The Week (Updated Thursday AM-11/30)
We have a huge week going on here at the Passion House.
Podcast #3 w/ Chris Tomlin is up and running as the Passion 07 Podcast continues to connect the world on the journey to Atlanta. Click here to subscribe via iTunes, or listen to the episode online by clicking here.
At midnight EST December 1 (Friday) the price for Passion 07 jumps thirty bucks. We will see a ton of activity as Friday nears, but as of this post we are only 76% full... so there is plenty of room for you and your crew.
The Passion 07 Live Link is this Sunday, December 3 @ 10PM EST. Time is short and we need your help to spread the word. The Live Link will be a time of prayer/worship that will join us around the globe. All you need is an internet connection and a few of your mates. Actually, all you need is you...but you and a few friends would make the prayer times better! The audio stream will be "Live," thus the "Live Link," and will last until 11PM EST. We'll be broadcasting from the Passion House, connecting people from Alpharetta to Australia. Look for the Live Link icon on the main page at 268Generation.com (different from Podcast icon) and click to make a test connection! We'll see you back at 10PM EST Sunday! To test your connection to the Live Link now click here.
The Shape Of Things To Come
Thanks to all of you who tuned into the Passion 07 Podcast--connecting the world on the journey to Atlanta. We've had a lot more listeners in week one than we expected and even landed in the top 25 of all Podcasts on iTunes, something I hadn't even thought about when we started. Tomorrow (November 22) Podcast #2 will launch with a fantastic interview with John Piper and a little extra "Piper twist" you won't want to miss!
This past week on the Podcast we shared our BIG NEWS, which really wasn't big news after all, but more of an update on where things are headed here at the Passion House. For those of you who couldn't hear it for some reason, the big news is that Passion 07 will be our last four-day January gathering for a bit. To be specific, there are no plans underway for a Passion 08.
Passion 07 will mark three straight years for the January event, growing from 11,500 in 05 to over 20,000 this year. We could keep building and possibly grow bigger and bigger, and in many ways that seems like the most logical thing to do. But our hearts are not moved by simply having the largest gathering possible and, as a result, our path in 2007 and 2008 is taking us a slightly different direction. The path ahead is less of a sure thing, but it's one we couldn't be more pumped about! So the Big News IS NOT that there will be no more Passion gatherings after this year. Just that the shape of those gatherings, and their locations, will change.
Why share this now? We didn't want anyone to not come to Passion 07 because they thought they would have the chance to experience it next year at Passion 08...only to discover that there is not a next year... and then be sad, or mad, or sad and mad and all jacked up because we didn't tell them that they really did need to come this year and not go skiing with the fam in Utah because they could (and should) go skiing with the fam in Utah next year, but they can't come to Passion 08 next year because there will not be a Passion 08 next year to come to because our path is changing a little in the near future. So, we are letting you know now so that you can make your decision having all the info. I agree, the news is bittersweet. But the journey God is leading us on has a place for you, too.
And what about the shape of things to come? We can't say a lot now, but there will be much more to come on that front while we're together in Atlanta. For now, stay tuned to the Passion 07 Podcast and have a fabulous time with family and friends sharing Thanksgiving together.
Passion07 Podcast Beaming Now
Connecting the world on the journey to Atlanta, the Passion07 Podcast is up and running. Check out the first of several episodes that will feature interviews with Passion speakers and musicians, while giving you all the latest news of this year's gathering. There's some pretty important news about Passion's future at the end of this week's episode, so check it out and pass it on.
To subscribe to the Passion07 Podcast click here.
To listen to episode 1 click here.
The Neighborhood Is Getting Smaller
As we head toward Passion07, people are streaming towards Atl from all across the nation...and the world. As of today, students and student leaders are coming from every state except Nevada and South Dakota. Granted, there are not many people in SD and Nevada (just kidding!!), but we really do want to have them represented at this year's gathering. It's likely someone is coming from one of these states now, but they have registered with a group where the attend school so it hasn't shown up in the registration info.
But we're also going to have people from around the globe. Individuals and groups are coming from places like Canada, Ireland, Poland, England, South Africa, Romania, Slovakia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, (East Asia!), Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Holland, Malaysia, Botswana, Kenya, India, Cameroon and Afghanistan. Wow! And that's just the ones we know about! The neighborhood is getting a little smaller.
Obviously, the vast majority of people are coming from places like Michigan and Alabama, but I just wanted you to know that some are jumping through a lot of hoops to have the chance to experience the days of Passion07. It's not as easy to get to Georgia from Romania as it is from Toledo, and several of these groups (including the Romanians) are having major problems getting the visas they need to leave their countries.
Would you be willing to take one of the groups above and pray for them as they head to Atlanta? You probably don't know anything about them, but God does. And it would be amazing if you would just take one nation and pray all this week for those people, asking God to make a way for them. It's the least we can do.
The wave is growing into a global awakening!
It's important that you know there is a foundation underneath "everything Passion." We're not just about events and CDs. For eleven years we have been galvanized by a clear and unwavering passion for the university campus. In saying that, I think you know that we love all people and are thrilled that we can connect with people in every stage of life. Yet we are compelled by a desire to reach students in the campus culture during the collegiate years, a window we feel that both holds and shapes the future.
This has been well said by former Harvard professor Charles Malik: The university is a clear-cut fulcrum with which to move the world. The problem here is for the Church to realize that no greater service can it render itself and the Gospel than to try to recapture the universities for Christ. More potently than by any other means, change the University and you change the world.
In the same way, you could say, "lose the campus and you lose the world."
This is why Passion exists. We are full on for the glory of God, yet riveted to the needs and opportunities of the university setting. Again, that's not to say that we are ambivalent to what God is doing with other demographics. We love teens, non-college young adults, singles, moms, grand dads, kids.... and are humbled that the ripples of Passion's collegiate gatherings have intersected their lives and bound us together.
And our hearts are not just beating for this nation, but the world. While there are 16+ million college and university students in the US there are 132 million worldwide. That number is up from 68 million in 1991, with the largest increase coming in the Pacific Rim/East Asia. China alone has 19.4 million university students. India 11.8 million. Russia, 8.6. Even more than in the US, these are the few among the college-aged population of these countries (China has 105 million university-aged young people) who have the privilege of higher education and THEY WILL be the shapers of the destiny of nations.
I know we could get lost in the numbers (forgive me if this stuff bores you), but the numbers matter. We are praying Passion will continue to be a catalyst, calling people to consider the moment, elevating the opportunity to plant a church within reach of every campus. We must use whatever resources necessary to engage the university culture with a message of substance, purpose, redemption and hope.
Wherever and whomever you are, please join us on this journey, and pray that Passion 07 will not just be "more" for the spiritually rich, but an explosion that propels us to the campuses of this nation and the world.