I love technology. I love the fact that I can stay encouraged by countless teachers and preachers who are thousands of miles away… all by the click of a button. Oneplace.com has been one of my favorites for years. I love to click on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, or Living Proof with Beth Moore, or Proverbs 31 Ministries and go about my business at home with a good lesson to encourage me while I work. But a LiveStream to the Passion 2012 event? Well, now! THAT’s an even greater treat.
For those who’ve never experienced a Passion conference before, they are conferences passionately proclaiming the renown of Jesus Christ combining today’s most engaging, Biblically-centered teachers, today’s hippest worship leaders, and 40,000+ college students actively participating in front of their stadium seats. I’ve experienced a lot of things, but nothing was as emotionally charged and overwhelming as my first Passion conference in 2005. It was not only one of the most deeply profound experiences of my life in many ways, but it taught me much about what it takes to truly sustain the Christian life. Emotion can only take you so far. 2005 would bring about experiences both amazing and excruciating that led to sheer emotional exhaustion and disappointment because my depth of applied wisdom did not match my initial zeal. My experience at Passion 2006 was drastically different from my Passion 2005 experience.
But with the correct expectations, conferences can be incredibly edifying long-term. Young Christians go to a conference for the temporary high, hoping the experience magically changes something. They hope it never ends. The seasoned go to a conference without rejecting the emotional experience but seek to learn/plan what he or she can do differently once they arrive back at home. They can’t wait to get to the end because they know the conference is only the beginning of implementing something new & edifying into their daily lives. How nice to arrive at Passion 2012 with a completely different perspective. I much prefer the seasoned way of doing things.
Here are some gems I gleaned:
1) This year’s global push: There are 27 million men (that’s 27 plus six zeros – that’s a LOT), women, and children trapped in sex trafficking and slave labor throughout the globe. To learn more, click here. Though many are found in countries the typical American rarely chooses to think about on a daily basis, many of these trafficked people are in the U.S. There are many organizations already fighting against slavery and rehabilitating former slaves and they need prayer and funds. I need to find out what we can do here in Busan to contribute.
2) Louie Giglio’s talk – You exist to contribute to God’s kingdom globally. Each day, week, year, decade brings new and different opportunities to embrace. (He didn’t specifically say this in his talk, but seeing how his ministry at Passion has evolved through the years, he definitely lives this.)
3) Beth Moore’s talk – Like the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48 who was healed when she touched Jesus’ garment as He was on His way to heal someone else, our lives are lived within a greater narrative… for our healing and for others’.
4) Christine Caine’s talk – The church can and should be ahead of the curve compared to governments concerning global issues and injustices.
5) Francis Chan’s talk – “So the Bible says ‘this.’ Now go do it!”
6) John Piper’s talk – It wasn’t a talk, but an entire session of teachers reading every verse throughout the book of Ephesians. Very powerful and effective…and not boring because they switched readers often… even better than a sermon! Definitely a method we want to try with our Bible Study soon.
7) Never underestimate the power of God to move in the lives of anyone… including 40,000 college students. They set a goal to raise $1 million towards ending slavery. They exceeded $3 million. Be humiliated to repentance. What have our churches/organizations accomplished today? Seriously. Pray we can unite to change the world… not just on this issue alone, but on every issue that should demand our attention.
8) There are issues of pain and suffering in this world we haven’t fully yet grasped and we need to learn more so we can pray and contribute more. There are also different methods of worship and Bible Study that can help refresh us and rid us of our ruts.
9) It is always a pleasure to introduce good friends to old things that God uses in their lives. I posted the LiveStream link on my Facebook page and a friend here in Busan watched it as well. It’s amazing to see how it’s encouraged him weeks after the conference.
Did you attend Passion 2012 or a have a former Passion experience? What were your major take-aways? Also, are there any causes that have stirred your heart lately?
Would love to know!
I hope your New Year is off to an im-Passioned start! Much love to you all!