Continued from: Passion 2013 :. Part 1
Starting to Lag
During the second full day of Passion, the lack of sleep really starts to hit you. A quick stroll around the Georgia World Congress Center makes this very apparent. The place looks like a war scene with people strewn all over the couches. You could definitely tell what Community Groups had gotten their morning Starbucks and which ones had not. Our group had a little bit of trouble waking up, but we eventually started some really good discussion.
The morning session started off with a bang. David Crowder… yes! There’s just something very special about a guy wearing a baseball cap, a bright orange marshmallow jacket, and torn up jeans leading us in a hoedown praising Jesus. If you have never heard of David Crowder, you absolutely need to look him up. Judah Smith from Seattle then came on to talk about community. His talk was very engaging to say the least. I feel like he did the best job of connecting with our generation. His talk centered around: “How important is community to God? He is community in and of Himself. That’s what is amazing about a triune God.” He also talked about 1 Peter 2 and unpacked one reason why God describes us as living rocks and Jesus as The Living Rock.
After another Jason Deli’s lunch, we started the afternoon session. Instead of listening to a specific speaker, Louie led a round-table discussion with some of the pillars of the movement to end slavery. Leaders from IJM, A21, CNN, and the Justice Department. It was inspring and encouraging to hear from these people making such a big difference in the fight for freedom. Louie did a good job of reminding us that these people are just normal people that decided to make this a priority in their life. We can be just as influential.
Before the final night session, I met my buddy at Peachtree Center for dinner. We then stopped by Starbucks for some caffeine to prep for the night session. While waiting in the massive line, we talked about C.S. Lewis and met a venture capitalist that came to Passion with 9 of his friends all the way from Indiana. It was really interesting to hear his take on the role of business in preventing slavery. Unfortunately by the time we made it up to the front of the line, they had run out of grandes and ventis so I grabbed my tall frap and we finally made our way to the Dome. There was so much expectation leading up to the night session and we knew the place was going to be packed, so luckily we had some seats saved on the floor and didn’t need to worry about being late.
What a night. Lecrae made his appearance and it was a party.
John Piper then came on and proceeded to blow my (very tired) mind. I love diving deep like Piper does, but it takes a lot of focus to follow him. As one of my friends put it, “don’t blink or you will lose him.” I blinked. A lot.
Community Group time after the session was awesome. We added another member to our group (he couldn’t find his family group in the crowd), so it was nice to meet another student. I’m really impressed with how our group invested into the family group time. We learned so much during this time.
At the end of community groups, we headed outside for a candlelight vigil for ending slavery. It’s awe-inspiring to be walking with 60,000+ people in complete silence. Unlike last year, I had no idea what they were going to do for the vigil. And then…. boom. A massive light exploded out of cube of screens set up for the End It Movement. A light signifying our resolution to shed a light on slavery. A light that could be seen from over 15 miles away. A light that shown 3 miles high and needed FAA clearance. Most importantly, a light for freedom.
Saying Goodbye to the Dome
I really wish we didn’t have to leave the Dome, but it’s so important that we do. Passion provides an incredible opportunity to recharge and refocus, however in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus we have to move on and out. Louie’s final message echoed this. “Your freedom is FOR freedom.” Wrapping our minds and hearts around this is so important.
He continued to say that we head out of the Dome not proclaiming… “Hey man, you’re dead and need Jesus. Just look at your life”… but fearlessly proclaiming… “Hey man, look at me. I was dead and now I’m alive. I was dead. And now I’m alive!” As we make disciples, it’s not about walking around with our pretty little Bible presenting cogent and comprehensive arguments for Jesus, but letting people see our scars. Scars are evidence of wounds, yes, but more importantly they are evidence of healed wounds. He ended with a powerful definition of worship: “Worship is giving God your breath back. That’s all you can do.”
Passion ended with a call to action to take the End It Movement out to the nation (enditmovement.com). Passion 2013 was an incredible time of growth for me. Serving as a family group leader encouraged me to invest into community groups and I saw the harvest. Also, the importance of prayer was made so apparent to me. And, unlike last year, I successfully used Starbucks to bring me through the four days. I can’t believe the days at the Dome are over, but Passion 2013 is definitely still alive in my heart.