Passion ’05 kicked off with more than 11,000 energetic and ready college-age students in attendance at the Gaylord Entertainment Center (GEC) in downtown Nashville last night. Students descended en masse on the arena well before the doors opened, quickly filling any available sidewalk space. Day passes to the gathering for college-age people 18-26 are available at the GEC at the main entrance registration area.
Taking the stage unobtrusively, Charlie Hall on acoustic guitar opened the evening with “He Is Exalted.” Just as quietly, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and David Crowder joined him on stage one at a time leading the crowd in “Give Us Clean Hands,” “Holy Is the Lord” and “How Great.”
Passion founder Louie Giglio came to the stage to welcome the students. Asking if students from the states of Wyoming, South Dakota and Rhode Island were in the room and getting affirmative answers to all three, Giglio announced that all 50 states were represented at Passion ’05.
Charlie Hall and band continued in worship before Giglio came back to share a short message, setting forth the purpose of Passion ’05. “This is about the choice of life. You can choose to be the starring role in your own very small story. But why hold onto a starring role in a very tiny story when you could be a part of a bigger story? You can choose to live your life in the middle of the grand story of God and not even know it, or you can wake up and accept the role he has for you.”
Giglio continued, “We are here for a purpose: to taste and see that the Lord is good. To see what it means to ‘taste and see,’ and discover the hope of glory, Christ in you.”
Students were dismissed from the evening session to 14 Community Groups at various venues around downtown for one hour. There they were mixed into Family Groups of eight students each. The Late Nite gatherings featuring Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Shane and Shane, Mute Math and Candi Pearson Shelton, and Destinations featuring Amena Brown sold out.
More information about Passion ’05 can be found at www.268generation.com.
The unique purpose of Passion is to gather college students from campuses and churches across the nation, uniting them across ministry and denominational lines to seek the face of God together in worship and prayer. Affirming and valuing the work of local churches and campus ministries, Passion seeks to foster unity and connectivity among them, encouraging them to draw strength and encouragement from each other, resulting in a louder anthem of God’s renown.