Every few months, it seems, a new poll comes out saying more millennials are falling away from religion.
One organization is working to reverse that trend and prove the vast potential of today’s youth: Passion.
Passion is a religious organization that actively draws youth to recognize the power of Jesus Christ in a multiplicity of ways. Founded in 1997 by Louie Giglio, the group holds an annual Passion conference that this year hosted over 40,000 college students.
The conferences feature appearances by many of the most renowned Christian pop artists, including Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, David Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, and the Passion Band.
Passion is responsible for a massive amount of charity work as well, particularly in raising millions of dollars to help end modern slavery and human trafficking.
LifeZette sat down with Kristian Stanfill, 32, one of the artists deeply most involved with this mission.
Stanfill describes Passion as having "zeroed in on the college moment, the university moment. Because it is this great intersection of questions and calling and 'what am I going to do with my life ... what do I believe?'"
He added that he hopes "Passion can come in and put on the table that you were made for something so much bigger than what this world wants to sell you."
When asked about Passion and its work with college students, he elaborated on the power of youth: "College students are a powerful force. It's really amazing when you see a load of college students catch that fire and they go back to their college campuses. It's just a revival waiting to happen," he said. "When we sent those 40,000 college students back to all their different campuses, it's kind of like a flinging of arrows."
He is so right: Young people have the greatest ability to influence one another. And one of the most profound ways they do so is by the power of example.
"When something catches on, on the college campus, it kind of has this viral thing that happens. It goes out past the campus and into the rest of the world," Stanfill aptly pointed out.
He said one of the most beautiful parts of Passion is simply seeing "college students awaken to Jesus."
When asked about his work with young people and the many temptations they face in today's culture — particularly when it comes to losing their faith — he responded in a way that will surprise many: "I think (our young people) are underestimated."
He added, "These college students put their money where their mouth is and they say we're going to free people from slavery, and we're going to build hospitals, and we're going to go in and free people from human trafficking."
Today's young people are incredibly zealous and energetic — they just need to be inspired.
Stanfill disagreed that all millennials today are losing their faith and lack "power." In fact, he said, "We've seen the exact opposite. People say they 'don't have a lot of recourses.' Well, they are the most resourceful people we've ever seen and we have the numbers to back it up."
When it comes to living out faith on a daily basis, or having a spiritual life, or living for others — young people today have the strength and potential to actively participate.
"I think, if anything, (young people are) an underestimated age group," Stanfill said. "I think the power and the potential in the college moment and the college student are phenomenal."
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