In the two-night-only showing of SURGE, an interactive youth rally/rock concert/movie, 1,126 people made decisions to follow Jesus at more than 500 theaters nationwide.
“This is the first time I’m aware of where an invitation was given for people to commit their lives to Christ during a movie,” says Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries, which produced the movie. “We are humbled by this positive response and grateful for the chance to bring the gospel to teens in a whole new way.”
SURGE attendees were told to keep their cellphones out throughout the entire movie and encouraged to respond to several text and social media on-screen prompts. Toward the end of the film, Luce gives an invitation to moviegoers to find their identity in Jesus rather than in the American culture and to commit their lives to following Him. Luce then prays and asks attendees to text “iPrayed” if they gave their lives to Jesus; over the combined two-day showing, 1,126 people texted in that they had.
Tens of thousands of teens turned out to the first-of-its-kind movie event, and the social media response was overwhelmingly positive. Thousands of tweets and Instagram posts tagged with #SURGE gave insights into the life-changing effect of the movie.
The quotes below are just a sampling of the posts:
@JG_Carse tweeted, “#Surge was amazing last night, God moved in big ways and It was amazing worshipping God in a movie theater ...”
@cbreanneee said, “So overwhelmed with what our youth group experienced last night. It was awesome to stand up in a theater and praise God! #surge”
@aprilbahena1tweeted, “The music was fabulous!! The message was just what our youth group needed. High school/ jr high can be very detrimental #surge”
@nenalove1601 said, "I should not be afraid of my past because my future is bright, Jesus is writing my life story #surge”
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 is 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. It was in theaters for two days only, Oct. 9 and 16.
SURGE will be broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network in January 2014.