Headed to the Dome
Passion 2012. At the Dome. With 45,000 college students. Lifting up one Name. United by one cause. Life-changing.
Well, it has been over two months since Passion 2012 ended. Yet, while the ‘event’ is over, Passion is still alive and thriving. Like Louie Giglio (the founder of Passion) says, “I don’t want to be at the Dome anymore, I want to be in the present, in the now.” True, I miss Passion and look back at it as one of the highlights of my life, but the Dome is not where it’s at… it’s about moving out into the world as a force for good. It’s hard to capture what went down at Passion, but I hope what follows will give you a taste of those days at the Dome.
A Dream Come True
While a lengthy explanation of my past would be necessary to fully communicate how much anticipation I had going into Passion 2012, let’s just say that I was ‘pee my pants’ excited. Before I was even half-way serious about my faith, I somehow knew about Passion and had a desire to go. When I finally took my faith to heart, that desire was magnified. I not only bought my own ticket, but insisted on buying other people’s tickets as well. I wanted everyone to go.
Thanks to one of my friends, I was also involved with Passion City Church; the church that Louie Giglio planted in downtown Atlanta. So, I was informed of everything about Passion related. Well in advance of the conference, I was able to learn about the Do Something Now campaign for Human Slavery and the causes that our money would go toward. Additionally, I found out that the Passion college tour was coming to Clemson. This college tour was basically a night of worship and an avenue for Louie to bring awareness to the Passion conference. I was so excited to go that I was first in line by over an hour and got the best seat in the house… right in front of Kristian Stanfill and Charlie Hall. Everything kept building up to January 2nd. I actually think that I was more excited for Passion than Christmas :P.
Passion: Day One
That’s the only word that I can think of that describes how I felt heading to Passion for the opening session. I was finally going. I couldn’t believe it. I stepped into the Georgia World Congress Center and I officially entered Passion 2012.
Registration was simple enough. Amazingly, the line moved pretty fast and before I knew it, I was able to put on my official Passion 2012 wristband (still have it on today, but it has seen better days ha). I gathered myself before walking through International Plaza and finally into the Dome. You could just feel the excitement and anticipation. Everyone was pumped.
Entering the Dome was like entering a whole other world. It was dark and lit with dark green and blue spotlights. On the screens, the Word of God… scrolling and scrolling. A whole stadium of 18-25yr olds reading the Word of God… so inspiring. After finding some seats, my friend and I prepared ourselves for the days ahead.
All of a sudden, a group of people came out on stage and began taking turns reading aloud the Word that was scrolling on the screens. At first, it was chill and just contributed to building up the sense of expectation. Then, the lights went out and “This Is the Word of God” flashed onscreen.. It was go time.
Techno eque music began playing and red ish lights flashed on like the beat with sorta… okay, not helping… I’ll just show you the video.
After the opening, Chris Tomlin and the Passion band came onstage and we went straight to worship. Worship concerts are my favorite (besides U2 of course… nothing can top them) and have a whole different feel/energy to them. So, I was excited to be in the Dome at another worship concert. Next, Louie popped up on stage. You could just see how much joy and inspiration he found in being able to speak to 45,000 college students who were willing to spend their time and money to lift up the name of Jesus. He opened the conference speaking from Luke 7:11-18 about Jesus intercepting funeral processions. As usual, he powerfully related it to daily life. He spoke about how Christ intercepts us just at the right moment, while we are on our way to our death. Of course, my friend and I had passed a funeral procession on our way down to Passion (first one I’ve seen in over a year). Coincidence?
If the Dome doesn’t affect the dorm, then what was the point?
Finally, it was time to eat. I don’t think the CNN center was ready for what was about to hit them.. we absolutely engulfed the place. After supper, we headed back into the Dome for our first “late night option.” From day one, this terminology confused me. Why name it “late night option” when it looks like every night is a concert? Well, at least the first two days were definitely concerts, but the third day was left mysteriously blank. Just another surprise in the works. Louie is full of surprises.
Late Night Option 1: David Crowder Band
And our first late night option… David Crowder Band. This was their last concert together as a band, so it was a special show for them. I was surprised at how diverse their music is… they are incredibly gifted. At Passion, they also released their final CD “Give Us Rest”. I highly, highly recommend it. Here are some clips from their show:
As DCB walked off stage for the last time, Passion 2012 Day One came to a close.
Oh, and it was snowing when we walked out :P.