News Articles

18,000 at Passion 06 seek their part in Great Commission

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A capacity crowd of 18,000 college students from all 50 states and more than 20 countries filled Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center Jan. 2-5 for Passion 06.

“Our heartbeat is to see the campuses of this nation awaken to God,” Louie Giglio, who founded the Passion movement in 1995, said.

At Passion 06, students were discipled by Giglio, Beth Moore and John Piper, worshiped with the David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall and Matt Redman, met in small community groups and were encouraged to visit the “Go Center,” where more than 50 exhibitors from educational institutions and missions agencies shared with them how they can be involved in sharing the Gospel throughout the world.

When they entered the mobilization area of the Go Center, students were met by tour guides who listened to their particular interests and then directed them to booths for more information. Many met with representatives from Boston, New York and Toronto — Passion’s three focus cities. Passion has organized history-making worship gatherings in each of the cities, all of which have large collegiate populations but few professing Christians. In 2004, Passion went to New York City and 3,000 college students united under the banner of Christ. Previously the largest known Christian collegiate gathering there was 500 students.

Students who attended Passion 05 and have since been placed on the mission field returned for Passion 06 to celebrate and testify to what God had done in the past year.

Susan Loyd was one Passion 05 attendee who responded to the call to share the Gospel in New York. She visited the Go Center and spoke with representatives from New Hope New York, part of the North American Mission Board’s Strategic Focus Cities initiative.

“God had already put seeds in my heart for New York City. He was already leading me there. At Passion 05, it was like He was using a megaphone,” Loyd said.

In June 2005, Loyd moved to northern New Jersey as part of The Leadership Journey, which gives college students and recent graduates an opportunity to serve with local church-based collegiate ministries in metro New York.

“I went to Passion 05 expecting God to tell me to go somewhere,” Loyd said.

This year’s Go Center mobilizers, including representatives from the International Mission Board and NAMB, met with many students who are in the process of discerning the somewhere and the something to which God has called them.

Abby Rhodes, a recent college graduate from Pine Terrace Baptist Church in Milton, Fla., came to the Go Center seeking clarity about the calling God has placed in her life.

“I hear Him saying go, go, go. I’ve had all this time already, and I haven’t done anything yet. I’m not waiting around anymore,” she said.

Susan Peugh, who represented NAMB in the Go Center, spent the week sharing about missions opportunities with students like Rhodes.

“That’s my job — making connections and sowing a seed, even though I may never see the result. I’m here to be a link while they’re uncovering the thing God has for them to do,” Peugh said.

During the last worship gathering on Thursday morning, a majority of the students stood in agreement saying, “God has called and equipped me to go. I will go. Go across the hall of my dorm, across the country and across the world. I have the best reason to party … my passions have the highest purpose.”
Meredith Day is a communications associate with New Hope New York, part of a nationwide initiative to change America’s largest cities through sharing Christ.

    About the Author

  • Meredith Day