ATLANTA (BP)–Passion 07 ended Jan. 4 with the announcement that there will be no Passion 08, but rather many smaller events will be held in the United States and in various parts of the world.
Passion founder Louie Giglio said the goal for the world tour is to go into 20 cities across 15 nations next year. Giglio told the more than 20,000 college students in the Phillips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta that help was needed in order for the tour, estimated to cost $4 million, to take place. An offering was taken up to support it.
The idea behind Passion 07 is to motivate students to live for Christ. Giglio challenged students to spend their lives telling the nations about Christ.
“There is a massive worldwide after-party. It’s called heaven,” Giglio said. “The invitations are going out in every single language, and those who have the story need to take the story to the nations, to the 6,800 people groups that don’t yet have the Gospel. God is asking many of us to pack up the ‘American Dream’ and is extending the invitation to go to the unreached people groups of the world.”
Students at Passion 07 were not only challenged to do something for Christ, but were also given the opportunity to answer that challenge. Students were encouraged to stop by a special world mission-themed “Global Awakening” area at the conference and learn about the needs of various nations across the globe, and then take part in the “Do Something Now” campaign — a campaign where students actually can help meet those needs.
“Through a window in the Georgia World Congress Center, I could see that they stopped letting people go into the Global Awakening area until others came out,” Giglio said. “How many places do you see a thousand people waiting in such a line?”
One mission challenge, according to the Passion website, was to support financially the digging of 11 wells for areas in Africa — by the final day of the conference supporters had given enough money for 39 wells, Giglio said.
Closer to home, in a project called “Touch Atlanta,” students were helping the homeless of Atlanta by bringing them towels and socks.
“These people may not know anything about Passion but we want them to know that followers of Christ have been here,” Giglio said.
Students also had a chance to learn about additional avenues of service through organizations such as the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. Although a student may have the skills necessary to perform a specific task, he or she must also have a certain level of spiritual maturity, said the IMB’s John Robinson.
“I look for two things — passion and teachability,” Robinson said, adding that those two traits are exactly what he sees in this generation of college students.
“I’m somewhat amazed by people who feel that this generation is not committed,” Robinson said. “These guys are passionate and they’re teachable.”
He added, “Students are a great resource from the Lord for what we’re doing.”
Robinson isn’t the only one at Passion 07 who thinks that God is working in the current generation. Baylor University student Taylor Dodgen believes God is working through those in Passion 07 to shape lives in this generation.
“God is using ordained gifted leaders to inspire our generation … to the end of His glorification,” Dodgen said.
On the second day of the conference, author and speaker Beth Moore talked about the importance of humility.
“This [generation] is so important to me because of the huge things that happen in life from 18, 19 and 20 years old,” she said. “I want 20,000 young people to be feverishly and ridiculously used by God. But that will not happen if pride gets in the way.”
Francis Chan, teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, Calif., spoke about being a lukewarm Christian.
“There is a concern: Do we really love God?” he asked. “I hear everyone singing loud but … it’s not about words. How much love are you in? You do crazy things when you’re in love. You’re happy to give anything. It doesn’t feel like service when you’re in love. Jesus is banging on that door saying, ‘Let me in. Let me in. I want this love relationship with you.”
Artists Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall and David Crowder Band led the students in musical worship. For more information about Passion visit www.268generation.com. For more information about IMB projects for students visit www.thetask.org.
Brandon Bryant is based in Lynchburg, Va. With reporting by Rick Hoganson of Hoganson Media in Nashville, Tenn.