Local grad lends a beat for interactive movie

“Acquire The Fire Presents: SURGE” is “an interactive experience that combines music, drama and an uplifting message to engage and impact in a movie theater setting,” according to ATF Live drummer Cody Kurtz.

The film finished its two-week run in theatres last week.

The whole thing started with a 27-hour, weekend-long, Christian-themed annual event at concert halls large enough to accommodate the 5,000-to-96,000 young people who regularly attend. Speakers and bands perform.

According to its website, Acquire the Fire “is one of the oldest and largest events of its kind,” and has been held in various places across the country for more than 26 years. Also evident on the website is that the events are professionally filmed. “SURGE,” then, was a way to reach still more teenagers and young people than was possible through the stage shows.

For Cody Kurtz the process of getting involved was fairly organic: “I did an internship in Texas at Teen Mania Ministries. The internship is called the Honor Academy and it’s a one-year internship in Texas that focuses on inward spiritual and leadership growth. I then stayed for another year in a different program called The School of Worship and got lots of hands-on experience in leading worship and playing in many different bands on campus.

“Last year, I was asked to stay as a staff member, play in a worship band and travel with their youth conferences, called Acquire The Fire events, all across the country. We were asked to be in the film because Teen Mania’s founder, Ron Luce, headed up the film project and wanted our band to lead worship in it.”

Kurtz, son of David Kurtz and Casey Anderson, grew up in Loyalsock but now lives in Garden Valley, Texas. He has become a staff member of “Acquire the Fire Live” and plans to continue in his position for a few years while pursuing his other interest, photography.

“Acquire the Fire Live presents: SURGE” was put on by Teen Mania Ministries co-founder and president Ron Luce. Since 1986, Luce has travelled the world recruiting young people like Kurtz. Luce was a headlining speaker and emcee for the “Acquire the Fire Live presents: SURGE” events, which also featured speaker and comedian John Gray, Emmy-award winning producer Doug Rittenhouse, and bands like Casting Crowns, Newsboys, and Acquire the Fire Live (for whom Kurtz plays drums).

Kurtz said his involvement “has taught [me] so much over the past few years.”

More information about “Acquire the Fire: SURGE” as well as the internships mentioned by Kurtz can be found online at www.surgeexperience.com and www.facebook.com/surge, www.acquirethefire.com, www.honoracademy.com and www.schoolofworship.com (which also has Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts).

Acquire the Fire also holds conferences in New York City; Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Pittsburgh; and Baltimore.