Ten years ago, I was looking for some Bible study material at a Christian bookstore on the East Coast when I came across a cassette tape (!) for “Passion ’98: Live Worship from the 268 Generation.” Although I had no idea what a 268 Generation was, I liked the design on the cover so I picked it up that day. Like many others, my first connection with the Passion movement was through their music.
My wife and I, along with two friends, road tripped it over 20 hours from New Jersey out to Tennessee for the first OneDay event in 2000 (if you watch closely, you can spot us on the DVD). Since then, we have been to several Passion events — Thirsty, campus tours, various concerts & conferences, etc. We are bringing a group of college students from our church out to Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday for the Passion ’08 west coast regional event.
I really admire Louie Giglio, the founder and catalyst behind Passion. For being an extremely influential person, Louie is down-to-earth and very approachable. Once, when my wife and I were down in Atlanta as part of the ramp-up to OneDay ’03, Louie asked if we needed a ride back from dinner and we had a nice, albeit brief, conversation together in his car. Almost two years later, towards the end of ’04, we were in Manhattan for the last of the Passion events being held around the city and we saw Louie briefly before the event began. He actually remembered us, and greeted us warmly. I don’t mean to imply that I am “friends” with Louie at all; rather, I think these little stories show the heart and humility behind the Passion movement.
Louie often shares that there is no new theme for the Passion events — it’s always the same: the glory of God. While I love the music of Passion, it is the message that resonates deeply with me: that there is no higher calling, no bigger story, no more worthy cause than to live completely for God’s glory.
I don’t believe that events should be the primary catalyst for growing as followers of Christ. More and more, I am convinced that it is the living out of what we believe in the everyday and in between that causes our love for God and others to deepen. That being said, part of what draws me to Passion is that they’re not just about the events (which, by the way, are always creative and inspiring). In Louie’s own words:
Jesus is a movement. He’s not into monuments, systems or external structures. He is a river of life. “And everywhere the river flows, everything lives.” Movements are fluid. Movements move. Movements are not always predictable.
Join with us in praying that God would raise up a collegiate generation — a movement — who lives for something more than wealth, power or fame, whose life and breath would be spent to proclaim the beauty, wonder and glory of our God everyday.