This past weekend Tyler and I had the privilege of attending the Passion 08 Conference in Washington, D.C. The experience was phenomenal for so many reasons. I’m going to try to relate just a bit of what happened this weekend, but first I’ll give you a little background about the Passion Movement itself and how I became acquainted with it.
The Passion Movement is led by Louie Giglio and basically exists to encourage college students to make God more famous by taking His name to their campuses, friends, and the globe. The movement is based on Isaiah 26:8, which reads, “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” The verse basically sums up Passion’s mission statement. Passion events vary in size and format, but each event focuses on bringing a community of college students together in corporate worship and igniting them to shine for Jesus in tangible ways when the event is over. The movement has been extremely succesful-God is moving and lives have changed.
I’m not really sure how I first learned about Passion. When I was 14 something changed in me, and I began to really pursue a personal relationship with Christ. This desire for Him permeated every aspect of my life–including the music. I began to feel most alive when worshiping God through music. Yes, I am one of “those people” who raises her hands during worship and has a tendency to jump around a little bit. The thing is, that always came naturally to me. I don’t really remember seeing other people worshiping that way first. It just always felt right. I was disappointed when it seemed like the rest of my church stared at me and didn’t get me at all.
I’m not sure how I got my first Passion cd, but I think it was during my freshman year of high school. The songs really spoke to me. In between 9th and 10th grade my family moved to Mississippi. We became involved in a local church and the youth minister there was taking a group of college students to a small Passion event in Baton Rouge and asked if I’d like to come along. I thought it’d be a good idea, so I went.
It was amazing. I’d never felt so free in worship. Passion events now usually draw thousands of students, but this one only had a few hundred. Even so, I’d never been in a room with that many people worshiping and without feeling judged in some way. It was incredible. From what I remember it was an acoustic worship time led by Christy Nockels and some dude on acoustic guitar. Louie Giglio might have been the speaker, but honestly, I didn’t even really have a sense of who Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, or any of the people related to Passion were at the time.
So Passion seven years later still does it for me. I came home this weekend ready to pursue God whole-heartedly with some new worship songs and life changing messages in tow. Louie shared the story of a girl who through the care and friendship of her roommate went from hating God to committing her life to him in two weeks. Incredible! I think we have a tendency to box God up sometimes, and without saying it of course, believe that God isn’t big enough to do certain things or to move in the hearts of certain people. In truth, He most definitely is big enough!
On Saturday night we sang a song called God of this City. The chorus goes like this:
For greater things are yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city.
Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done here.
Singing that chorus over Washington D.C. was amazing. To think of all the homeless people living in D.C. and all of the corrupt politicians and stuff that goes on behind closed doors, and to know that God can mend all of that in a second–WOW!
Let that be a word of encouragement to you today.