Passion 06 concluded in downtown Nashville on Thursday as Passion Conferences Founder and Director Louie Giglio encouraged students to return to campus and let the real "Passion" begin.
Were not sending you to Africa or on a summer mission adventure, because thats not where youre going when you leave Nashville today," said Giglio. "Were sending you back home today, and thats where Passion starts, right then and there, where God can make a difference in your world.
Passion 06 opened last Monday, Jan. 2, at the Gaylord Entertainment Center (GEC) in downtown Nashville at full capacity, with 18,000 students representing 20 countries and all 50 states.
Founded by Giglio a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his wife, Shelley, as an outgrowth of their student ministry at Baylor University in 1997, Passion has now reached hundreds of thousands of students on an international basis.
The popular conference for college students is reminiscent of the major gatherings between 1997 and 1999 that attracted tens of thousands of collegians and sold millions of records that launched the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) movement that spun off notables such as Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, and the David Crowder Band.
This year's four-day indoor gathering featured speakers including John Piper and Beth Moore, among others, as well as worship-artists Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, Shane and Shane, Nathan and Christy Nockels, and more.
The heartbeat of Passion is to send students to campuses, to see campuses come back to life, and Giglio encouraged students to live an authentic, vibrant, real Christian life.
People living in darkness will be drawn to your light and ask, What is your deal? Its our heart that you can answer in a normal, conversational, relational way and youre able to tell them the story of God, added Giglio.
Talking from Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Giglio exhorted students to follow the stirring in their hearts, whether that be in church ministry, fashion design, architecture, filmmaking, etc.
Its not about what you do; its about whatever you do for the sake of showing Jesus to the world. If this is going to work, you must love God supremely, engage the culture with excellence, and connect in a community of faith, he said.
Throughout the conference, students shared their Passion experiences in the Graffiti area of the Go Center, offering expressions of art, written prayer and declarations on the backdrops provided. Pieced together and raised as a curtain at the end of the final session, the Graffiti backdrop enclosed the four sides of the main stage and showed the word, GLORIOUS around its circumference. Using a black light, the students words and artistic renderings came into view, capping Passion 06 with the offerings of students to a glorious God.
The next conference, Passion 07, will be held in early January 2007 in Atlanta. Meanwhile, more information and new music available from Passion 06 will be available at www.268generation.com.