Siouxland TEC exists to provide opportunities for young people to experience and receive God's love, leading them into a personal redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ resulting in changed lives.
T.E.C. is meant to be an interdenominational, Christ-centered, relationally styled experience in Christian community for teenagers. Through the formation of leadership teams, retreat weekends, and various forms of follow-up, youth are given the opportunity to grow in personal faith and to express a corporate faith in witness and service to others.
T.E.C. is offered as an expression of God's grace and love extended to all regardless of race, gender, economic status, or educational achievement.
The movement for adults began as "Cursillo' in the late 1940's in the Spanish Catholic Church. Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning "short course" and thus the weekend is a short course in Christianity. A small group of men in Majorca, Spain, had gathered together for some time, for Bible study and to pray for their church. They felt that there was a need for new leaders, and brought some new men into their group. However, they soon realized that these new ones did not have the experience of being together and sharing their lives, to develop a deep trust of one another. So they planned and prepared the first Cursillo - a crash course to bring some chosen people to a new level of fellowship with God and each other.
The first Cursillo's in the United States were held in Texas in 1957, when several Air Force pilots, here for advanced flight training, put one on for their American friends. It spread throughout the Catholic church here over the next decade and gradually into the Protestant churches. In 1972, the first Lutheran weekends were held in Florida and Iowa with the assistance of the Catholic and Episcopal communities.
In 1981, the National Lutheran Secretariat was formed. In 1986, the name Via de Cristo (Way of Christ) was adopted by the Lutheran community. The United Methodists use the term, Walk to Emmaus.
TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) was formed as a child so to speak of Cursillo in the Catholic community in the late 1950's for the teen-age group for the same reason is had been formed at the adult level.
It's unknown exactly how TEC moved from the Catholic community to also include Protestants. Three or four TEC weekends a year have been held in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area for Protestants since the mid-1980's. Southern Minnesota put on the first interdenominational TEC in 1989. From there, Northwest Iowa developed a TEC Council and began putting on TEC's in the Reformed communities in April of 1993. Some Siouxland teens and adults participated in those NW Iowa TECs and agonized over the long waiting lists of teens wanting to become candidates. Thus in November of 1994, a Siouxland TEC Council was formed and the first Siouxland Interdenominational TEC was held in January of 1995. Three Siouxland TEC's were held that first year and four TEC's for many years since.
Since the formation of Siouxland TEC, there has been a TEC community started in Central Iowa, Lincoln, Nebraska, and also in the Madison, South Dakota area. There is a TEC community currently under formation in the Norfolk, Nebraska area.