Teen Mania: Why We're Shutting Down After 30 Years of Acquire the Fire

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mmartin's picture

Yes, it is true that God does have the authority and prerogative to use whatever He deems necessary to advance His Kingdom.  He sets kings up and He takes them down.

However, I submit to you that that thought is too often used as a bad excuse for horrible leadership and questionable organizational management.

I've heard that sentiment out of some people discussing Northland's downfall and in reading this article, similar thoughts from Teen Mania leadership.

Excuses, excuses.

Aaron Blumer's picture


I don't think I can generalize that way about parachurch ministries. We could look at all the bad churches and argue just as well that "churches have brought blight upon the church."

But it's a hypothesis that could actually be tested, in theory. It could be possible to propose some criteria, gather an adequately representative sample and extrapolate some % of parachurch org's that have done more harm than good.

But it wouldn't prove anything unless you could somehow factor in a control by finding identical ministries that are not parachurch... so as to isolate "parachurchness" as the cause of the trouble.

By now you can tell I'm very skeptical. It's really about two things:

1) Human nature.
2) The nature of human organizations.

Specifically, in the case of #2, organizations rise, gain momentum, peak, decline, and die. ... just like people. Some do it faster than others... just like people. And some, even as they rise and reach peak, do much harm--just like, well you know. But the problem in these cases is organizational purpose and methods. If the organization has bad aims, or has good ones but uses damaging means, they do harm even as they thrive.

But eventually they all wind down and die. And often don't really understand what went wrong until a long time later--if even then.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Don't know much about them, myself. I remember getting some phone calls at the church office a few times. But I could not get interested in anything with "mania" in the name and "acquire the fire" in the event title. Teens do not need either mania or fire. They have plenty of both (!)... just needs to be well engaged/aimed.