A locally based ministry is bringing its national youth event back to Tyler on Friday and Oct. 5.
Teen Mania, headquartered in Garden Valley, holds its Acquire the Fire event in more than 30 cities across the country every year. More than 130,000 teens attend the event every year, and nearly 3 million have attended since the event started two decades ago.
“We were sitting together as a team, and we decided we should bring the event back to Tyler, in our own backyard,” said Kemtal Glasgow, director of Acquire the Fire. “We should bring it back to East Texas and give our friends a sneak peak of what God is doing.”
The event’s theme this year is “Epic Truth,” and Glasgow and Teen Mania founder Ron Luce talk to teens about the challenges they face and about God’s love.
The impact the event has on teens “is one of the things about my job that doesn’t get old,” Glasgow said. “Thousands are making a decision for Christ, to live right and not conform. It’s hard to boil it down to one story, there are so many.”
The event also brings in Christian musicians Jimmy Needham, Tricia Brock and ATF Live, and includes a full-length dramatic presentation called “Headstrong.”
While many things that teenagers struggle with are the same, a few things are changing, organizers said.
“We recognized a major problem facing teens who follow Jesus,” said Luce in the news release. “It’s become a trend to mock Christians for believing in something that ‘you can’t see.’ As a result, millions of teens are being mocked out of their faith, based on low-information criticism that is on its face untrue.”
A recent Barna study showed that of people who don’t identify with a religion, 40 percent are people age 18 to 30.
Acquire The Fire’s “Epic Truth” weekend happens at the New Life Worship Center, 16535 U.S. Highway 69 South in Tyler. Tickets are $25 and include both days.