Q&A: Louie Giglio
Will this be a seeker church?
We are not using any kind of descriptive contemporary church adjectives to help us shape what Passion City Church is. When our core team meets, we don't use the common words that are defining churches. We are looking at the simplicity of the body of Christ and the presence of God.
We're concerned about whether the presence of God is noticeable and active in our gathering because people don't need an event, they don't need a show. People don't need famous worship leadership. They need a life-changing transaction with their Creator. That's what people want.
Our church is a church where people have life-changing encounters with God. When you come to Passion City Church, you'll know that we're here to exalt God, to paint a picture of him, to be people who are humbled before him, to express him to the city and to the world.
What will be the biggest difference between inspirational conference speaking and preaching on a regular basis?
For me, there's not a lot of difference. For ten years, in our student ministry at Baylor, I spoke every week. You have to come with something fresh every time. In Atlanta, every Tuesday night I stood in front of young single adults for 11 or 12 years. The speaking is going to be the same, the message is going to be the same. Now I'm back to my 21-year history of getting on my knees, my eyes open, the word of God open.
Passion is geared toward college students, and you've said Passion City Church will have the same DNA. Do you expect your parishioners to be largely young adults?
We're a church for all ages already. Passion isn't going to be a university church, although there are 160,000 university students in Atlanta and we'd love for them to come.
We'd like to be a church where the people who are 50 always are leaning toward the people who are 18. I know that biblically, it's our place to lead and their place to respect their elders. But the church grows when we embrace them. I hope it has a youthful vibe.
It seems logical to expect that a church led by a team of Louie Giglio, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin will attract a lot of attendees. How will you be sure your congregation is growing spiritually?
The practicality is that it has to be fleshed out in small groups, one-on-one relationships. There isn't a blueprint yet, but it can absolutely be done. There isn't a dichotomy between having a big church and a successful community. There are some gigantic churches in the world who are doing an amazing job of fostering community.
It depends on what are you trying to do. Are you are trying to get the most people possible in the church, or trying to get the deepest possible community connection possible? When you read the New Testament, the beginning of the church was explosive. We are all reaching back to the New Testament community. Everybody is talking about Acts 2 church or community as if that wasn't important five or ten or fifteen years ago, when everybody was talking about how to get the unchurched through the door. We lose the focus when we begin to think first about people.
So we try to first think about God. The Holy Spirit is amazing; he will lead people who are following him to help build community. It's possible to have an explosive, movement-oriented church that has unbelievable down-deep community. And if I had a blueprint for that right now, I would be writing a book.