Back in 1991, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures were flying off the shelves, a fifth-grade teacher in Hawaii introduced a game to her class called Pogs, and Bryan Adams sold the first of five million copies of ‘Everything I Do’.
In Kinver, however, it was the year that saw the beginning of what was to become AD33. Following an ecumenical week-long ‘Rob Frost mission’, a drop-in event at the church hall called ‘Hole in the Wall’ was started for young people who hung around the church premises in the evening. This was followed by an alternative group for young people from church, meeting in the homes of members of both congregations. This group – given the name ‘Alive and Kicking’ by the young people – moved between homes and the church hall until 2001, when it found a new base at the Youth Hut, behind Kinver High School. Over the years, new groups and projects were founded, creating so much work that the leadership decided that a full-time paid youth worker was needed. The charity AD33 was established in 2008, and the first youth pastor was appointed a year later. Since then the work has developed even further, always seeking to provide opportunities for young people to grow, and always relying on the talents and time of some awesome volunteers.
Visions and Values
AD33 exists to help young people, especially but not exclusively through:
- the provision of a supportive community, with a Christian ethos, in which they can explore matters of life and faith as part of their development in becoming mature and responsible individuals.
- the provision of recreational and leisure time activities to encourage social interaction and build healthy relationships.
Our values are:
- to be a relevant and accessible part of God’s church;
- to openly and honestly communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ;
- to serve the community in Kinver in a vibrant and welcoming environment;
- to listen and to love.
Our prayer is that God would continue to open the eyes and minds of his people to his presence, that he would bring about change and revival in his people, that the church family would always be completely God-centred, God-focussed and God-inspired, with strong, God-breathed teaching leading to a passionate desire to worship and praise God as well as a hunger to seek his will through prayer and Bible study and engage in mission and service in God’s world.
Our Approach To Youth Work
We’ve looked at loads of research, read loads of books, but most importantly, spent time with loads of young people over many years, and found that the most effective way of doing youth work is to build relationships, walk alongside young people, and ’live life’ with them. We’re not about indoctrinating young people with our views and beliefs, but we do want to make a positive impact in their lives. So, through establishing mutually trusting relationships, we give young people the opportunity to explore faith, realise their identity and develop the ability to make good life decisions.
Young People's Stories
AD33 didn’t just introduce me to faith, but helped me build upon it. It has given me a support network to fall back on in doubt and friends to share my experiences and challenges with.
The various groups AD33 provide give the chance to meet people of all ages and learn from them. J-team and Alive and Kicking give me the chance to encourage faith in others and challenge my own beliefs while having great fun. Life Group gives me a space to explore my faith in a non-judgmental environment; and it’s where I’ve met my best friends.
For me AD33 is a solid platform where faith can arise, and be built. Great relationships are formed and strengthened. It is a platform for God to use to bring his people together and build his church, along with giving young people like myself opportunities to lead, speak and feel God’s amazing love.
AD33 will always be eternal for me; no matter how far away I am, I am always close enough to be part of it.
AD33 has been one of the largest, most inspirational, challenging and educational influences in my life over the past 8 years.
I’ve been lucky enough to find amazing friendship through AD33, whether that’s from Life Group, where fellowship and a loving church family come first, or through my long time growing in faith at Alive and Kicking, a group I have been at/helped lead, for 8 years. It’s a great fun-loving, safe place for young people to come and be themselves.
Over time they have become more than leaders, colleagues or just young people. AD33 is family to me and will be with me wherever I am in the world.