Teen Mania Shutting Down After 30 Years of Ministry
Teen Mania founder Ron Luce announced this week that the popular evangelical Christian youth organization will be closing its doors after 30 years of ministry.
Luce told Christianity Today that in 1986, he heard the voice of the Lord say, "Build an army of young people who will change the world."
The ministry has since reached millions of young people through their Acquire the Fire events, Global Expeditions, and the Honor Academy.
Luce explains that the ministry is closing its doors because Teen Mania has completed it's assignment.
"Katie and I feel this chapter coming to a close, and are grateful to the Lord for all that He has done through those who have rallied around this vision over the years. Together we have taken many risks, climbed many mountains and slayed many giants!" Luce said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.
But the organization's financial record reveals a different reason for ceasing operations.
"I don't think people realize the difficulty and complexity of running a multimillion-dollar organization," Luce told Christianity Today. "All they know is that they brought their group to this event, and it changed their lives and it was awesome."
Teen Mania's IRS Form 990 shows that the ministry has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2008.
Charity Navigator shows Teen Mania to be in the top "10 Charities in Deep Financial Trouble," coming in at number five. Their working capital is around a negative $5 million, meaning that their bills exceed their current available assets.
Despite their financial woes, Luce believes their business model was successful.
"Anytime a ministry gets into financial trouble, people conclude that there's someone who did something financially wrong," Luce said. "Well, I guess we're guilty of reaching as many kids as we could, thinking that our business model was sound. And it was for 30 years. My heart is so full of gratitude to the Lord."