When Louie Giglio, founder of Passion, began graduate school at Baylor University, he found himself watching many of the high school students he had previously ministered to enter college and almost immediately abandon their faith.
“I saw the students who had been in our ministry in the summer … arrive at Baylor (a Baptist school) and check their faith on day two,” Giglio said on a recent Essential Church podcast.
“These are kids that were on the mission trip, were leading out in the ensemble, were the stars of the church, second day in, put it (faith) on a hook on the wall — ‘I am going to go to the party this weekend, I’m going to check out the scene … I’m going to sleep through church on Sunday and nobody’s going to know.’
It was at that point that Giglio realized that the influences of a student’s life — including parental, church, school, and coaches — all came to a halt during one’s college years.
“You have free choice and free will, every option is on the table and whatever your base beliefs are, they are probably being assailed every single day in the classroom,” the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta said.
“It’s a crossroad of life. It’s the moment where people stop deciding what my parents believe and start deciding what they believe, and that’s where you want to be standing not with message of the church but with the person of Jesus.”
Though that was decades ago, the scene is similar today — except today’s college students are “very anxious, depressed [and] sociopathic,” Giglio, 60, noted. They have “so many conversations every day, they don’t even know who they are anymore.”
“When we started Passion, kids didn’t have the opportunity to interact with the world every single second of the day,” he explained. Now, young people are gaming with people from overseas, Instagramming or FaceTiming with friends across the country and constantly connected to newsfeeds.
Still, the need is the same and the hunger for Jesus is real, the pastor pointed out.
It’s been over two decades since God gave Giglio a “radical” vision during “one of the most confusing, disappointing and frustrating seasons in my life.” That vision led him to launch the now popular Passion movement. Its main goal is to see university-aged students come to a relationship with Jesus.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Lynn