Saturday, December 01, 2007

London Calling

Winter has come to London, meaning it gets dark (really dark) about 4 PM. But, that's about all there's not to love about this place. I mean, even the taxis are totally cool! And though most people wouldn't think so right away, London is a university town. Yep, there are something like 800,000-1,000,000 students in (or within easy reach of) the city, and that's why we are here.

To be honest, I fell in love with this place the first time I ever drove on the wrong side of it's busy roads almost twenty years ago. And I fell hard. I'm not sure what it is, but old and new converge here with an amazing blend of ancient cool and forward sensibility, and if you want to know what's happening in much of US culture tomorrow, hang out in London today. (Exhibit one: The Office started here long before its US debut). That's not to say we don't have a lot going on ourselves, and plenty to export to the world, but the wind definitely seems to blow west from London and I always feel one step ahead of the game when I'm here. And in the same way, the Church is leaning forward all across this nation with renewed energy and passion for His name.

That's not to say there aren't really old (when you say old here you're talking really old) and empty churches everywhere, vacant shells that once flourished but now stand beautifully irreverent as generations pass by. But just when it seemed the post-Christian era would entrench itself and brand the nation as a people with God, something stirred within the walls and an engaging, worshiping, advancing, forward-thinking movement burst on the scene. And while in many ways the nation is still dim, light is dawning in villages and towns throughout this land...and right here in the heart of London.

And in recent years, this new tide has brought with it a huge surge of vision for what could be among the university students of London and the UK as a whole. And stuff is happening everywhere. A small microcosm of this emerging movement could be seen Thursday as about thirty university ministry leaders and church influencers met at Hammersmith Apollo to think about what it might look like in June 2008 as that place is filled with uni students lifting up the name of Jesus over the city of London and the campuses of England and beyond (we had people there from Scotland, Wales and other parts of Europe). That's what Passion London is all about, and I believe Thursday paved the way for something beautiful to come.

Tomorrow, I speak at one of the city's growing churches, Hillsong London, which meets in a theater in the famed West End. Most days a sellout musical is on, but on the shows dark day a bustling church of three jammed services springs to life. Very cool.

As our Passion London team heads to the States, Shelley and I are off to Paris Monday for a quick venue visit for Passion Paris...and then home. Pray we will find the right spot in Paris, and begin to believe with us now that a crazy worshiping university student will occupy every one of these Hammersmith Apollo seats come June. God is building something awesome in this city and we are humbled to play a tiny part in it all. LG


  • I have been listening to the Clash since Thirsty! And London was on my mind before that. I am glad ya'll are getting so good, I didn't want anyone else's feelings hurt. . . nor Texas to burn, drought, etc.

    Merry Christ's Mass!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2007 11:18 PM  

  • Tell Shelley that I have not forgotten to pray for her through Dec 10th...press on!

    By Anonymous Jill from Passion Chicago, at 12/01/2007 11:48 PM  

  • Have been praying for a good meeting with the leaders in the U.K.and will be praying for you as you look for the Paris venue.

    I'll start to pray that the Apollo Hammersmith is full of "crazy worshipping students" and I'll even be crazy enough to pray that even those who go to the Apollo who are not in the 268gen yet will become "crazy worshipping students"

    Love what you all at Passion are doing for this college generation.

    By Blogger gail, at 12/01/2007 11:50 PM  

  • Walking into Hammersmith Apollo was just an amazing experience. I don't weant to exaggerate (because sometimes I really do!), but it truly was. It's an amazing venue, so beautiful. And to think of the fact that this is the place wehere college students will be coming together in june to glorify God's name... WOW! It really struck me!

    I felt blessed to be at the meeting. Meeting people and just talking and praying about Passion London was amazing.

    Have a great trip to Paris! I'm praying for you and I hope that the venue in Paris will be the right one. Hope the Eurostar goes well!! :-)

    By Blogger Jacoline, at 12/02/2007 7:29 AM  

  • That is sooo exciting! Thank you for telling us what God is doing in the UK, because I've been hearing alot about some bad things and discouraging things that have been taking place, and so it is so encouraging to hear how God is still actively moving in London. And on that subject, I just want to say thank you Passion, because you always offer hope. So many ministries talk about all that is not right in the world (and that's fine for what they're called to do), but one thing I love about your ministry is because God seems to use you as a voice and channel to remind us all that, yes, things may look bad, but, as Matt Redman said so well, "The Kingdom is always advancing"! So keep blowing where His Spirit takes you, and MAY HIS KINGDOM COME...

    By Blogger Aslan's Girl, at 12/02/2007 9:48 AM  

  • cant wait for passion london...will def be there...comin from ireland

    By Anonymous Rick Hill, at 12/02/2007 11:58 AM  

  • Thanks Louie and the team for coming to London to share the vision for Passion::London. I am so excited to be part of it. A couple fo student groups/ people come to mind right now and I'm definitely gonna get them to come in June 08.

    I've had the opportunity to worship with thousands at the Hammersmith Apollo a couple of years ago at a worship conference and it was AMAZING!! It will be even more fantastic to see the hall full with students lifting up their hearts and lives for His Renown!! My prayers go with you and the team as you head to the west coast for the regionals in the new year and for the WT.

    All this for His Fame and Glory!!

    P.S. Tell Shelley not to worry about the tunnel bit on the Eurostar. It's only about 20 mins :)

    By Anonymous Fiona, at 12/02/2007 2:23 PM  

  • Since seeing the DVD Facedown in South Africa in 2006 our lives were changed. Then we moved to the UK in August 2007 and went to worship at Hillsong London. Here in the UK with fast broadband lines we could listen to your talks and blogs and watch the youtube videos.

    Louie we would like to thank you for making worship so much more real and intense. Explaining it to us in people language. Now we know how BIG our God is and we understand Grace so much more.

    It was such a privilege to be in Hillsong's first service this morning and to hear a whole new message. We serve a God that has already overcome all and who is a Star Breather.

    Your teachings made us see with clearer vision. We understand the importance and significance of the Cross.

    God is just awesome and we are grateful to be in London. I have subscribed to your blogs and can't get enough of hearing more about our Creator and His Creation.

    You do make us go look up the word "Laminin" on the computer too! We bought the dvd after church this morning and watched the video tonight.


    Hope you will visit London on many more occasions. We hope South Africa will also get to hear your messages in person.

    Thank YOU!

    By Anonymous Ronel van Zyl, at 12/02/2007 3:04 PM  

  • Was in today's first service in Hillsong London. Thank you sooo much for the REAL message that you brought. I was moved to tears with the stories and testimonies you shared with us.

    The Cross is indeed a beautiful display of God's love for us. it just reminds me of something I came across recently:

    1 Cross
    + 3 Nails
    4 Given

    May you continue to speak into and influence the lives of our youth through the work that you do.

    God bless!

    By Anonymous Hsin-hui, at 12/02/2007 4:05 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Dan, at 12/02/2007 4:36 PM  

  • Louie that's fantastic news that Passion is coming to Hammersmith!

    I work at St Paul's Hammersmith which is literally next door to the Apollo. - www.sph.org

    I love the Passion movement, came on board from watching 7|22 when I was 16, about 3 years ago - and still do watch it every week, really exciting what God is doing in Atlanta.

    Do let me know if you need any 'on the ground,'

    So excited :)

    By Blogger Dan, at 12/02/2007 4:44 PM  

  • Awesome. I can't wait to see what God does around the world. The world tour is on my heart a lot.

    Praying for you guys!

    By Blogger Catherine, at 12/02/2007 4:58 PM  

  • Praying for you guys and all the prayer points you mentioned. That is incredibly exciting that Passion is coming to both Paris and London. Both are cities I love and have felt burdened for. I was in Paris a few years back at a Prayer Summit and it's cool to see God work in the midst of such indifference. He shines that much brighter! I know God will show up and do amazing things!

    By Blogger annechovie, at 12/02/2007 7:38 PM  

  • I love London...what a beautiful city! My heart goes out for Londoners...

    Is 9:2
    The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light;
    Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    On them has Light shined.


    Love from Birmingham (Alabama)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 10:50 AM  

  • lg...
    great memories of hammersmith apollo...saw james taylor there in spring of '99 while studying abroad. glad to hear that new memories will be formed there (and much more lasting ones at that.)

    By Anonymous jon ackley-jelinek, at 12/03/2007 4:58 PM  

  • Hey Louie & the Passion House team

    It was amazing and a real priviledge to be able to be there for the vision meeting the other day at the Apollo.

    I think it'll be an amazing venue for it, and it was cool to be able to get a vision for thousands of 'unquenchable worshippers' (to steal Matt's phrase!) there come June!

    Keep on keeping on people and be encouraged - God has done, is doing, and will continue to do amazing things through you as you continue to step out with the vision He's placed within you.

    By Blogger themakowers, at 12/04/2007 4:47 PM  

  • Louie, I love London and Paris! I'm excited about how God will use your team to stir people to follow Jesus. May God direct you in the Power of the Holy Spirit to the places He wants you to be.

    What kind of things are you doing to encourage my generation to live out their faith in both words and deeds. We have to be about more than social justice and communicate the Gospel to a lost and broken world!

    Jesus is LORD! Proclaim him to all creation!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/04/2007 7:58 PM  

  • Hey Louie, Hoping Passion London isnt on the 7th... Chris, David and a few other bands will be worshipping thier hearts out up the country in Scotland! ( frenzy is the UK biggest christian music festival we get and it'd be a shame to have to pic passion or frenzy!)

    Love across the pond to all in the passion House!

    By Anonymous snotty.uk, at 12/19/2007 6:32 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Speedy, at 1/16/2008 10:16 PM  

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