TEEN MANIA PULLING UP ROOTS TO GROW GLOBAL MINISTRY
New Home in Dallas and New Name—TEEN MANIA INTERNATIONAL
Reflect New Vision for Global Youth Outreach
GARDEN VALLEY, TX — With a view toward reaching youth beyond North America, Teen Mania—best known for its high-tech, high-energy, counter-culture youth rallies called Acquire the Fire—will be expanding its ministry focus to a more global ministry strategy.
“We are headed to Dallas with our eyes focused on the 1.5 billion teenagers worldwide whose lives and character will be shaped by culture or Christ,” said Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania, which is not only making an address change but a name change—Teen Mania International. “Our new home and name reflect a refined ministry strategy to achieve what has always been our mission— to provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ,” said Luce.
Leaders from so many nations have invited Teen Mania to conduct Acquire the Fire events in their nations saying, “Our teens are more like American teens than even our own culture. Can you come and help us reach them?” This move will help make these kinds of events possible.
“In Dallas, we are better positioned to leverage technology, transportation, and creative synergy with other ministry and professional partners to achieve our mission,” said Luce, who moved Teen Mania Ministries seventeen years ago in the rural East Texas setting of Garden Valley.
The move also makes sense in light of the newly minted accreditation relationship between Teen Mania’s Honor Academy and The King’s University which is based in South Lake, Texas. Dr. Steve Riggle, President of The King’s University noted,
“The numbers are staggering when you consider how many students and young adults have been impacted by Teen Mania, Acquire the Fire, Global Expeditions, and the Honor Academy since their founding years ago by Ron and Katie Luce. The King’s University is honored to come alongside Teen Mania and offer those who choose to pursue their education and ministry training through the Honor Academy a fully-accredited degree program with academic excellence.”
“We are grateful beyond words to have made great friends here and seen millions of young lives changed through the ministry that has taken place on and through this property. But, the reality of land management is no longer practical or germane to the international scope of the organization,” said Luce who, along with the ministry board, has released the Garden Valley property to its California mortgage holder for marketing and sale. “These changes poise us to be better financially positioned for strength as we move forward with a global focus.”
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What are the benefits of moving to Dallas?
Dallas provides huge benefits for the ministry. The proximity to our ministry partners will be closer, which allows for greater collaboration and a multiplying of the fruit of our efforts. Interns will see expanded ministry opportunities and access to leaders, teachers and resources that are difficult to come by in East Texas. Travel for staff, speakers, and missionaries will be incredibly streamlined. The cost savings for the ministry as a whole will be huge, and the streamlining of our operations will allow us to expand the reach of this ministry even further.
Is this move happening for financial reason?
Relocating to Dallas allows Teen Mania to be more nimble in its operations and frees up expenses that would otherwise be tied up with operating the Garden Valley campus. Between bank costs, energy costs and other campus maintenance costs we expect to save $1 million per year. The move positions Teen Mania to be stronger financially as it expands its global strategy.
Is Teen Mania in financial trouble?
While times are definitely tight – Teen Mania has faced the same funding struggles as thousands of businesses and ministries since the 2008 economic downturn – the ministry is making this move in order to be more cost-effective and better stewards of the resources the Lord has blessed us with. The decision to release the campus to the bank and move to Dallas was made to free up funds that are largely taken up by the cost of maintaining such a large campus. By relocating the ministry to Dallas, Teen Mania is better-positioned to have a broader global reach, and it is within close proximity to our education partners at The King’s University. We expect the ministry will continue to strengthen and expand as a result of the move.
When will the move actually happen?
There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that are still falling into place with a transition like this, but our expectation is that by the end of 2014 we will have completed the move and will be welcoming a new class of Honor Academy interns to the new Teen Mania International headquarters in Dallas.
What does the Honor Academy look like moving forward?
About 16 years ago, Teen Mania’s Honor Academy operated in a similar urban environment in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is an operating model we are familiar with, and we look forward to the opportunities it will bring to the interns. In addition to being close to both regional and international airports, Dallas offers greater opportunities for interns to be plugged into the vibrant faith community there. The HA will continue to provide world-class Christian leadership training in a secure, nurturing environment, and interns will get to be a part of a cutting-edge ministry that is reaching their generation in greater numbers around the world.
What will food look like for interns? Housing costs?
The Honor Academy will continue to provide the full range of benefits currently offered to interns. That includes the cost of food and housing which are paid for through the HA tuition. Classes, discipleship and Life-Transforming Events will all take place to the same caliber of excellence interns, parents and pastors have come to expect.
What will happen with Extreme Camps and Private Camps?
Extreme Camps and Private Camps will continue as planned through the summer of 2014. We are looking at new locations for Extreme Camps to be headquartered in Dallas and are confident that we will find the right facilities before the 2015 summer camp season. We are committed to continuing the life-changing experience provided to teens through Extreme Camps.
Is Acquire The Fire changing, too?
One of the most-exciting aspects of this move will be the ability to launch Acquire The Fire conferences around the world. Acquire The Fire is the most-recognizable branch of Teen Mania, known for its high-energy, high-tech, counter-culture youth rallies that happen every weekend during the school year in cities all over the United States and Canada. Pastors in nations on nearly every continent have asked for help reaching their youth saying, “Our teens watch your media and listen to your music from America. They are more like American teens than our own culture. Can you help us reach them? Can you do a youth event here in our country?” This has given us an even greater opportunity to grow the Kingdom and impact a generation around the world.