Louie updated the Passion blog today!
Read through and see what you think. It makes me kind of sad that churches aren’t doing their job!
Numbers like 16.6 million. And 78%.
We’ve shared those numbers a lot, and if you’ve been around the Passion journey you’ve probably heard me talk about them. We talk about them because the numbers matter. Especially when every number has a beating heart.
In case you didn’t know, census results put the number of college and university students in the US near 16.6 million. That includes full-time, part-time, undergrad and graduate students. But the more stunning number comes from the Freshman Norms, the CRIP survey given each year to tens of thousands of incoming freshman at the nation’s two and four year schools. Among other things it asks, “Do you consider yourself to be a born again Christian?”
Sure, it’s a loaded question, especially in areas removed from the south. But, Jesus did, in fact, use the words Himself in describing what happens when we are reconnected to God. Staggeringly, every year close to 78% say “No.”
Each year 8 of every 10 students in the US say, “NO, I am NOT a born again Christian!”
Of course that number is balanced by the Universitys of Georgia out there that have an abundance of people saying “Yes.” (Which is great!) Balanced by the the ocean of campuses where those actively following Jesus is maybe 1-2% of the entire student body.
The first year I saw the results of the CIRP Survey (1985) I was stunned. Working and living on a campus of 11,000. I was suddenly floored with an overwhelming reality that was too big to instantly get my head around. If you do the math and take 78% of 16.6 million your heart will sink like mine did that day. And sadly, as recently as last year the numbers aren’t significantly different.
That means tonight millions of students will close their eyes again, not knowing (and possibly never hearing) that they are objects of Divine affection…and that as mysterious as it sounds, the Son of God actually put Himself in harms way so that their messed up lives could be mended and restored in the grace of God.
If you’ve ever wondered, that’s what’s driving Passion. Yes, we are moved by the glory of God, and the desire to see His fame come to the campuses of the nation. But there is a direct correlation between these millions of hearts awakening and His name echoing through the courtyards.
We are not pouring our energies into Passion07 just so we can have another fantastic event for believers. Rather so that every student might have a chance to breathe mercy and be embraced by hope. We know another Passion gathering is not the solution. That lies in the kindness of God and the willingness of those who do know Him to live out vibrant faith in open spaces so that one by one the numbers can shift and the anthem can grow louder for His renown.
So we are inviting belivers to come from north, south, east and west. Come representing your campus and city. Come and listen to what He has done. And come believing that you can make a difference… and we can see the tide turn for the sake of millions more.