Passion 2012 – guest blog from Andrew Walston

"Do Something Now" hand representing human slavery and the freedom they need

There’s been a lot of press recently about a group of college students who raised over $3 million to fight slavery and human trafficking, in the course of just a few days.  This jaw-dropping event took place at a conference called Passion 2012.

I was excited to hear what was happening at Passion 2012, especially knowing that members of my family were there to experience it.  My nephew Andrew and his wife Amanda, plus my nephew Eric and his girlfriend Sara were all at the conference.  Andrew took some time to express his thoughts on Passion 2012 and has graciously allowed me to share his first-hand experience with you.  I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to seeing what these 45,000 students do once they are back on their campuses!

Reflections on Passion 2012

by Andrew Walston

This past week I spent with 25 other students from the colleges of Rochester (MN) in Atlanta, Georgia for the Passion 2012 Conference.  There was a combined 45,000 students and leaders…double from last year.  This was my second time attending Passion, I went last year and was overwhelmed.  This year I went again and was, well….overwhelmed!  To put the experience into words is hard, but here are a few highlights that I experienced personally:

  • Jesus – first and foremost, Passion exists to make Jesus’ name known and glorified in the lives of college students.  I’ve never been at a conference or event with such a focus on Him, and to see every path of Passion all leading back to Jesus was truly an incredible thing.
  • God is at work –  The Holy Spirit is truly doing a supernatural thing going on in the hearts of college students.  While the church in general seems to miss reaching this age group…these students are passionate about worshiping God, loving the truth, and leading their peers to know and love Christ.
  • Humility – every leader from the platform leads with a genuine approach to who God is and the responsibility they have to lead…the worship leaders, speakers, and volunteers all exude a contagious attitude of humility that is evident in their leadership, but also in their walks with God.
  • Investing in Leaders – Passion has a desire to encourage and equip leaders.  Like last year I was a part of the adult leader’s community group again.  They had Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, and John Piper come and exhort leaders with what they felt they needed to hear.  Hearing them talk about discipleship and speaking the word of God with boldness was such an inspiration.  I learned such valuable things that I look forward to applying them to the ministries I’m involved in.
  • Loving the Word – The Bible is front and center as truth with everything being based on it.  One of the main sessions was simply the speakers reading aloud through the whole book of Ephesians, instead of having a normal message.  The simplicity of it made gave clarity in hearing God speak to a room of 45,000 people.
  • Worship and Justice – Passion loves to praise Jesus through worship songs, the new songs that were sung were amazing, but there is much more to worship than music.  There was an intiative through the Do Something Now campaign to raise $1 Million dollars during the conference, for organizations fighting human slavery of every kind around the world.  Through the generosity of the students…there was over $3 Million dollars raised!  By poor college students no less!  Through the generous giving, people who face injustice everyday have the opportunity to know that they are loved and cared for by our loving Father.  The picture you see is a statue that was constructed throughout the 4 days of the conference, it is displaying that slavery is a major problem in the world today but that there is a generation of people who want to see it end, and give these people true freedom!

There is much more to share, but to sum it up I believe this generation is on a mission to live for the name and renown of Jesus…and they will stop at nothing to do so.  45,000 people all with one voice declared Jesus to be the center of their lives and this generation.  I praise God for the privilege to be a part of what God is doing, thank you Lord!

Isaish 26:8  “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth we wait eagerly for You, for your name and renown are desire of our souls”

 

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