65,000 Young Christians at Passion 2020 Conference Defy Conventional Wisdom That Upcoming Generations Are Rejecting God

65,000 college students rang in the New Year at Passion 2020 in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Taylor Zorzi/Passion 2020)

A different kind of New Year’s Eve party happened at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium this week, with attendees coming from more than 1,680 universities, all 50 states and 81 countries.

The Passion conferences, founded by Louie and Shelley Giglio, strive to show “that the church is alive and well, and that Jesus is still important to Millennials and Gen Z,” according to the official release.

And the kids showed up in droves this year, celebrating the new year through praise and by donating to Share Light, “a campaign to see the Bible Scriptures translated into the 6,000 known languages during this generation’s lifetime.”

Conventional wisdom, with the help of research from outfits such as Pew, tells us that young people are rejecting religion and spirituality. But the Passion Conference, which grew from 40,000 attendees last year when the faithful donated to help fund a translation of the Bible for the deaf, seems to challenge that narrative.

“Passion is more than a conference. More than an event. More than a feeling,” the event website states. “Passion is you and me saying goodbye to lesser things and saying yes to Jesus, the One whose name is above every name.”

While secular cynics busy themselves instructing young people on what it is they should believe, those same young people are leading the way on readopting faith in their lives and sharing that communion with others; 65,000 others in the case of the New Year’s Eve party in downtown Atlanta. Young generations showing interest in things beyond themselves and the latest social media technology is a good star to the new year for all of us.