NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–More than 11,000 college students gathered in Nashville, Tenn., in January for Passion ’05. They were led in worship by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, the David Crowder Band and others, and now the power of those moments has been captured in a “Passion: How Great is Our God” CD.
The album releases April 12 and contains 13 live songs including the Crowder Band’s “No One Like You,” the classic hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” and Hall’s “Marvelous Light.”
Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion movement and a main speaker at Passion ’05, told Baptist Press his hope for the album is that it will make God happy.
“These songs are all about Him and they’re all for Him. As simple as that sounds, sometimes it’s hard to keep that in focus and I lose sight of it,” he said April 11. “But that’s my main hope tomorrow that He’ll be really happy.
“Sometimes I even jump over that to, ‘I hope people get this and it really changes their life.’ But then I thought, ‘Well, we do want to change people’s lives, but the songs really aren’t about people. The songs are all about God and the songs are about calling people to give Him what is His, which is all of their lives in worship.’ And I hope that happens tomorrow. I hope a lot of worship comes to Him and He’s really happy in every state in America tomorrow and wherever it has trickled out to the world already.”
Passion ’05 drew the collegiate generation from more than 1,000 campuses across the nation and the world to Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center Jan. 2-5 for community and family groups, prayer journeys, breakouts and main sessions featuring speakers like Giglio and authors Beth Moore and John Piper.
On the final night of the conference, Giglio had asked the students to return to Gaylord in silence, with reverence for God, preparing for worship. They filled the streets of downtown Nashville with what Giglio called an eerie sense of anticipation, and within minutes a crowd had gathered at the entrance to the arena, filling the plaza and spilling over into the streets for blocks.
“Officers on horseback looked on with stunned expressions. Bands in many of Nashville’s famed Broadway Street country bars ceased playing as partygoers curiously emptied into the streets to witness the rare and peculiar sight. Restaurant patrons did the same, leaving their meals to walk out among the quiet masses and investigate the silence,” he said.
“Some students kneeled as they waited for the arena doors to open. Others stood without uttering a sound, hands lifted in adoration and prayer. A sense of the presence and otherness of God hung thick in the air. And for a moment the heart of the city stood still.”
After the experience of Passion ’05, Giglio told BP the team wonders whether the conviction, emotion and sense of surrender can be repeated when they return to the same venue for Passion ’06 next January.
“It’s just one of those things you walk away from and you’re just stunned. You’re grateful. You’re moved,” he said. “All of your prayers have been answered and some of your expectations have even been exceeded in the sense of what God did. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want to put a big Ebenezer rock down on that and say, ‘Let’s just let that be the end right there. That was pretty amazing.’
“But fortunately, God’s mercies are new every day and His faithfulness is great and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what He wants to do. So we’re very excited. I could not help but walk past the Gaylord when I got here yesterday and my heart sort of sank a little bit with gratitude and I just stood there on that plaza and I thought about all those kids standing out there on that last night in silence just offering their lives quietly before the Lord. I got pretty moved by it all over again,” Giglio said during Gospel Music Association Week in Nashville April 9-13.
So when people pick up a copy of How Great is Our God, Giglio hopes they’ll experience the power of who God is and what He can do in their lives, similar to how He showed His character at Passion ’05.
“When we worked on these records, we worked incredibly hard to make them musically great but at the same time allow them to carry the power we felt when we were together,” he said. “I think this record does both of those things, and I want people that weren’t at Passion ’05 to feel like they were and to sense the power and to feel God’s presence in their lives, whether they’re in their car, in their home or in their dorm room somewhere and for it to really get down in their heart and start changing the way they think about life.
“And if that can happen, then we’ve done more than just make a great record or sell a bunch of records, which we’re happy with doing either one of those two things,” Giglio said. “I have to be honest — we’d be happy selling a lot of records, but that’s not really at the end of the day the point. The point is that people’s lives would be changed.”
To learn more about the Passion movement or to register for Passion ’06, visit www.268generation.com.