Posts Tagged ‘College Students’


Isaiah 26:8

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I’m loving seeing all the creativity going on with End it Movement with the college kids. 200 students from the University of Florida painted 44 blocks of fence with the End It logo. There was a Rave to Save party along with tons of creative youtube videos as well. These are the voices of this generation stepping up to Shine a Light on Slavery.




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So how does a conference feed 60,000 students and young adults in between sessions? I will admit that Passion does a pretty good job of this. They boasted a time of 25 minutes of giving each one of us a meal box from Jason’s Deli. I’m always impressed with how hard they (both the staff and volunteers) work to make this conference an enjoyable experience. We then had some downtime in which I enjoyed some people watching. Paper airplanes and a game of hacky sack were among the highlights for me. Props to Jason’s Deli for making 120,000 meals for the two full days.



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Tonight is the Passion 2013 Live Link. It’s a live webcast that is designed to get students and young adults ready to register and start planning for the big Passion conference in Atlanta in ’13. Passion sends me promotion materials every year to hang all over ASU campus. Passion is born out of a verse in Isaiah 26:8 that says “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait eagerly for you; for your name and your renown are the desire of our souls”. The focus of Passion is to make Jesus’ name famous by challenging college students and young adults to live radical lives.

This year Passion is in the Georgia Dome. They are planning on having 40,000+ people in that dome. On New Year Eve of 2006, my college pastor Ron Merrell took 30+ of us from Camber to Atlanta to the four-day Passion conference and it changed my life. After being blown away by my first mission trip to Belize, Passion helped channel what I saw and to live it out in my everyday life. The teaching and worship is amazing. The Do Something Now area helps challenge and teach us about what is going on in the world. I’ve been to several conferences over the past 6 years and they have all challenged me in different ways. But this year I believe will be life-changing because it comes at a very interesting point in my life. Plus it comes right before I head out on the mission field again next year and I really want to soak in the teaching to help prepare my heart for this next phase of life. I’m excited to spend four amazing days connecting with my Lord and Savior and in fellowship with amazing friends. His renown, His Glory!

Passion 2007 – Atlanta

Passion Regionals 2008 – Los Angeles

Passion 2010 – Atlanta

Passion 2012 – Atlanta

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I spent the week watching the livestream from Passion 2011 in Atlanta. Here is a link to the results of how 22,000+ college students made a difference in those four days.

Total Given at Passion 2011 Atlanta: $1,167,249.24

Wow! Praise Jesus!


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My Pastor has always told me that I do ‘messy’ ministry. Basically he is referring to the fact that even though I don’t have a seminary education, I have a heart to serve and I love to minister to others from my heart. The fact that even though I’m not sent by the church to reach others, I do it regardless because I know God has called me to do this. I would love a seminary background someday, but that is not going to stop me from sharing what God has done in my life.

I was hesitant to write this blog because I’m about to reveal a ministry that I’m involved with that I really don’t discuss. It’s something I do because I have a heart for this age group of people and i like to keep it to myself. This involves campus ministries.

A couple of years ago I received a call out of the blue from a guy named Aaron. I don’t how he got my number, but he mentioned someone told him about me and my heart to serve. He wanted to meet me. So I met him at Chipotle and we talked. He was starting a ministry called Athletes in Action. He was a former football player at U of A and was looking to minister to the athletes at ASU. He wanted my help. At the time I was still going through the tough part of my divorce and really felt I didn’t have much to offer. So we parted and I told him I would pray for his ministry.

I attend Camber at Cornerstone. It’s a young adult program that services a lot of students. One of the things I like about going is that I can meet students and share my life with them. I feel the late teens/early 20’s age group is such a huge age for decision-making. The decisions made at that age will affect the rest of your life. Believe me I know, I still feel the effects of some of my poor decisions I made back in those days. I love meeting some of the people at Camber for coffee on the side and telling them my life story.

I was at a ASU football game last year and walked by the student section. I once had season tickets there. I know what goes on there. Believe me, I snuck in my fair share of alcohol. I was observing the behavior of the students. Hundreds upon hundreds of drunk students acting inappropriately. I asked myself the question .. ‘God, how do we reach these people?’ This started making me want to expand more out my own church and into the college campuses.

I love the Passion movement. It’s a movement that reaches college students and teaches them to think globally. It’s a huge movement that has done some amazing things. It has always been an inspiration to me.

I started to plug into worship groups on the various campuses. But I felt I could do more. Then I ran into Aaron at church one day. I hadn’t seen him in some time. I asked him about his ministry and told him about my passion for students. He invited me to attend a leadership meeting that brings leaders from almost every college ministry on campus. Anywhere from Young Life to Campus Crusade to international students were there. I represented Cornerstone with Pastor Ron’s approval. I was able to connect with several ministries there. I was able to be a voice in those meetings and be a part of what God is doing at ASU. My meeting with Aaron two years ago was no accident.

I was also attending Chandler-Gilbert community college last year. I had always wondered if there was a faith-based group that met on that campus. It is a small campus and different from a big university. On my last day of class, I saw a flier on the wall that said ‘Christians meet every Wednesday night!’ So I contacted Christians in Action and attended one of their worship nights recently. It was led by a couple really cool young guys that attended the college. They were doing amazing things there. I met with about 25 amazing students that were doing awesome stuff for the Kingdom on that campus. I was able to stay late that night and talk individually with many of the people there and share my own faith with them. It was so encouraging to listen to the hearts of most of these young 18- 22 year olds. I encouraged them to keep doing what they were doing.

I at times attend Praxis church. Many of the congregation there are ASU students. I really enjoy Pastor Justin’s speaking and have gotten to know him recently. I have just started to meet with his staff on the side. Not sure what God is stirring up with that, but I am listening to him.

Today I was at my campus meeting. I stay late to talk with Ben Sanders.. the guys who leads the meetings. I was able to share my story with him. He called me a connector. He mentioned I’m someone who is not afraid to go in groups outside my own church and share the good news about Jesus. He told me he needed more people to connect many of these ministries together and promote unity in the body of Christ. Because I had already plugged in with so many of the college ministries, I offered to help in the best way I could. He gave me a great book called ‘The Externally Focused Church’. Basically a book about helping your own church confront and cooperate with the surrounding community agencies. It’s a book for people open to building new relationships. I am very excited to read it.

I love outreach. God gave me an amazing gift to connect with others. I feel so blessed he can use me in this way. It makes me understand why I went through so many painful trials early in my life. God is good.

So how can we reach those students? One at a time. And only God can make that possible.

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It was the last session. Louie spent time going over how much money was raised for all the cause for the week. I was blown away by how much these broke college kids raised. Many of the students committed to going overseas and doing missions work. I wrestled with God during the songs with what he was going to do with me. I was ready to surrender my life to his will and the next phase of my life. Passion was over and it was amazing. I definitely grew closer to God during this time.




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It was cold! We waited for quite some time outside the Philips Arena as Passion was running late. Because of the amount of people, they are splitting the event between two arenas – the other one being the Georgia World Congress Center next door. They will simulcast between the two. I spent our time waiting getting to know some of the people in Camber I didn’t know very well. Of course the Brian Wurzell and the worship guys provided some goofy entertainment as we waited. But you could tell people were getting antsy as they were hyped up for the opening session. It was awesome to be among 20,000 Christians and we were ready to make God’s name famous.

The Cornerstone worship guys - Matt, Jason and Brian

The Cornerstone worship guys – Matt, Jason and Brian

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