As the saying goes, “You can leave Africa, but Africa never leaves you!” That’s definitely the way our teams are feeling after two weeks on this beautiful continent hosting four Passion gatherings and our first PCC global trips. Ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you Africa and her people have a special piece of their hearts.
Thanks to Bryson Vogeltanz (Pastor, Global Engagement) and the leaders of our three teams (Daniel and Anna Armstrong leading a team serving in a township near Potchefstroom, South Africa, Eric and Kristin Hill and their team serving alongside a church in Gulu (Northern Uganda) and Aaron and Beth Fortner serving with their crew in two of the poorest townships outside of Cape Town, South Africa). Through the work of these teams, all of us at Passion City Church were able to extend our hearts to the world and put our arms around the last and least of these that Jesus loves so much.
For us, planning these World Tour dates was a huge challenge. But once we arrived in Africa we sensed the collective power of the church behind us, felt God’s favor in a very special way and were able to invest so much in the lives of over 70,000 people. But, to be honest, each of our lives are forever changed, shaped by the beautiful rhythms of Africa and the way the Jesus Generation is emerging across the land.
That’s not to say both Uganda and South Africa face huge challenges, the do. But what we saw and experienced affirms that Jesus is alive and His people are poised to lead with hope and healing in the days to come.
This trip was a total PCC team effort. Thank you for being a global people, a world-wide church, a praying army and joyful servants to all!
Such a special night in this beautiful city on the Indian Ocean. Our team is amazing…so many of the tweets mention @louiegiglio @christomlin @matt_redman @christynockels @Passion268, but it’s the whole team (staff, production, door holders, band, support) that makes these nights possible– and our entire team is killing it!!
And you are a part of our team! Thanks for praying with/for/over/before/under/behind/beside us, believing for great things for Africa. We are confident the breath of heaven was deposited here tonight and Jesus was lifted high over Durban!
That’s what it felt like looking out across the sports field at Makerere University tonight as the songs of Jesus rose up over Kampala. Over 31,000 young faces, with arms high and shouts echoing for the Risen One! Weather was perfect. Team was amazing, w/ Gulu PCC Global team Door Holding like crazy. What. An. Honor.
A few images w/ more to come next week at PCC!
Night one of our Passion Africa tour is history…and what a special night with the people of Pretoria/Jo’Burg, lifting up the name of Jesus! Thank you to all who are supporting us on this amazing journey. We feel your prayers. And thank you to our friends and leaders in SA, and everyone who came out to Passion Pretoria! A few pics from the night:
The heartbeat and mission of Passion City Church is reflected in four simple, yet clarifying statements:
for the city.
for the world.
We love being a church where Jesus is central, people are made whole and our city is restored. But we also feel connected to the world, and love being a part of a global movement, namely the Church Jesus is building across the earth. We are eager to engage with God’s Kingdom agenda, bringing hope and truth to all people, everywhere, serving and building up His Church around the globe.
Thus, we’re excited to be sending out our Passion Conferences team to host gatherings in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa and Kampala, Uganda. We have a huge expectation for the potential of these nights–our first Passion events open to all ages–as the Church is united, vision is fueled and Jesus is lifted higher.
As you may know, our Passion Conferences team has been circling the globe for the past few years, hosting gatherings for university-aged young people in cities like Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, Sao Paulo and Manila. For more on our journey:
In addition to our Passion World Tour events, Passion City Church is sending out our first global teams to facilitate on-the-ground projects in partnership with local churches/ministries. These three teams will be working in Potchefstroom (outside Johannesburg), Cape Town and Gulu (Northern Uganda). After their week-long efforts serving local communities, these teams will become Door Holders for our Passion gatherings at the event closest to their project locations.
Honestly, this is a huge step for our growing Passion City tribe, and everyone has a role to play. Please mark the dates and pick up a Passion World Tour prayer card from the Blue Container at 515. If you’d like to give toward the project expenses for our global teams as they build homes and schools for orphans, feed the poor and help lead sports camps you can do so here!
As we go, pray that Jesus will be made famous, and that unity will knit our teams as we trust God’s Spirit to bring lasting change to the lives of all we have the privilege of serving.
Together, we’re a force for good.
As you know by now, our Passion City Church family is taking a sabbath together. Specifically, we will not be gathering on Sunday August 12 or August 19, and our Passion, PCC, sixsteps offices will be closed the week of August 13-17. I know it’s a bit unconventional for a church to NOT meet, but for us it’s a needed and desired time to pause and remember that God is the source of all we have and are.
For us, Sabbath is not just a good idea. It’s the cornerstone of our walk with Jesus, a reflection of our understanding of His grace demonstrated from the earliest of times. In fact, Scripture tells us in Genesis 2:1-3: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. At the end of the first week on earth God rested from His work. How can we not do the same?
As well, when God gave the ten commandments to Moses, sabbath was again front and center. In fact, the longest of the commands requires us to “remember the sabbath and keep it holy.” While we don’t live under the letter of the law, the spirit of the law still guides us. Thus, the principle of observing a day of rest is still a vital part of the fabric of following Jesus.
So what is sabbath anyway? Well, Sabbath is more than a day off, it’s really more of a day up. Sabbath is an attitude of the heart that prompts us to remember that our lives are not simply the products of our hard work and ingenuity. Sabbath is the art of breathing in, and acknowledging the reality that we are what we are because of the grace of God. On the sixth day, when humans entered the Creation story, God had ALREADY made the heavens and the earth. He did all that without any help or assistance from us! Then, when things were just as He wanted, we were created by and for Him, and placed into an “already in motion” story of His greatness, power and grace.
Later, in the context of sabbath, Jesus invites us: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. The Jesus Way is the pathway of quiet rest, and trust in the greatness and sovereignty of God–a path that leads to rest for weary souls no matter what circumstances we find ourselves walking through.
While it’s true God gives us work to do and roles to play in His story, He wants us to remember each step of the way that it’s us who are counting on Him, not the other way around. Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives and of His Church. Everything that is lasting and true rests on Him alone.
We at PCC are still a relatively new tribe…a burgeoning church led by a ferociously dedicated team of Door Holders and the best staff/team in the world. Throughout 2012 we have sought to mirror Isaiah 54: 2: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. As we have followed His leading, we have watched God expand the borders of all things Passion, sixstepsrecords and PCC. Lot’s of new people have made their way to our House and thousands have been rocked by the power and presence of God’s Spirit. But every season can’t be about stretching our curtains even wider. At times, the best move a leader can make is to step back to strengthen the fabric and deepen the stakes.
As a way of doing just that, PCC is taking a collective pause. It’s not just a break, it’s a time to remember the faithfulness of Jesus and to renew our confidence in Him. It’s a way of giving Him glory by trusting Him in our rest.
As a church, PCC has often rallied around the words of Andrew Murray: Waiting on God ascribes to God the glory of being all to us. When we wait, God works, both to replenish us and to create His future around us, bringing forth supernatural results without our knowledge or assistance. When we wait, and rest, we embrace our finiteness, our weakness, our smallness. And when we look up, we honor Him by letting Him know that we know what He knows–that Jesus is all we need!
So, if you consider yourself a part of our PCC family, I want to invite you into this season with us. Let’s make space to remember, and let’s try not to cram the days of rest with more striving of another kind. Take time for yourself and time to be with family and friends. Make notes of remembrance and pray prayers of thanks. Give God glory for what He has done and tell Him you are confident He is going to be and do all you need in the future.
On Sunday, August 19, we’ll host an “online family worship gathering” to help navigate you and your family through a time of celebrating the faithfulness God has shown. And on August 26, we’ll all be back together at 515. We trust the PCC House will be jammed that day as we gather again at 11/4/6:45 and launch into a fall season that is sure to blow us all away.
Passion City Church is a Jesus church. He is at the center of it all. So, let’s fill these days with talk about Him…and believe that in our resting we will be made strong.
For God, For People, For The City, For The World,
Louie (PCC Door Holder)
NEW SUMMER GATHERING TIMES
Starting this week (June 10), we’re creating a little more space at Passion City Church. For us, summer doesn’t usually slow down all that much. In fact, as the summer goes on things tend to pick up around our house. In an attempt to be good hosts, we’re making a few adjustments that we think are gonna both serve our Door Holders (those who serve during one gathering and attend another) and make more room for all.
Beginning Sunday, June 10, our summer gathering times will be:
11 AM –with Passion Kids and Bloom for babies through 5th grade
4 PM –with Passion Kids and Bloom for babies through 5th grade
6:45 PM –No Passion Kids/Bloom
Passion Students (middle/high school) will meet at 2:30 PM
We are especially happy to provide families two Sunday gathering options, and we’re thrilled about adding an early evening gathering at 6:45 for those who’d like to enjoy a long weekend and worship at the end of the day.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’re coming to 11 and 4, your arrival time should be as normal. But if you are joining us for 6:45, we need the lot to clear after the 4 PM gathering BEFORE you arrive. Given that we anticipate you’ll have less time issues parking, we’d suggest arriving no earlier than 6:15 for the 6:45 gathering.
We’re excited, and hope the extra space will encourage you to bring more friends and neighbors along. It’s going to be an incredible summer.
Expecting great things!
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2
72 days ago we launched a campaign for freedom for the 27 million men, women and children trapped in human slavery around the world. The idea wasn’t simply to lend our voices to those who cannot speak for themselves for a short segment of time. Rather, to call the world to join with us as we link with others to continue the fight to help end slavery now.
With the launch, a 103′ tall Freedom Hand was raised in the midst of the city, a powerful and determined symbol of worship + justice that has stretched into the Atlanta sky for most of the year. Beginning with Passion 2012, where 42K+ students and leaders gave over $3 million to fund and activate local and global freedom causes, the Freedom Hand has come to embody the heartbeat of a generation that refuses to stand by while others are exploited, used and crushed right before our eyes.
For some, the 72DaysForFreedom Campaign has been about awakening, opening many eyes to what happens everyday in Atlanta (in the very neighborhood we at Passion City Church call home) and in places all around the world. For others, it’s been about engagement, as people have given over $185,000 to make possible new aftercare and restoration programs for girls rescued from sex trafficking in Atlanta and Vancouver, and to help fund a new 24 hour hotline in Greece, one of the world’s leading nations for sex trafficking exploitation.
Others have become champions of the fight, hosting showings of the Freedom Film, educating themselves and others as to ways to make a tangible difference, writing term papers for college classes and staging their own awareness/engagement campaigns on campuses, in churches, and at local events.
In just a few months, over 72,000 people have signed our Freedom Petition, asking the President to use the resources at his disposal and the influence of our nation to make the US the leader in the fight against modern-day slavery wherever it flourishes.
And we have prayed. Led by the 72 day prayer journey we have raised our voices to Jesus, the original abolitionist.
The time has gone by quickly, yet so much has been accomplished, awakened, invested, sown. Together, we have been, and are, a force for good.
Soon, the Freedom Hand will come down. But make no mistake, the quest to set the captives free continues. Our campaign may have lasted 72 days. The fight will last until freedom comes to all.
Once again, we’re excited to unite the city of Atlanta for our Good Friday Celebration at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park. There’s nothing more powerful than considering the ultimate act of love, and the price that’s been paid to bring our hearts to life. Tickets are on sale now. Friday night will sell out. Make plans to join us today and bring a friend!
As well, Passion City Church will be at Verizon for our Easter Sunday gathering at 10:30 AM. Everyone is welcome and there is no cost to attend. Please note, childcare is not provided for either gathering!
Our “Boy Meets Girl” series will resume on April 15 with our regularly scheduled gatherings.
Hope to see you there!
There are more slaves throughout the world today than at any time in human history!
For any follower of Jesus (or any decent human being), this is unacceptable. Fortunately, in our lifetime, a new abolitionist movement is on the rise, freedom fighters who are speaking up on behalf of those trapped in gross injustice, intervening to rescue men, women and children trapped in human trafficking of all kinds. Whether a woman sold for sex against her will here in Atlanta or a baby born only to be sold into the hands of pedophiles in Bulgaria, we must speak up for those who have no voice and contend for justice and liberty for all.
On the heels of our Do Something Now Freedom Campaign at Passion 2012, we are launching 72 Days For Freedom, a concentrated effort to raise awareness and engage as many as possible with the cause of Freedom. The symbol of our 72 Days For Freedom Campaign is a “hand of justice…a hand of worship,” a massive sculpture that will rise at 515 (Passion City Church) for Atlanta and the world to see.
Please join us Monday, February 27 at 7:30P as we gather for worship with international and local leaders in the abolition movement and light the Freedom Sculpture. Most of the night will take place inside, with the candle light prayer happening outside as the hand is illuminated at the end of the night. Please note, human trafficking is a mature subject, and portions of the night may not be appropriate for all ages. (We recommend ages high school and above.)
If you’re in the Atlanta area please come and be a part of our launch, and no matter where you are check out the 72DaysForFreedom.com site on 2/27 and join the campaign!