After a morning session of community groups delving into the study of Philippians 2, the 22,000 attendees of Passion 2011 reconvened in Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for a second day of inspiration, reflection, and conviction.
Rotated between the two venues via colored wristbands, the audience transition flows with amazing precision considering this is a population primarily composed of 18 – 25 year olds and there is no assigned seating with the exception of extremely large groups.
Day Two’s first main session opened with worship led by the David Crowder Band. The Texas-based band consists of some of the finest musicians in Christian music today and Crowder’s songwriting is truly inspired; however, the highlight of Day Two has undoubtedly been the Biblical instruction.
There is Nothing Like Our God.
Bible teacher and speaker Beth Moore presented Day Two’s morning session. A participant on the Passion conference speaker team since the Giglios organized their first Passion event in Texas in 1997, Moore brings a message of challenge and hope.
Her lesson focused on the total ability of God – “There is nothing like our God” – and the necessity for every person to specify, personalize, and fight for the will of God in their own lives.
Passion Breaks Out
Mid-afternoon offered a choice of four breakout sessions. If the world “Breakout” brings forth visions of groups gathering in a kumbayah experience, think again. Breakout at Passion 2011 involves deep issues affecting college-aged students today.
Beth Moore spoke at a females-only session on pursuing God intensely. Ben Stuart shared with an overflow crowd on the importance of holiness in our modern-day lives. Author Gabe Lyons led a session on what it means to be a Christian in a society that seems to be disenchanted with faith. Pastor and author David Platt spoke to his group on the dangers of manipulating the Gospel to fit into your cultural preferences.
Passion Goes Basic
Author and speaker Francis Chan presented the evening session (Session 3 on the streaming feed) on Day Two. Slipping onto the stage at the end of Charlie Hall’s worship set, Chan interjects as Hall sings the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
“God is holy, holy, holy,” explained Chan, the creative force behind the Basic video series. “He is set apart. Saying it three times signifies that God is totally set apart. There is none like Him.”
Chan is not known for sensitive sermons, and his appearance at Passion 2011 does nothing to change that perception. He goes deep and takes his audience with him.
“Can people look at your life and tell that you believe in hell? Can people look at your life and tell that you have been saved from that hell?” asked Chan.
An hour after Chan’s session ended, students were still in community groups or clustered in pockets across the Georgia World Congress Center’s lobbies discussing this message.
Passion Is Moving Toward Its Goal
The Do Something Now Center is not only drawing visitors, it is drawing participants. As of this morning, 8,487 towels and 32,700 pairs of socks had been donated during Passion 2011 for Atlanta-area homeless shelters. Last year’s Passion 2010 stocked 55 homeless shelters in Atlanta for an entire year with towels and socks. The Walmarts and Targets within close proximity of the Passion 2010 venues literally sold out of towels and socks as college students dug deep in their pockets to leave an impact on the Atlanta area.
“The people of God should not descend on a city and the poor of that city are unaware of their presence,” Giglio said.
Passion Reaches Past Atlanta
Every single seat in two venues in Atlanta may have been purchased for Passion 2011, but the stream is reaching an even greater audience than the 22,000 that fill Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center.
Around the world people are logging in and linking up. Passion founder Louie Giglio read an extensive list of countries reached by Passion 2011. The list included countries that might not immediately come to mind, such as: Columbia, Jordan, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic, South Korea, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Poland, Taiwan, Romania, India, Malaysia. Someone from very state in the United States except North Dakota has logged in to view the stream.
This has been Day Two of Passion 2011, but participants are on the open road of Scripture and Passion 2011 has shifted into fifth.
To experience Passion 2011 remotely, today’s sessions are being streamed for 24 hours at the Passion Conference website.