The Passion Conference 2020 began on New Year’s Eve 2019 for attendees, but much earlier for organizers, planners and many volunteers. Team Leads and Door Holders (the Passion version of a volunteer) entered the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, Georgia en masse at 8:30 am on Monday, December 30th. To be fair, many of the Leads and technicians were there way before 8:30, but that is when I arrived along with my daughter, Sierra and our two friends.
It was Load-In Day, the day all the set-up for the conference began. That includes setting up environments for the talent and those hosting and serving from the stage. Pastors, speakers, musical talent and others. Resources which is where attendees can purchase books, Bibles and Bible studies, music, DVDs as well as apparel to aid them in retaining and broadening their understanding of the message and focus of the conference. Missions such as End It and Shine the Light to focus student attention to worldwide issues like sex trafficking and the need for Bibles in the heart languages of people everywhere.
65,000 + 18-25 year olds and their leaders attended Passion. At around seven pm I helped other members of the Logistics team hand out credentials at Gate 2. Interacting with the students, welcoming them to the conference and making sure they understood the importance of the packet we handed them was an uplifting experience. It was easy to be enthusiastic with the anticipation on so many faces.
The next day around thirty of us arrived at the stadium at five in the morning to receive and stage pallets of lunches from Jason’s Deli. The box lunches arrive in cartons and were repacked into take-out bags with twelve lunches per bag and distributed so that each section in the stadium was hand-delivered a lunch around noon. It was quite a sight as an army of Door Holders carrying a take-out bag each marched up and down the aisles. Some of the sections were quite steep and long. At the end of the day I had walked over ten miles and climbed seven floors worth of stairs. I was exhausted, but the sense of accomplishment and knowing that as a group we impacted attendees by giving them time for an additional session, made up for any discomfort.
The final day I was able to listen to several of the talks and the one by Tim Tebow struck a personal chord with me. It dealt with success versus significance. He said that success is all about you and what you have done while significance is about others. What difference you have made in the lives of others defines your significance. He challenged the attendees to live a life of significance.
After the session as my daughter and I discovered that a flat cart full of tubs can actually fit on a regular elevator, I thought about the messages of Passion 2020. What do I need to change in my life to be more significant?
Because, I want my life to be significant. I want to have made a difference in the lives of others. That is essentially the theme of my Strength to Stand series of novels. Lee, the main character strives to be successful, having felt all her life that nothing she did on her own equated with success. Not in her parents’ eyes, at least. Now, she desires to be successful at her chosen career, but what she must learn is that our success is not important to Jesus. What he really wants is for His followers to be significant.
Thanks everyone for reading my blogs in 2019. I’m going to take a short hiatus from blogging as I prepare and send out my first newsletter, Rebecca Reads and Writes. Please sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already done so. I’ll be back with a new blog on February 1st. Wishing all my reader friends a Blessed and Joyful 2020!