As Passion is about to begin again I thought I would give some personal thoughts on the conference. I did a project on Passion and know many people heavily involved in the conference. First off I want to start by saying that I think Passion is an incredible worship experience that bring many people into a closer walk with God, but I also see issues with it that play a role in our local churches.
The main goal of Passion is to raise up a generation that honors God fully and honors him as Lord through worship. I think this is an amazing goal to have. The conference is not out to try and make the almighty buck. When 50,000+ college students get together with some of the top CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) artist and some of the most influential Christian speakers an incredible experience can occur. This is an experience that can really draw people into a time of worship where they really connect with God, but once they leave then what? The students come into the local church and it is just not the same. Chris Tomlin isn't up there leading, Louie Giglio is not preaching, and you aren't surrounded by 50,000 other people worshipping. Unfortunately it seems like a let-down almost. It is not as much of an exciting time as Passion was. Our churches are seeking to emulate Passion by bringing in these songs that have been popularized by Passion and perform them in that style, but it just does not seem the same. It is like that mountain top experience at Youth Camp. Unfortunately when you get back into life it isn't the same.
We also make an idol of the experience that we had. This is true for Passion, but also in any church or worship experience. If we do not have that extremely worshipful experience then it can feel like a let down or worthless. I have been there and guilty of it. We are not going to leave worship every time in tears or ready to go conquer the world for Jesus. It is apart of our human nature. We often are that lukewarm Christian that God wants to spew out of his mouth, and that is something that everyone needs to work on. We cannot let these mountain top experiences define when we truly worship.
I've been told that I am cynical about this and trying to shut down the excitement, but that is not what I am doing. I am cautioning people that Passion isn't a perfect conference, and everyone involved in their leadership knows that. Our local church is not perfect. That is the sin in our lives that causes this. I am fearful that people will begin to idolize this movement and hold local churches to this standard, which is extremely hard to attain. Being involved in worship ministry, churches seek so hard to emulate this and create this atmosphere so people will "be able to worship," but that is a bunch of garbage. God will show up regardless of what we are singing or in what style.
I do pray that a revival is started out of Passion, but when people think that it is the only way God will start a revival is when it becomes an issue. We place such human importance on it and put confines on God that he will only move as a part of this conference. As many of my friends make their journey to Passion I pray that God does wonderful things in their lives and they are able to worship God completely, but don't make an idol out of the experience. God is working, don't place confines on him.