Imagine nearly 20,000 people packed into Phillips Arena, all gathered for the same purpose. Over the past month Atlanta has been host to an event that is shaking the world. During the first and third weekends of January, young adults ranging from ages 18-25 flooded into the rows of the arena to take part in a conference known as Passion.
This conference is an annual event founded by Louis Giglio, the current pastor of Passion City Church. What started as a campus ministry at Baylor University has transformed into a string of events, increasing in size each year. These events call students from campuses all over the country and globe to worship and learn together. Fundamentality, Passion aims to create unity among Christian believers. Its purpose is to encourage and inspire students to take a stance in their faith and come together to celebrate Christ.
The conference centers on various sessions of worship music and guest speakers. The speakers range from well-known pastors in the Christian community to activists and even rap artists. This year rapper, songwriter and record producer Lecrae took the stage—not to rap, but to speak. Some of the other speakers from the Atlanta events included Pastors Christine Caine, John Piper, Judah Smith and Francis Chan. Most of these pastors are authors and are also involved in non-profit organizations. According to the 268generation website, “Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”
Passion also devotes a portion of the conference to Community Groups. When students get their tickets, they are given different colored armbands that determine which group they are in. These groups aim to create a sense of community among such a vast number of people. Before and after the sessions, the groups meet to discuss the topics covered by the speakers. These groups are broken down into even smaller “family groups.” They are designed so that about eight people can pray together throughout the weekend.
“It was very inspiring to see people coming from all walks of life and from places all over the world to join as one and worship together,” said Mack Jarvis, a UWG student who attended the conference.
For many of the attendees it was their first time going to Passion. The conference has traditionally been held once a year in Atlanta. This year there were two Atlanta events and one in Houston, Texas, this past weekend. The numbers are growing more and more each year as awareness increases and the opportunity to attend expands.
The dates are already set for Passion 2016, and tickets or an all access pass to the videos of the conference from 2015 are available at www.268generation.com.