Teens Commit Their Lives to God in Movie Theaters Across the United States

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Gospel presentation in Teen Mania's SURGE is a first of its kind for the movie industry.

SURGE Instagram Movie Theater Event

Teenagers hold up their cell phones to signify a decision made for Jesus in this Instagram image from SURGE.

At least 10 students gave their hearts to Jesus in this movie theater tonight!

Telling the story of Jesus at the movies isn’t something new. Since the dawn of the silver screen, the life of Christ has played out dozens of times, and the popularity (and box office success) of feel-good films with a spiritual message has caused the movie industry to sit up and take notice.

Forging new territory in the evangelical film genre is SURGE, which debuted in more than 500 theaters nationwide on October 9. For the first time in movie history, an invitation was given during the film for attendees to pray and accept Jesus Christ as their savior. At every showing, teenagers responded to the invitation by doing something unique – turning on their cell phones and holding them up in darkened theaters to show that they would now be a light to the world.

“Got chills just from knowing how much my life is going to change after tonight!!!” tweeted Kristin Boettche after the SURGE premiere ended.

Michael Klemiuk, a youth pastor, posted on Facebook, “At least 10 students gave their hearts to Jesus in this movie theater tonight! #wow”

Ron Luce, a youth expert who has been ministering to teens for almost three decades, created SURGE as a way to reach teens directly with the gospel message at a time when more and more teenagers are forgoing the traditional church setting, often leaving their faith behind in the process.

The message of SURGE, which is geared to teenagers dealing with major fears as they launch into another school year, is that understanding the love of God through Jesus Christ was the only way to find real security, identity and purpose.

The film features concert segments led by platinum-selling artists Lecrae, Newsboys and Casting Crowns, as well as worship by ATF Live!, and funny and inspiring messages from John Gray and Luce himself.

The movie also broke ground by being the first fully-interactive film. Instead of turning cell phones off, SURGE opened with a prompt to take phones out and engage in a nationwide dialogue on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram while the movie was playing. Thousands of tweets, posts and photos tagged with #SURGE kept the dialogue happening throughout the night. SURGE even featured an interactive cell-phone light show using a widely-available, free app called Wham City Lights.

SURGE has a second and final showing happening from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, October 16. More information about SURGE, including theater locations and ticket prices, is available at http://www.SurgeExperience.com.

More images, including in-theater photos uploaded by attendees to Instagram, is available for download at this DropBox link.


The mission of Teen Mania Ministries is to provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take his life-giving message to the ends of the Earth. Since its founding in 1986, TMM has reached more than 2.7 million teens in the U.S., and sent teenage missionaries to more than 50 nations to share the saving message of the gospel. To find out more about TMM and its various ministries, go to http://www.TeenMania.com.

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Cindy Mallette
since: 08/2013
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