Hearts Still on Fire for Youth Conference

Posted by Chester Goad on  in bloggingFaithhearts on fireleadershipteenagers

Current research indicates that church membership, and church activity is decreasing. The latest statistics suggest that millennials are skeptical of churches and the number of young people leaving the church once they hit college is at an all-time high. But for all the negative and worrisome numbers, there’s a glimmer of hope, a lifeline, a heart-beat—The American faith-based youth conference complete with energetic speakers, concert worship teams and fervent calls to action, still has a pulse.

Evangelical youth conferences for Christian faith groups of all types burst onto the scene in the early eighties, and while some have fallen victim to changing times and culture, many are still thriving and some are expanding.

Barna research suggests that Americans are practicing their faith less within the walls of the physical church, but that doesn’t mean people don’t believe or that they’re not connecting spiritually in other venues. In fact, the same research shows that the vast majority of Americans (75%) pray regularly, and more than a third still read their Bibles outside their regular church services.

Separate research indicates the top two priorities of youth leaders are discipleship and building relationships. When asked to list the top five activities essential for building relationships necessary for effective discipleship–outside regular youth group meetings–mission work and camps were the top cited priorities, but 23% listed large youth conferences as effective.

Mission trips may be considered more effective for establishing relationships that connect faith to service, but much of the latest research shows America’s youth have gotten way too busy for them. That trend of general “busyness” is an impediment to both discipleship and relationship building. In fact, youth leaders overwhelming listed “youth busyness” and “lack of parental involvement” as their two greatest challenges. So while mission trips, may be ideal opportunities for spiritual growth, and relationship building, youth and families have much less time or willingness to travel long distances to devote a week or more to missions.

Youth conferences on the other hand, remain a viable option for church youth groups and families to get away for short weekends together, and while such conferences have had to evolve in one way or another through the years, their focus is the same.

Such is the case with Hearts on Fire, a mainstay youth conference in Pigeon Forge, TN that has experienced tremendous growth over the last three decades. According to Hearts on Fire Founder, Scott Carter “The message stays the same and will always be the same. God loves us and He sent His Son to draw us into a personal relationship with Him. The methods however have changed, especially in the area of music. Thirty years ago, there just wasn’t a lot of contemporary Christian music like there is today” that appealed to young people.

Carter’s “Hearts on Fire” began in 1986, with 150 attendees, and with Carter serving as speaker and even cook. Through the years HOF attendance has grown to thousands. The 2016 Hearts on Fire conference drew 12, 049 youth from around the southeast. Carter who has been involved in faith-based missions around the US believes the success of Hearts on Fire lies in its mission and says he finds no greater joy than watching God touch teenagers’ lives. “Mission work can start right where you are and for Hearts on Fire that’s here in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The whole purpose of Hearts on Fire is to share the Gospel with middle school, high school and college-age young people and challenge them to a dynamic walk and commitment in Christ.”

That mission coupled with Scott Carter’s years of experience has been a formula for continued growth and success. The growth of the conference has allowed him to bring in some of the top speakers and top artists in the Christian music industry. The 2016 conference brought a lineup that included speaker Clayton King, For King and Country, Lauren Daigle, and the comedy-drama duo, The Skit Guys.

Though times have definitely changed, Hearts on Fire doesn’t seem to shy away from difficult issues or calls for unity within the church. According to Carter that is purposeful. “It’s very purpose driven. We live in a time when things seem so divided and polarized. Racism, politics, and such have created a lot of dissension but in Christ we are One. We are family and God’s family loves big!”

Perhaps loving big is what keeps people coming back to Hearts on Fire year after year, and perhaps that’s the reason, they’re able to expand in the coming year. Hearts on Fire will hold its first student conference in Charleston, West Virginia in August 2017. An excited Carter believes this expanded vision is all a part of a bigger plan. “Thirty years ago, I had no idea God was birthing something that would grow like Hearts on Fire has. Each year He expanded my vision and now here we are.”

Youth conferences remain a place where relationships are enriched and built over weekends, and where young people find a spiritual connection that will hopefully burn within them for a lifetime. Successful Christian conferences around the country are evidence of their staying power, and Scott Carter is not surprised and encourages people to keep up the good work.

“There are a lot of great things taking place among evangelicals. I’m no expert but I would encourage all believers to keep on keeping on, to never give up, and to love big and love loud. I believe inside the heart of everyone is a place that’s meant to be filled with Gods love.”

But Carter, who also serves as Youth Pastor for First Baptist Church of Sevierville, offers a warning to today’s youth leaders. “We must keep our sins confessed, watch out for lust, power and greed and forgive one another and go forward sharing the Good News” He believes prayer is the key to sustaining the work, “In James 5:16 we read that the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. I believe prayer has sustained us. God gets all the glory. It’s never about what we can do, but rather what He alone can do.”

For those who attend them, America’s evangelical youth conferences like Hearts on Fire, could mean the difference between lasting relationships and faith, and hearts that wander away church after high school. It’s more than nostalgia, these conferences offer an opportunity for young people to grow and for many to hear a message they’ve never heard before.

With statistics indicating that today’s youth are struggling with identity, depression, loneliness, and anxiety, opportunities to hear messages of hope and love, and a chance to make a spiritual faith connection, may be why conferences like Hearts on Fire see continued growth.

For Scott Carter, “Nothing is more beautiful than watching this young generation worship with heart and soul…I believe long after I’m gone God will continue to use this conference to draw others to Him.”

Learn More:

Barna Research: The State of the Church

Barna Research: Priorities, Challenges, and Trends in Youth Ministry

Hearts on Fire

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2017 IS OFF TO A GREAT START

For those who were at HOF Pigeon Forge, 2016 you heard the announcement of a new conference. On August 18 & 19, that event will take place in Charleston, WV at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium. We have put together a great conference and hope you will attend or spread the word for us. Our speakers will be Ed Newton and Scott Carter. The Comedy Duo, Bean & Bailey will join us, as will Roger Williams & the AMUQ leading worship. Our concerts are the amazing for KING & COUNTRY, and new to HOF, 7eventh Time Down.

Brochures are currently being printed and should go out to all churches within a 250-mile radius of Charleston, WV within the next two weeks.  Visit http://www.heartsonfireministries.org to register.

Many of you have been contacting me about Pigeon Forge, and I am happy to say as of last week, it is completed. The brochures have not been sent to the printer yet, but I am going to give you the info early, because I am so excited I can’t wait!

On November 17 & 18, 2017, at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, our speakers will be, Ed Newton and Algernon Tennyson. I will tell you more about them later. They are both wonderful in relaying God’s word to youth and I know you will enjoy them, for their first time, at Hearts On Fire in Pigeon Forge.

Our concerts for this year are without a doubt, two of the biggest names in Christian Music, Toby Mac & Crowder. Can I get an AMEN??? !!! We are so very blessed and excited to have them for their first time with us in Pigeon Forge.  Visit http://www.heartsonfireministries.org to register.

Believe it or not the registrations are already coming in. This is a good indication that this will be a great year!

God Bless,

Judy

Charleston, WV – Let the Registration Begin!

Yes, you can now register by going to our website, http://www.heartsonfireministries.org.  Press the Charleston tab and navigate through all information about the conference.

For those of you who have registered for a Hearts On Fire conference before, you will notice the registration form looks different.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me (865-776-2629).  You can use credit or debit cards as well as mail in a check by pressing the manual button.  You can pay a partial payment to hold your spots, but remember, all outstanding balances on July 21, 2017 will increase to $45 per person.  Please write down your login and password. You can adjust your registration and add on as long as we have seating available.  You will receive a receipt at the end of your transaction.  No additional receipts will be emailed.  The receipt will go to the email address you entered on the form.

The Charleston Municipal Auditorium seats 3400 people.  Seating is first come, first seated.  Wristbands and pre-ordered shirts can be picked up on Friday evening, August 18 after 4:00pm.

Help us get the word out about Hearts On Fire coming to Charleston, WV.  Please share this information with your friends.  You don’t want to miss this two day conference with great speakers; Ed Newton and Scott Carter as well as, concerts by forKING&COUNTRY and 7eventh Time Down; comedy by Bean & Bailey and worship led by Roger Williams & the AMUQ.  Both days and all concerts for only $35 per person!

Spread the word, August will be here before you know it!

Get Ready Charleston, WV! Hearts On Fire is Ready and Excited!

August 18 & 19, 2017 – Charleston Municipal Auditorium – Charleston, WV

Speakers:

Our speaker on Friday evening will be Ed Newton, Pastor at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, TX. God has uniquely gifted Ed with an ability to connect with various age groups, personally and corporately. His communication style can be summarized as “passion with content” while seeking to inspire people to be passionate, dedicated followers of Christ. Ed was with us at a conference in Branson, MO many years ago and we are so happy that he will be joining us once again for Charleston, WV.

Scott Carter, the founder of Hearts On Fire will be our speaker on Saturday morning. Scott was inspired by God to begin this conference 31 years ago with just a few youth and couples in Fairfield Glades, TN. It has grown over the years to where it is today. Last year in Pigeon Forge we saw over 12,000 in attendance to the beginning of a new conference this year in Charleston, WV. Scott is the youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Sevierville, TN. Scott has mentored youth for many years and has seen countless youth answer the call to full-time ministry. You won’t want to miss the rare opportunity to hear him at Hearts On Fire.

In addition to our speakers we will have Bean and Bailey with us.

Bean and Bailey are absolutely hilarious and entirely family-friendly. They will keep you laughing until you hurt. They will be noticeably clean!

Praise & Worship, led by Roger Williams & the AMUQ, will kick off the services for the weekend. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, you will be before you leave. Roger and the guys have been with us at every Hearts On Fire location. Roger has a way of connecting with people whether you are 9 or 90. The band takes you to a new level of laughter, fun and worship.

We are beyond excited to tell you about the concerts we have planned.

for KING & COUNTRY is a special friend to Hearts On Fire. They have been with us more than any other band since their first appearance with us at HOF Branson, 2012. They were Billboard’s new artist to watch for 2012. We knew at that appearance that they were going to make a huge impact on music. The group won two Grammy Awards in 2015 for RUN WILD.LIVE FREE.LOVE STRONG and another Grammy nomination in 2017 for their song “Priceless,” the title track from their #1 indie film. They have performed on numerous TV shows and continue to astound audiences across the world.

New to Hearts On Fire is 7eventh Time Down.

I am sure you have heard their award winning song “God Is On The Move” which received # 1 NCA and AC for 5 weeks in a row, the #2 song of the year for KLOVE 2016, and the #5 airplay song of the year for 2016 Billboard. Their song, “Just Say Jesus” remained on the radio charts for 52 weeks straight.  They have been singing together for 11 years and we are happy to have them with us at Hearts On Fire Charleston.

Keep an eye on our website, www.heartsonfireministries.org  for all event details. Early registration will be open on the site during the first part of April. Early registration is $35 per person.

If you have questions feel free to contact me at 865-776-2629.

The Wait Is Almost Over

Just a quick message to let you know that on Monday, November 14 at 12:00 noon, online registration will shut down. Make every effort to register now! You can still add on and also register at the event as long as space is available. The cost is $45. We have space available in the Omega Session but the Alpha Session has more seats available. This is the first year pre-registration has gone over 10,000. We are very excited!

Please visit our website, www.heartsonfireministries.org for schedule questions.

In case you missed our latest announcement Emily Ann Roberts, runner up on season 9 of The Voice, has been added to the schedule. She will be joining us on Friday night.

The 30th year of Hearts On Fire will be one of the greatest conferences we have ever had.

Please keep the conference and each of those involved in your prayers.

We will see you in 8 days!!

HOF

Deadlines Approaching….

Some important deadlines are within weeks from today:

 

One week from today, October 21, is the deadline for pre-ordered shirts and hoodies.

 

Two weeks from today, October 28, is the deadline for early registration of $35.

(Money must be received by this date.  Online registration will go to $45 at midnight on October 28.)

 

Five weeks from today, on November 18, we will be at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, participating in what will be, the 30th year of Hearts On Fire.

 

We pray that you will make every effort to attend.  In the history of Hearts On Fire there has never been a year like this one.  Our prayer is that many lives will be changed as a result of having attended Hearts On Fire 2016.

 

One more thing, follow us on Facebook, Hearts On Fire Ministries, for promo videos to show your youth group.  If you have any questions please visit our website, www.heartsonfireministries.org or call 865-776-2629.  

Like Us & Follow Us on Facebook

Hey Guys, visit us on Facebook, Hearts On Fire Ministries, to see  a promo message from our good friend Tony Nolan about the Hearts On Fire Conference on November 18 & 19 at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. Early registration is $35 until October 29 and then it will increase to $45 per person. This is the 30th year of Hearts on Fire and it is going to be AWESOME!!!