Over 42,000 university students from around the world will fill the Georgia Dome stadium in Atlanta Monday for the opening of the four-day Passion 2012 conference, whose speakers include Francis Chan, John Piper, Beth Moore and Louie Giglio.
“Sold Out,” says Passion 2012’s webpage, but requests for signing up are still pouring in on its Facebook page.
Along with popular speakers, lead worshippers will include Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, and Kristian Stanfill.
Passion conferences are designed to draw university-aged young people, and many participants have had their lives changed. “Passion 98 changed my life,” says a Texas man on the Passion 2012’s Facebook wall with the picture of a hat, which he says has accompanied him to over 26 nations. “Tomorrow it accompanies me, my wife and 10 students to Passion 2012 – I am hoping they bring back a Passion Hat this year!”
Passion seeks to engage the “university moment” with the compelling message of Jesus and the challenge to leverage life to make him famous. To achieve that purpose, tens of thousands of students who love Jesus will make a difference this year in the city and beyond. Upon registration, every attendee will bring towels and socks to donate to the city’s homeless community. By Jan. 5, more than 100,000 socks and 40,000 towels will be collected and donated.
As part of Passion’s “Do Something Now,” the participants will also raise $1 million to free, rescue and restore those entrapped in modern-day “slavery,” such as bonded laborers in India and girls and women trafficked to Western nations from Nepal and other developing nations. There are more slaves today than any other time in the history, according to Passion. The Do Something Now movement has raised over the past years more than $6 million to help end treacheries like sex trafficking, provide clean water and meet other pressing global needs.
The Passion movement began in 1995 with a stirring in the heart of Giglio to see college students across the globe “awaken to the reality of a glorious God and Creator.” Passion gathers college students from campuses and churches around the world and across ministry and denominational lines.