The first Passion Conference of 2015 took place this weekend, with over 20,000 students and leaders gathered in Atlanta to hear from the likes of Francis Chan, Carl Lentz and John Piper.
The three-day meeting attracted young people from more than 20 countries, and more than 1,000 universities, under the banner of Isaiah 26:8: "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."
Louis Giglio, who founded the gatherings in 1997, opened up the conference – the first of three to take place this January – with a message on Jesus' final word on the cross, 'Tetelestai', meaning 'It is finished'.
"We're beginning where Christ ended because His last word is our first," Giglio explained, according to the Christian Post. "His last expression on earth makes possible all of our expressions on earth. We're going to the end of his life to find the beginning of ours – the end of his word to find the beginning of our words."
Tonight was the end of "me and mine". We are the Jesus generation united for His fame. Our first words were His last... IT IS FINISHED.— Passion Conferences (@passion268) January 3, 2015
Other speakers included John Piper, who described Jesus as "God's gift....for our everlasting enjoyment" and Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz, who told those gathered: "Who you are is not defined by what your do, but who you are is defined by who Jesus is to you."
Francis Chan also delivered a sermon on prayer, while Giglio rounded up the conference with a final talk:
A key part of every Passion conference is that delegates are encouraged to bring socks and towels to donate to homeless shelters in the city. "He [God] wants the people of this city to feel lifted by a gathering of this size," Brad Jones, Passion City Church's Pastor of Community, said on Friday. Over $7 million has also been donated by delegates in the past few years towards the effort to fight modern day slavery.
A second Passion 2015 gathering will be held on January 16-18 in Atlanta, and again January 30-February 1 in Houston, Texas. Find out more here.