How are lives being changed by BCM in 2020?
Baptist Campus Ministry and several churches from the West Virginia Baptist Convention attended the Passion 2020 Conference in Atlanta, GA. It is a conference designed for young adults between the ages of 18-25; an incredible event with an estimated 65,000 in attendance at the Mercedes Benz Dome this year. The three days began with an evening of worship and a New Year’s Eve celebration. The entire event challenged the college students to carry the “light of Christ” wherever they go and the New Year rang in with beautiful fireworks and each students’ bracelet lighting up, symbolizing the message can begin with one person who has the responsibility to share the light and eventually everyone’s light in the dome was shining!
There were several amazing speakers who offered biblical sermons and practical guidance. One speaker, Christine Cane, spoke on John 7:37-38, challenging the students to come to Jesus and allow the living water of Christ to flow through them!
BCM has the mission of “changing lives that change the world”. Here are a few statements from students who attended:
“First word that came to my mind was ‘healing’. That’s what it’s been for me. I know that’s a short statement, but I feel like my praise is back and my love for things of the Lord has increased.”-Abbie Wright
“Passion has been very eye opening for me. The past two years that I have went, both of those years have shown me areas in my life that I need to change to live for Christ correctly. This year really lit a fire in me to make this year all about Christ and to really try hard to make Him glorified in all areas of my life.”-Trent
“Passion is a place to put aside your troubles and further your relationship with God because in order to do that you have to make God big and yourself small.”—Mandy Deluise
“Passion is a place where thousands of college age students come together to worship and learn different ways we can show the world the goodness of God.”—Jenni Rosenberger
“Passion has truly been the most amazing experience I’ve ever been a part of. To see 65,000 other believers worshipping the same God in one arena is something truly magical. To listen to all of the guest speakers has lit a fire inside me to become a better follower of Christ. My favorite lesson learned is that when you turn God’s pages in his book, he will turn pages in my life and that’s a big thing I have to remind myself of every day.” -Bri Elkins
“It was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever been a part of. 65,000 of this generation together praising the one who deserves all the praise to commit this year to His glory alone.” -Hunter Kitchen
So, is it worth it? The travel, loss of sleep, and stress of traffic/logistics are factors that may lead one to say, “it’s not worth it”. To experience worship and Bible teaching along with 65,000 other young adults outweighs the challenges. The students were grateful for the support through BCM to attend. The experience at Passion this year provided the opportunity for young adults and college students to start the new year worshipping God and learning what it means to follow Christ by hearing challenging sermons.
It was great to celebrate with Alderson Broaddus University, Marshall University, West Virginia University, Clarksburg Baptist, Gassaway Baptist, First Baptist of St. Albans, and Williamstown Baptist that made up the 123 from the West Virginia Baptist Convention Group. Our prayer is that the experience of Passion will jumpstart the transformation in the lives of students to be changed by God so they may change their world. Please continue to pray for BCM as students return for the spring semester.