“Please turn your cell phone off.” This is a common phrase, especially in movie theaters. On Oct. 9, at Tyler’s Carmike Cinema, room 14, the audience heard a different request, “Keep your phone out.” Carmike was not the only cinema where people heard these words. Another 500 cinemas around the United States heard a similar request.
Teen Mania Ministries, in conjunction with Acquire the Fire, two local ministries based in Garden Valley, just released a movie. “Surge” is not a typical movie. It is the two-year project of Teen Mania’s founder, Ron Luce, who has been working with teenagers for 27 years. Over the years, he has seen teenager’s struggles, many unaware of where to turn for help.
Micha Kimbrell is one teenager who watched Surge and found it helpful.
“I struggle with self-esteem and I do not feel accepted,” said Kimbrell, a 7th grade student in Jacksonville.
“Surge” is divided into many different parts to make it easy to follow. Along with music and speakers, there is a short drama about the struggles that teenagers face.
The movie features two speakers–the comedian, John Gray, and Luce, President of Teen Mania Ministries. Both explain how to overcome fear. Luce shared how faith in the Lord helps overcome the difficult challenges that teenagers face such as depression, drugs, and peer pressure. Luce listed the top concerns that worry teens, including whether their parents will have enough money to send them to college. He also encouraged youth to not allow their past to control their present and future.
“The movie has inspiring good points,” said Christy Johnson, a young adult who watched Surge. “The movie spoke to me not to be afraid about what people think about me; how teenagers struggle and how God can help them.”
As the movie played, viewers had their cell phones out and were sending text messages to 903-504-1202, Teen Mania Ministries. They were joining with thousands of other teenagers around the country on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When they sent a text message, they could see their response posted on the big screen.
One question posted was: “What were you afraid of as a child?” The audience sent all kinds of answers such as, “I’m afraid of being judged,” “I’m afraid of being alone for the rest of my life,” “I am afraid of not living my dreams.”
During the music portion, the audience responded by raising their hands in the air to the band “Mercy Me” and other musicians like “Newsboys,” and the award winning Christian group, “Casting Crowns.”
“I enjoyed this movie because it felt different,” said Joseph Phillips, one of the actors for the drama portion of the movie.
Cindy Mallette, communications director for Teen Mania Ministries, said that theaters across the country were open to showing “Surge.” In fact, many other communities, beyond the 500 selected, requested the opportunity to show “Surge.”
The final presentation of “Surge” will be 7 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Tyler’s Carmike Cinema. Cost for the tickets is $12.50. For more information contact Teen Mania Ministries at 1-800-229-8336 www.teenmania.com