After four days of intense worship and compassionate giving, students at Passion 2010 ended up over-funding 12 global causes.
More than $668,000 was collected during the Jan. 2-5 conference in Atlanta, Ga., exceeding Passion's initial goal of $500,000. A couple attending matched the gathered amount, bringing the total to more than $1.3 million.
"Crazy. Thank you so much," Passion Conference founder/director Louie Giglio told the more than 21,000 college students. "What a beautiful day, what a beautiful time. We love you guys, we believe in you, and we believe even more in God. Let's go live it out on our campuses."
Passion 2010 was the first four-day domestic gathering since 2007. This year's conference continued the 2007 campaign "Do Something Now" which weds worship and justice and has funneled close to two million dollars to those in greatest need throughout the world. Funds are being directed to sponsor children, to send men in the Muslim world to seminary, an education center for Dalit people in India, to rescue women from the sex trade in Nepal, and to build wells, among other things.
"It was so powerful during the last session as thousands stood to voice their own personal awakening during these days," said Giglio. "Many stood first to say that they had awakened to a relationship with Jesus Christ for the very first time, seeing Him as the giver of life, forgiveness and hope forever.
"Others stood awakening to: Christ as everything…supreme and sufficient; grace – I can't but He can; healing – so many stood to say healing had come to their wounds during these days; glory – awakening to the massive God story that is going on around us and our desire to make our lives count for His fame; justice – to see those with no voice lifted in His love."
The goal, Giglio emphasized, is not to be "more moral or better than your roommate or to be more causal or globally minded."
Rather, the goal is to be more like Jesus, he said.
"We want to be the ones who shine like stars who hold onto and hold out the Word of life," the popular speaker underscored. "At our core, Passion is a theological turnaround that produces the zeal and worship songs that we sing and that translates into everything we do."
The Passion movement, which began in 1995, is aimed at seeing college students stake their lives on making Jesus famous and magnifying God. The ministry just returned from a six-continent, 17-city world tour, encouraging tens of thousands of young people to invest in something bigger than themselves.
"At Passion, you worship big. But you also put feet to your commitment by living big," Travis Agnew, worship pastor at North Side Baptist Church in Greenwood, S.C., wrote in his blog after returning from the conference. "22,000 college students gave over $668,000 to meet needs around the world. You know why? This group realized that to mobilize this generation, you have to give missions a face. You have to make it tangible."
Passion 2010 was held at Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta with students from 37 countries. Speakers included John Piper, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, and Andy Stanley, among others. Lead worshippers included Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman and Hillsong UNITED.