I had the privilege of attending Passion 2018 in January (I’m too old to go as a student, but luckily I fall in the category of “Leader” now, so I still got to attend!)
Passion Conference takes place over three days, with an evening session the first day, a full day of sessions the next, and the last, a morning session. There is so much time immersed in worship, in study, and in experience, and I won’t go into too much detail, except to say that it is a huge blessing and a great way to equip young people to be beacons in a dark world.
It may be a little overwhelming to think about going into a situation like Passion with thousands upon thousands of other people, not knowing what to expect. I know I wasn’t exactly sure, myself. Thankfully, our Student Pastor and his wife filled me in on a bit so I could prepare.
Here are some tips I picked up after my first experience:
- Bring your Bible, a notebook and a good pen, or two! I didn’t bring a physical bible this last year and I regretted it. I assumed I would be fine just using my phone, and while for some, that’s ok, I wish I had had my Bible to really dig into the Word and make notes IN my Bible in addition to the notebook.
Not bringing my Bible actually set me on a journey to re-discover the physical Word and just how important it is for me to use a hard-copy when I study.
- Ear-plugs! Passion is loud. The crowds are loud, the worship is loud, sometimes even the speakers are loud. I brought some high-frequency cancelling ear plugs and I’m so glad I did. I was still able to experience all the music, these just helped “dial it down” a little. These are also very helpful for anyone who suffers from crowd-induced anxiety or sensory-processing disorders.
- Bags – check the bag/security policy for the location you are attending. Some allow only small purses, some have size restrictions, and some don’t allow two strap”backpack” style bags, even if they are small. I ended up having an issue with my bag one day, and it got a little stressful. I should have checked the arena’s policy ahead of time.
- Music – if you get the time, listen to some albums by the bands and artists. While it is enjoyable to learn songs while you are there (and they are sure to introduce completely new music at the conference) it is nice to attend and recognize what the bands are playing.
- Speakers – in the same idea, research the speakers. Look at their Instagram profiles, read some of their devotionals or listen to a podcast they are in.
- Shoes – you will get to spend so much time in worship and that is AWESOME! But, wear comfortable shoes! The area we were at in January had concrete flooring, and I definitely felt it later!
- Prepare your heart before you go – If you walk into that building expecting to leave changed, you absolutely will! Spend some time reflecting on your heart and your relationship with God, and maybe some questions you have for Him. You might be surprised by the answers you are given.
Passion Conferences are something you have to experience to truly understand, and I pray that if you get the blessing to go, you have a wonderful time and that God speaks to you!