February 10th Ron Luce Alumni Conference Call
On Tuesday Evening, February 10th, Ron Luce and Teen Mania hosted an Alumni Conference call. You may listen to or download the full conference call recording below.
A Message From Ron Luce About Teen Mania’s Next Steps
From TM: Help Ron Write His New Book
Ron is writing a new book and we really want to inspire others with teen age stories of how they have endured for Christ! If you or someone you know have really had to persevere for Christ while being persecuted or dealing w intense life realities please share the story. Please comment with your story to email@example.com.
Ron Luce Letter To Alumni In Response To World Magazine Article
Dear Teen Mania Alumni,
Recently, the Christian magazine, WORLD, chose to print a story in its May 3 magazine exploring the financial and business leadership of Teen Mania, which included false statements, errors and misperceptions regarding the current state of our ministry. I am grieved that you may have been hurt by many of these statements and I want to take this opportunity to personally correct these mistakes and share information about the exciting future of Teen Mania.
Since our founding in 1986, through the support of generous donors and the faithfulness of alumni like you, Teen Mania has impacted millions of lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through events, mission trips and internships at the Honor Academy. We have experienced and thank God for His tremendous blessings in our 28-year history, which has allowed us to build a successful and large infrastructure used to impact thousands of teens that includes a 4,000-occupancy facility for interns, campers, youth leaders and missions at our headquarters in Garden Valley, Texas.
Throughout our ministry, we have sought to adhere to biblical standards and God’s calling. We have also strived to be transparent and honest in our mistakes and human failings. It grieves me to hear of individuals who may have experienced hurt as a result of Teen Mania, and we have tried to reach out in Christian love to offer care and ask forgiveness of them, whenever possible.
Under our board of trustee’s overview, the ministry has strived to achieve fiduciary responsibility and accountability. Teen Mania has always filed annual 990 forms with the IRS and chosen to take extra measures such as joining the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) for over 10 years. Contrary to the WORLD article, Teen Mania never paid the stated amounts for guest speakers nor provided gifts as alleged and always sought to utilize ministry donations for initiatives and headquarter improvements which would further allow us to fulfill our mission “to provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take His life-giving message to the ends of the earth.”
Like a number of ministries, Teen Mania has faced many financial challenges over the last several years due to both 9/11 and the 2008 economic downturns. As financial restructuring occurred to accommodate budgetary changes, the day-to-day expenditures associated with the facilities and maintenance has become burdensome and costly for the ministry to maintain. Rather than pass along an increase in fees to those who are studying at the Academy, we chose to make additional changes to our organizational structure and operations in order to minimize our financial risk and vulnerabilities and to implement improved financial standards and best practices.
After prayerful and careful consideration, our board unanimously voted in December 2013 to begin preparations to relocate our headquarters to Dallas, Texas, in order to create a more stable and efficient organization and scale down on operating costs to build a solid foundation for the future security of Teen Mania Ministries. We are so excited about the possibilities this opens us to begin a new phase of our ministry.
As a part of this process, in December 2013, Teen Mania approached our bank with an offer to give the Garden Valley property back through what is known as a “Friendly Foreclosure” to which the bank agreed.
Through a mutual agreement between the bank and Teen Mania this process was finalized on March 4, and at that point Teen Mania was released from its monthly payments and the bank became owners of the property. Teen Mania is currently renting the Garden Valley property from the bank and making all necessary monthly payments. Teen Mania has never been in default at any time during this process.
As you all know, The Lord put on my heart years ago to “build an Army of young people to change the world.” This vision has burned a hole in my soul and pushed me forward to reach as many young people as possible for Christ.
And so, as announced in February, Teen Mania will officially relocate to Dallas in August 2014, at which time a class of new interns will join our second and third year interns at Teen Mania’s new location. In addition, we will assume the new name of Teen Mania International to fully reflect the worldwide scope of the ministry.
We continue to see God blessings through this process and are preparing to welcome 1,200 to 1,400 students for summer camp at Garden Valley prior to our move and send 1,000 teens to 25 countries for short-term missions work.
As we relocate to Dallas, our intention is to continue to build a highly efficient organization with highly effective ministry results. We intend to pursue multiple invitations from around the world, leveraging what we have learned about reaching teens in America. Our goal is to help and equip leaders around the world to reach “Americanized” teens.
Through God’s grace, we will conduct global Acquire the Fire events, take teens from other nations to mission sites and multiply Honor Academy programs all over the world. We will leverage new media and technology to disciple teens and equip them to reach their nations for Christ taking advantage of this global teen culture and using it as the common language to influence them.
In addition to preparing for this exciting time in the next phase of our ministry, Teen Mania is also taking measures to shore up our future financial stability and business model. This includes re-engaging a financial audit at the beginning of our fiscal year in September and re-affirming our accreditation with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
I have filed appropriate forms for a personal ministry, His Works Ministry, following an IRS mandated change requiring non-profits making less than $50,000 annually to file a 990.
Since we started Teen Mania 28 years ago, every single month young people have come to Christ, and we have at times been challenged with the mandate to build an organization to keep up with all this. But we are so thankful for God’s provision for our ministry over the past 30 years and are expectant of what He will do through Teen Mania for many more years to come.
Please pray for Katie and I as we do all we know to do to be faithful to the vision God had placed in us and for the entire Teen Mania Ministries staff as we continue His work worldwide.
Still Consumed by the Call,
Breaking News From Ron Luce on Teen Mania’s Future Plans & Alumni Reunion
Dear Intern Alumni Family,
As you are reading this, we are in the middle of making some very exciting announcements to all the current interns and graduate interns at the Honor Academy regarding not just our move to Dallas, but fundamental changes in the internship. We wanted you to be some of the very first to know this, which is why I am emailing you right now.
Over the past six to eight months we have been doing a lot of deep thinking regarding the nature of the Honor Academy program and what we want to make sure we are accomplishing while people are here for one or two years or more. As time and culture changes, it is necessary to change programs to fulfill the mission we are called to accomplish. With the internship, our goal has been to provide:
- Spiritual substance and fire for long term sustainability in people’s future walk with God.
- Leadership and training so that no matter what realm of life people are called into, they are equipped to be change-agents.
- Structure that trains and develops each intern spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
While these remain constant, how we facilitate that training has taken on different formats over the years. We are excited to announce a number of changes that we think will facilitate these objectives, as well as some other very important objectives as we go into the future and with our Dallas headquarters. Some of the changes include:
- Dramatically reduced ministry placement hours.
- Allowing and highly encouraging interns to take twelve hours of online college credit per semester while they are interns.
- A person taking twelve units will work ten hours a week in ministry placement. Someone not taking college classes will work twenty-two hours in ministry placement (the added value of taking college classes is that people can apply for FASFA, and use it to pay for their college expenses and use leftover Pell Grants and other financial aid to help pay for their internship).
- Interns will live in beautiful apartment facilities (Two interns in each apartment room) with many of the amenities that are afforded in apartment communities (this will cause those interns who lived in the dormitories tell the war stories to future interns of how we used to walk uphill in the snow both ways. Like many of you heard the interns before you in Tulsa share stories of how hard it was for them and what a good and easy life you had).
- One of the things we are trying to accomplish is to help people stay focused on their college advancement while they are still interns. We feel that it is so important and we do not want interns to lose a year or two. If you add twelve units a semester plus the units they can earn from ORU, Regent or other schools we have articulation agreements with, they literally lose no time at all.
- The first year of the internship will become a nine month program from September through May. Second and third year interns will still have a twelve month program.
- In addition we will have regular outreaches to the Dallas community that all interns and graduate interns will participate in weekly.
- We will offer a new class ensuring interns get the fundamentals of the Christian faith strongly embedded in their lives. Also, we will align them with opportunities to lead in their second semester. These small groups will have a chance to lead people to Christ and disciple them during their year in this internship.
These are just a few of the changes that we are excited about. As you can see there are many that are fundamentally different in terms of the structure. As a result we are looking forward to announce that just as in other seasons, changes have been made to the extent that has warranted name changes, and now we are excited to announce a name change as well. The program known as the Honor Academy will cease to exist as of this August graduation. However, the internship at Teen Mania will continue with a new program and structure as I have indicated above, along with so many other exciting features. The new program will be known as the Acquire the Fire Leadership Institute. We have been advised that from a branding/business perspective, it makes a lot more sense since more people know of Acquire the Fire, and more people’s lives have been touched by Acquire the Fire as many of you had been before you came to be an intern.
Please pray for us as we are in the final preparations of this brand new season of Teen Mania. One question that might come to mind that maybe all of you are asking right now is, “How in the world will everything get done that needs to get done if interns are only working ten hours a week?” I’m glad you ask. As you may have seen in some of my other letters, the organizational structure of Teen Mania is undergoing radical change right now to facilitate a more focused and businesslike environment. What we have chosen to do as we make our move to Dallas is to staff Teen Mania with professionals that accomplish the mission of Teen Mania, and they carry the weight of the success of the organization. Many of our staff functions will be outsourced to professional organizations that specialize in their respective skill sets and the staff that we do have will carry the weight of driving the mission forward as interns continue to give ten or twenty-two hours of their time each week. The interns will be adding ministry value as they pray for people on the phones, encourage people along the way, and do various other ministry value placements that are going to be more of what an intern would want to do anyways. In addition, you can imagine that many of the “facilities” type jobs that were necessary to run a campus are no longer necessary so more interns will be deployed directly into ministry value placements.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the Alumni Reunion. Many of the details are described below, and please note that we are having an open town hall type meeting with all the alumni that come to field questions about Teen Mania’s past, present, and future plans. We feel that you’ve poured your life and heart to Teen Mania, and you deserve much more explicit details about our past, present, and future plans and circumstances than person or article could possible describe.
In addition we have invited Dave Hasz to come to share at the reunion! He is very eager to come, but is not able to commit at this time. He is trying to rearrange some things at his present workplace so he can come to be with us. We will let you know as soon as he is able to confirm.
Alumni Reunion Details
Due to the overwhelming requests for a final Teen Mania Alumni Reunion celebration on campus before Teen Mania moves to Dallas, we want to extend a warm invitation to you and your family to join us in Garden Valley, Texas from August 9th-11th. We are hosting a three day, illustrious celebration of the Honor Academy. We encourage you to bring your spouse and children to celebrate all of the amazing things God has done over the years.
We’d love for you to come no matter what year you were an intern (including the Tulsa years) and whatever status you left including 1st year Interns, Graduate Interns and even those who didn’t complete their internship. No matter what has happened in your life since your time at Teen Mania and whatever challenges you may have faced, we’d still like for you to come and be with us during these days of celebration.
There is a common thread we all share that runs through all of the years of the Honor Academy Internship (including the Tulsa days) and our desire to follow Christ and make a difference in this world. Even though we may have grown distant over the years and might not know some people from other seasons of the ministry, this will be a great opportunity to reconnect and meet others who share this same DNA and passion for Christ.
Katie and I are excited to spend August 9th-11th celebrating with you, reminiscing, playing, and feasting together.
Some of the details of what we will experience together are…
- Dedication and Prayer Service/Banquet at new Teen Mania Headquarters in Dallas
- Bonfire on Campus with Worship
- High Ropes (if you dare)
- Potential Special Visit and Message from David Hasz
- Swimming and Celebrating in the pool
- Worship Services led by various worship leaders over the years
- Barbecue feast and water fun at Ron and Katie’s house
- Corporate Exercise (just for the fun of it)
- Opportunities to stay in the dorms again to house you and your children (if you want)
- “Town Hall Meeting” with myself fielding questions regarding Teen Mania’s vision going forward
- Marriage Workshop for you and your spouse conducted by Katie and I
- Entrepreneur Workshop led by Teen Mania Alumni Business Leaders
Don’t worry! We are not going to over-program the weekend! We’ll have lots of time for fellowship and reminiscing by class or by interests throughout our time together. Please note that some people may be wondering, “Are we coming to the Alumni Reunion so that we can help move the ministry?” This is definitely not the case. Teen Mania will have already moved and be operational in our new headquarters in Dallas by then. We will be in our final weeks of occupying the campus and are excited to welcome you back for this Alumni celebration.
Please note that by the grace of God, we have crossed the Three Million Mark for Acquire the Fire, something you have all been a part of that we will celebrate together! I am looking forward to seeing you for this final celebration at the Garden Valley Campus.
Consumed by the Call,
Please click to indicate if you will be coming to alumni reunion and find more details on this link — https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teen-manias-honor-academy-alumni-reunion-tickets-11727833265
Teen Mania Suspends Internship For One Year; Creates Go Teams
Teen Mania asked the Alumni Association to pass along this info as an item of interest to the Alumni body. What follows is the text of an internal email sent to staff at TM informing them of new changes. Obviously this brings up many questions – many of which have been asked in the Facebook forum – that the email neither addresses nor was intended to address. Taking that in consideration, what follows is the full text of the email. For questions regarding how this may impact the people who would have been attending the Internship starting in August, contact HA Director Jeff Pruett.
For nearly 30 years, Teen Mania has worked passionately to reach the youth of America with the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to build a bold army of young people who will live for Christ and change the world with His Love.
Thousands of young people from across America and the world are a part of this tribe that has and is changing the world with the love of Christ. We are humbled that that journey started in some small way here through Teen Mania Ministries.
The fact is, investing in today’s young generation is one of the most important investments that any of us can make—church or individual—in the Kingdom of God. And this may just be one of the most important times in history to stand up and revolutionize our future.
The spirit of God is at work powerfully today to woo and win the hearts of today’s young people—and has opened a window of opportunity to Teen Mania International. To better position ourselves for increased global activity, we have secured office ministry space in the Dallas area and in the weeks ahead we will complete the relocation of Teen Mania.
As we are nearing transitional relocation and ramping up efforts for our operational headquarters move next month, some decisions have been prayerfully weighed about what our ministry programs will look like as we continue full force in the pursuit of reaching a generation with all we’ve got.
In an effort to pursue excellence in this time of relocation and retooling the 1st year internship for the 2014-2015 year will take a term of suspension for 1 year. We will be using this time for relocation, retooling and program development for the birth of a unique urban type of ministry of Acquire the Fire Leadership Institute.
As well, we have some exciting ministry road team opportunities for our 2nd year interns. Teen Mania International will have the opportunity to hit the road and meet face to face young people around the county in churches, schools, coffee shops and Acquire the Fire’s events across the nation this year through a unique opportunity called Teen Mania International GO TEAMS.
This unique internship opportunity offers a grass roots team to be a part of a relevant ministry team leading the revolution of young people through face to face ministry and social media while on the road in major cities across the country.
GO TEAMS will travel across the country ministering while on the road, at coffee shops, through social media, Acquire the Fire events, Christian schools, churches and youth groups across on a Revolution Tour for this Generation! Cultivate relationships, minister on the road, pray and lead ministry at live events, meet face to face with youth leaders and youth groups, pray with homeless people on the street and have revival at coffee houses along the way. GO TEAMS are a new breed of missionary. Jesus was no ordinary minister and He met people where they were at and He came for all; He is calling us to do the same. You will stop and minister to the one but believe Him for the masses.
We look forward to what God will do as we continue to reach the nations in relevant ways through and with this generation changing the world with the radical love of Jesus Christ.
Alumni Opportunities in South Africa
Impact Africa, a ministry founded by Rich and Michelle Franzen, is looking for Alumni to partner with them in South Africa. They currently have several Alumni on their team and are looking for more! The following positions are available:
Internship: Impact Africa has intern positions open for 2015 still. If you are looking to serve oversees for a year please contact us at IME@impactafrica.org or go to www.impactafrica.org for more details.
Career missionary staff opportunities at Impact Africa are self-support fundraising roles that would require you to move to Johannesburg, South Africa. Therefore, everyone on staff is responsible for raising all of their own support for themselves and for their families (when applicable) in order to move to South Africa to serve with Impact Africa. Impact Africa will equip and assist you with the materials and guidelines for your support raising efforts. With the aim to build consistency and to have appropriate amount of training and developmental time Impact Africa asks for a minimum of a 2 year commitment, with the goal of fitting into a long-term career position.
Job Title: Communications Coordinator
Job Type: Marketing, Media, Communications, and Public Relations
Responsibilities: Manage all areas of multimedia communications for Impact Africa. Develop and refine current communications channels, identify and create solutions to streamline communications, email management, graphic design, write and create ministry materials. This position would require you to move to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Experience and Requirements: Honesty, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Self-Motivated and Disciplined, Experienced with Photoshop/I illustrator, experienced with video editing software.
Job Title: Internship staff
Job Type: Hands on with facilitating interns class schedules, life coaching interns, helping deploy daily ministry into communities, health and wellness of interns life and growth. This position would require you to move to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Experience and Requirements: 2 years student ministry with church or Youth Org, Self-Motivated and Disciplined, overseas missions experience
Job Title: Financial Accountant
Job Type: Bookkeeping and Financial Management
Responsibilities: Manage all areas of accounting, Bookkeeping, Financial Reports and Business Administration. This position would require you to move to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Experience and Requirements: Honesty, Previous Experience as an Accountant, Computer Literate in Microsoft Office Products, Experience with QuickBooks
Job Title: Maintenance and Construction Manager
Job Type: Hands on with preventative maintenance, Repairs and Building projects
Responsibilities: Manage the maintenance and condition of all Impact Africa’s Assets, Maintain high quality standards of Vehicles, School Facilities, and Housing, Construction and Building projects, School Facilities, and Housing Repairs. This position would require you to move to
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Experience and Requirements: Building and Construction Experience, Ability to Weld, Experience with plumbing, electrical, vehicle mechanics, Self-Motivated, Honesty, Enjoys a challenge, Likes to work hard
To apply for any of these positions, email your resume and cover letter to IME@impactafrica.org.
Introducing The Alumni Association
At the Teen Mania Alumni Reunion in Garden Valley, Nathanael Ferguson introduced the Association. Please take a few minutes to watch the highlight video!
Alumni Reunion Reflections from Ron
What an amazing and refreshing time we had with hundreds of our alumni that returned this past week for what was the last reunion that will be held on the East Texas campus. Future reunions will be held near our newly rented headquarters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area!
Katie and I were deeply moved that so many people came from all over the country, as well as from Mexico. Alums drove 10, 15, 18, and some over 20 hours to attend! They brought their spouses and children, and what a beautiful time it was. We actually had representation from every single class of interns all the way from the first class in Texas!
We were very encouraged to see that so many alums are serving the Lord; I am so proud of the marriages and families they’re building and those who are leveraging their lives for the Gospel. We heard from a number of interns who are currently living on the mission field who sent us special videos encouraging their fellow intern alums from around the world. It was moving to hear so many stories of what God did in their life as interns and what they’re doing now as a result.
It was amazing to hear over and over again how alums and their families were blessed by attending the weekend event. Alums would embrace me and tell me the story of what brought them to the Teen Mania weekend, and then described in detail the life-changing infusion from heaven that they experienced through one of the retreats, teachings, or as a result of a relationship they’d built.
Spouses who had been “adopted” into the Teen Mania family often chimed into the conversation saying, “The teaching you did really helped us. My spouse had me listen to it or shared the notes,” or “It’s because they went up Pike’s Peak that they’ve been able to deal with or overcome challenges in their marriage.” It was beautiful to see the families playing around the pool when they came over to Katie’s and my home for a cookout, picnic, and water fun.
I was honestly overwhelmed to see the response of the alumni as I shared my heart Saturday and Sunday night about the past, present, and future of Teen Mania. So many expressed their excitement for the future that God has called us to as we explore creative ways to minister to the 1.8 billion teens around the world.
Because of their longstanding relationship with the ministry, I shared information with them that I hadn’t shared online or through social media. I spoke personally and frankly about our shared past and our vision for the future, because the ministry and I need their prayers; we need their tremendous capacity for virtuous dialog.
At our first session together, I invited these alumni family members to share on a slip of paper their insights and suggestions about the future of the ministry. I invited any questions that they might have so that we could address them.
The loving embrace and overwhelming positive response regarding our future was more than words can express. The most moving time was during our final moments together when someone from the crowd spontaneously stood up and asked for everyone to join in prayer over Katie and me. We felt so loved and encouraged and truly ministered to by this alumni body.
Throughout the course of the two days staff and alums alike experienced the resolution of misunderstandings and joyous tears of forgiveness. We saw hope and encouragement renewed. There were stories shared by alumni of how they’d experienced failure in an area of their lives and, with God’s help, were putting their lives back together.
God is so good! Amen!
Katie and I wish that each of you could have been here for this beautiful weekend. We want to stay in regular communication with you.
I’ve attached the Saturday and Sunday night sessions and have included the Q&A for you so that you can watch at your convenience. I encourage you to listen and watch if you haven’t yet. I’d love to hear comments from you and thoughts regarding any of the information I shared.
One idea that was suggested that I want to share with you now was for an Alumni Marriage Retreat—open to Teen Mania alums and their spouses. We had one such marriage session during the Alumni Weekend and it was very encouraging. We all need to strengthen our marriages. If you’d be interested in this possibility, please respond by clicking this link so we can gauge alumni interest.
Also, Katie and I are seeking to build a Personal Prayer List of friends with whom we can share the specific needs of Teen Mania. We are grateful for the number of alums this past weekend who agreed to pray with us regularly. If you’d like to join us, please let us know by clicking on the link provided.
I hope each of you will join when we gather for the next Teen Mania Alumni Weekend. Be sure to stay in touch so that we can send you an invitation!
We love you and appreciate you. God Bless You!
Still Consumed by The Call,
Autumn Update From Ron
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Wow! As we approach the Thanksgiving season, I’m reminded of the lyrics of this great hymn. Through good times and challenging ones, we have so very much to be thankful for here at Teen Mania International—God is so completely and utterly faithful!
We have been through many changes this past year, but we continue to strive to do one thing: to follow the call that the Lord has given us. I’m grateful for your prayers and support for the ministry, especially over the last several months as we transitioned from our campus in Garden Valley to our new ministry home in Dallas/Fort Worth. We’re already experiencing the value of being close to other ministries, churches, and denominational headquarters, and are seeing many new relationships established!
Exciting Transitions and Improvements
As we enter our new fiscal year, I want to share some of the exciting transitions that we have initiated. I hope you will recognize our continued efforts to make the ministry a stronger ministry for His glory. The same heart, passion, and objective that first drew you to Teen Mania as an intern is alive and well at Teen Mania today: Our heartbeat is to provoke a generation to passionately pursue Jesus and take His life-giving message to the ends of the earth!
With the move to Dallas, the ministry has continued to tweak and refine our organizational processes. We are working diligently on getting a good rhythm and stride—not just here at our new location, but with regards to improving our organizational paradigm and internal operations.
Pursuing God’s Dream for Teen Mania
Today, as we continue to pursue God’s dream, we remind ourselves that we are in the people business—reaching and revolutionizing a young generation and turning them into world changers! As we stay focused on this mission, we want to become increasingly more efficient and effective.
One of these improvements involves the rescheduling of fall Acquire The Fire (ATF) events and combining them into the spring tours so they route more efficiently, making all ATF events occur between January and May each year. This shuffling of the schedule allows our ATF team to focus on different aspects of the ATF events throughout the year—venue partnerships and talent selection in the summer, banquets in the fall, and events in the spring. This new approach will allow us to have different seasons where the staff can focus on making each event, whether a banquet or an ATF, as amazing as possible.
Changes in Outreach Marketing
In our effort to be more responsive to the communication preferences of today, we’re also changing the way we reach out to people. In today’s marketplace, leaders prefer less phone calls and more opportunities to simply “click and respond” online. They’re spending more time on social media platforms and websites, so we’re shifting our communication platform away from the use of a Call Center and more towards a digital and e-marketing strategy that we’re reinforcing with radio advertising and networking with pastors and churches.
As we move forward, the bulk of the marketing and operations for ATF will now be managed from Nashville, TN, the touring entertainment capitol of the United States. Various members of our staff have relocated there and will work with our partners based there to assist us in producing the next-generation of ATF events.
Development of a Next-Generation Internship Program and Extreme Camps
Another key change is the development of a next-generation internship program. We want an internship program that goes beyond the local level. We are developing a new internship program that will be reproducible across America and around the world. We don’t want to limit God’s plan to the size of a campus or to a location in Texas. There are more young adults reaching out to us who can benefit from what our internship program can provide than we’ll ever be able to house locally in Dallas! Please keep Teen Mania in your prayers as we pursue and develop the new program God has planned.
As we reshape the internship program, we continue to hear from hundreds of churches whose youth are in need of our Extreme Camps. I am happy to say that we are continuing this program! Camps for the Summer of 2015 are now in the process of being developed and more details will be released soon.
RESILIENT: Bounce Back Stronger—No Matter What Knocks You Down
In September, we released a new book called RESILIENT through our partners at Charisma House Publishers. We have been blessed to receive many positive reviews. We are also very excited to be able to share with you an article, based on RESILIENT, that was published recently on www.CharismaMagazine.com called, How to Stand Strong When Your World Comes Crashing Down.
In RESILIENT, I ask and address these, and other, difficult questions:
“What do we do as Christians when circumstances careen out of control, and we no longer understand what is going on? As followers of Christ, how do we react when the confidence we have in our faith is shaken? What happens when our theology and what we believe about God is called into question in a moment’s time? How do we develop the backbone of steel needed to take us through these times?”
If you’re interested, you’ll find the link to the Charisma Magazine article atResilientBook.com, as well as numerous endorsements from today’s faith leaders. You can also purchase a copy on this site, if you wish. Incidentally, during the course of conducting interviews for the release, TBN was so excited about the project that they have recently announced their intention to create a 13-part series about the book! Great is God’s faithfulness!
I am blessed to know that you, and so many other alums, are praying for Teen Mania. The changes that are emerging are the fruit of your prayers. Please continue to pray for the ministry, for our team members, both in the office and on the road, and especially for Katie and me. God is, indeed, teaching us all to become more resilient day by day. God is using the challenges we face to refine us into the people He wants us to be. He doesn’t just care about what we do; God cares about who we’ve been, who we are, and who we are to become.
There is still so much to be done to reach the young people here in America and around the world. We have never expected the pursuit of this dream to be easy. I don’t know anyone in ministry who would say that it is. Perhaps you are experiencing this firsthand, as well. If so, please let me encourage you in whatever God has put in your heart—keep your focus on it—don’t look to the left or to the right. Don’t get distracted by the things of this world and don’t get distracted by the naysayers and those who say you can’t do it. Together, let’s agree to keep our eyes on Jesus and persevere in our callings.
Final Thoughts and Exciting News
In the coming weeks, we’ll be able to bring you some very exciting news that we’ll be sharing with the world. We are very encouraged about how God continues to open new doors for us. I hope many of you will want to join us in this exciting ministry opportunity. More details soon!
I want to thank the hundreds of alumni who have approached me— either online or when they see me in person—asking what they can do to help Teen Mania.
- First: I ask that you continue to pray, as I have mentioned already.
- Second: Share your story about what the Lord did in your life during your internship years. I’ve heard hundreds, if not thousands, of tremendous stories about incredible experiences alums had with God through Teen Mania. Others will be blessed and encouraged by your words!
I am always excited to receive updates from you and to hear about all the ways the Lord is using you for His glory. I would love to hear from you directly. Please let me know how I can pray for you specifically. You can write me firstname.lastname@example.org. I would also love to see you when I am on the road. Please feel free to come say hello and let me know what is happening in your life. I’d love to pray with you and for you! God bless you.
Still Consumed by the Call,