Wow wow wow wow wow! What a day. It’s been three days since Passion Pretoria and I’m still trying to process everything I experienced. Answering the question, “What was this Passion?” is difficult, but I shall try. (Excuse the poor quality of the images. They were taken with a Blackberry).From the first moment the close to eighty volunteers/door holders met at the venue, it was clear that there was a lot of expectation for the night and what God would do. After some general information and instructions, we were split up into our task teams. I got assigned with the outside touch team, which basically meant that I stood outside the stadium, welcoming people and directing them towards the appropriate gates. We had some time to stroll around the grounds a little and as Chris Tomlin, Cristy Nockels and the rest of the worship team did their sound check the expectation grew.
People started arriving early so we were out on the streets and sidewalks and directing people and just welcoming them. There was a generally good mood, which means a lot when traffic and parking becomes increasingly frustrating. We were still outside welcoming some latecomers when the call to worship started and the first song rose from the stadium. My fellow volunteers and I started jumping and singing along there in the streets. It didn’t matter where we were in that moment. Jesus was being worshiped by thousands and we were part of it.
As we walked into the stadium from behind the massive stage, we were overwhelmed by the massive crowd and the many hands raised in the air, as the words “We raise our white flag, we surrender” echoed around the grounds. That is something you can’t explain to people. That sensation you feel when a truly unified church worships Jesus like that… incredible.
The prayer triangles and Louie Giglio’s message were also really special, even though I wasn’t there to hear everything. Amongst other things, he spoke about how our testimony is not one of Jesus turning us from bad people into good people, but bringing us from death to life. It was really liberating because I can easily become self-condemning and legalistic. He also spoke about how we had the capacity to change Pretoria, Johannesburg and South Africa. I wish I could sum up everything he said and I wish I could have listened to the talk until the end, but we had to collect the offering, which I was really looking forward to. We received our buckets and dispersed amongst the massive crowd. All the money that is collected at the Passion World Tour events is for the following event. So Vancouver had given for us and we were going to give for Kampala, Uganda.You never know how offering is going to go and Louie didn’t put any pressure on people to give. And he didn’t need to. They came rushing towards us. Many did it with massive smiles across their faces and some even said “Thank you”, even though they were the ones giving.
It really is impossible to describe in a few words what that evening meant to me and the thousands of people that were there. It was amazing to meet such different characters from such different backgrounds, all of whom worked together to contribute to a great night. I also have new respect for the Passion team, having had a glimpse of the hard work that goes into such a massive undertaking. Check out the photos and the Passion World Tour video on the Passion City Church blog .
Tonight it’s Kampala’s turn and next week Durban and Cape Town get their face melted off. I pray for those events, but I already have a feeling that “We’ll be that City on a Hill burning brightly” will be sung at least as loud as it was at Supersport Park.