Here’s an example of the audacity of Passion giving. I’ve seen concerts in which a plea is made to support the fine work of organizations like Compassion International. Sometimes, hundreds of children are sponsored. This year, Louie Giglio challenged the gathering to sponsor every remaining Compassion International child in the entire country of El Salvador. And Rwanda. And Tanzania. In the end, they accomplished all of that and more, completing Indonesia along the way toward sponsoring over 7,000 children.

The Giglio’s still know how to put on an incredible event | The rain abated as 7:00 approached Monday night. Arena speakers pumped in the voice of Justin Timberlake telling us all he “couldn’t stop the feeling.” Dancing ensued, spotlights circling, all pinks and yellows. Live music followed on a massive stage in the shape of a cross in the middle of the dome. I dare say the video production rivaled any concert you’ve ever seen. There were cameras on dolly tracks, Steadicam’s, jib-cameras on cranes, even the stadium’s Sky-Cam. They sent their images to massive moving screens above each arm of the stage, images adorned with VFX that looked like they came from the Prisma app on steroids. Then, just a few hours later, as David Crowder sang his closing song I thought, wait, is that Carrie Underwood on background vocals? And sure, enough, there she was.

Amid the bombast, though, little touches—very intentional touches—build a sense of community and intimacy. Common bonds are identified. Transparency is encouraged. Community Groups allow every person to participate, to find their place in the puzzle.

Carrie Underwood, David Crowder, Passion, CCM Magazine - image

Carrie Underwood joins Crowder on stage at Passion ’17, photo: Mary Caroline Russell

By the end of the three-day gathering, the bonds were apparent. The students (who never, ever, seem to sit down) in the massive dome somehow felt more comfortable with one another. New songs had been learned, and expressions of worship became less encumbered. After the last message, students streamed to the floor for one last musical celebration, jumping up and down like dust on a drum head.


One Response

  1. Janice Cardona

    I’m not understanding this? Carrie Underwood singing with Crowder at Passion? Well, it just confirms that alot of these concerts are about the money and entertainment more than about worship. I am not judging! Get your facts straight from the Bible to understand the real meaning of judging.

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