending were both local teenagers with no Christian background and teenagers and friends from CaféChurch – the later generally from other parts of greater Copenhagen with less social challenges.  

After about a year it became clear that the local teenagers were becoming “guests” in their own neighborhood. It was decided that CaféChurch would start their own teenage ministry – with the result that Remix is now more focused upon its mission in North-West Copenhagen and there is greater involvement by local teenagers with no Christian background.   

Every second Friday Remix meets in a home for Bible study and fellowship. This means a great sense of community is being built. Teenagers are opening up, praying and sharing. 10-12 teenagers attend – and they describe it as the family they always wanted. 

Weekend retreats are very important occasions to build and expand the church. We have had 3 such weekends and every time has been a spiritual peak for everyone and an opportunity to invite and embrace more teenagers from our social work into the church family. At the first retreat in October 2005 the first two teenagers from this ministry were baptised – one with an Adventist background and one from the local community. 

At monthly seeker services a series is run where different people are telling the story of their journey with God. This is helping teenagers to relate the gospel massage to real life. Many are saying that it is beginning to make sense in a more real way and not only as a theory. Although their theological knowledge is quite meager, they practice faith in God in their everyday lives in a way that is very real (but to a modernist Christian probably quite different).

Check out pictures at www.re-mix.dk or www.plug-in.dk under "billeder".

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