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Louie Giglio and Passion Church


Today I got a letter in the mail that Louie and Shelley Giglio sent out to friends of Passion. It was a report of all that God has been doing through the Passion World Tour. It sounds like it's been incredible. But then the letter ended with an announcement that completely shocked me: Louie is planting a church in Atlanta. Here's what he wrote:

If you haven't heard by now, Passion is taking a massive turn as we head into the future. At the heart of the shift is a sense of fresh calling that God has made unmistakably clear to Shelley and me over the past eighteen months or so. Though for many reasons it looked like we might never lead a local church, all that has changed as God has placed in our hearts a huge passion to do just that. So in the coming months, by the grace of God, we will be planting a Passion Church in Atlanta as a local expression of the Kingdom of God for our rapidly growing and diverse city as well as a base for our influence throughout the nation and world.
I went online and found a video interview with Louie about his plans. One of the things I've always appreciated about Louie is his readiness to listen to the Lord's leading and do something totally different. Most of the times "totally different" for Louie seems to require bigger faith and bigger risks for God's glory. But Louie always takes them and never looks back. I pray this new venture will be more God-exalting than anything that has come before. There's something very cool about the ultimate "conference guy" becoming the pastor of a local church.

I'll be praying for you, Louie.

Why does the church matter? What is God's purpose for the church and your place in it? Find a helpful compilation of recommended books on the church here.

Contact Information: You can get more details at the official website for Passion City Church.

Louie's Press Conference on joining Twitter. Follow Louie: @louiegiglio

Louie Giglio Interview: The following is a portion of an interview Louie did with Christianity Today:

Why are you planting a new church in Atlanta?
In my heart something has been changing and turning for about the last five years. Christ died for the local church. While I've spoken at many of them, and Passion has influenced them around the world, I want to be able to lay down at the feet of Jesus and say I gave it a shot--I tried to build into the local community of faith that he gave his life for, that he loved, and that he believed is the best agent for change in the world.

It's about a man who wants to be obedient to God. It's about me, at 50, hearing the voice of God and saying yes, I will follow that.

How have you recruited the staff for your church?
I've never recruited one person. Most of the people I know and respect are already involved in local churches. All Shelley and I did was start saying to our friends, "This is what God has done in our hearts. We think we're crazy, but we feel like we want to pastor a local community of faith with the DNA of Passion."

Our friends said, "Tell us when and where and we will be there."

With you as the senior pastor, and Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin leading worship, many have been calling this a "superstar church." What's your take on that?
All I say to [criticism] is, well, you'll have to take that up with God. There is some history on the side of God putting gifted people in the same space at the same time. The purpose is not to congregate ability but to foster a movement that will reach the cities of the nation and the world. History is on our side and Jesus is on our side because he is the one who promised to grow the church. I'm not starting anything. Jesus started the church. This is not going to be Louie's church. This is Jesus' church. To the degree that we can let it be his and not ours--then it will be amazing.

What will happen to the Passion conferences? Will they still continue?
Right now we're going to hold it all together as best we can, by the grace of God. God has given us a platform, a footing with university students that we cannot relinquish. It's been a gift of God that somehow we have had the favor to gather people and propel them out for God's kingdom agenda around the world. Passion 2010 will be back in Atlanta. We're expecting somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 university students here from around the world.

Right now there isn't a home, a foundation, for us. We're excited about a local expression of faith, a local community of believers who have the same DNA as Passion. To be able to go to Stockholm and come home and have home be us is an awesome thought for us. And to be able to launch back to Tokyo and know we have a church community behind us, moving with us--I think it all can happen.

I know you are from Atlanta, but the city has almost 7,000 churches. Did you ever consider another location for your new church?
Atlanta is a city of five million plus people, and it will experience the largest percentage growth of all cities in the United States in the next ten years. To say that Atlanta doesn't need another church is crazy thinking to me. The church I used to attend (North Point Community Church) has three locations in the city. When they opened Buckhead in its new location, (senior pastor) Andy Stanley said they were getting a lot of flak. But he said the research shows there are 300,000 people who don't go to anybody's church on any given Sunday. Andy said that the truth of the matter is, there could be ten more Buckhead churches, and we would still only be scratching the surface.

We said to God, "What do you want to do?" It seemed like God just led us here.

You've said Andy Stanley, your pastor, was one of the first to know about your new church. Was he surprised? Was it difficult for him to hear?
He was shocked. Andy was the first person I told, before rumors of this even got to anybody else. I said, "This is what is in my heart." He looked at me like, "Are you sure you want to do that?"

Andy and I have talked in a lot of detail about what this journey looks like and it's so amazing. Andy is an incredible leader--the best leader I know. He has been so gracious. I believe North Point will continue to flourish, I believe Passion City Church will flourish, and there will still be hundreds of thousands of people in the city who have not yet encountered the grace of God. We're going to be friends through the whole process.

Some people ask me, "How could you put a church in Andy's backyard?" But whose backyard is it? God's. The church and city don't belong to Andy or to me or to anybody else.

Passion City Church is scheduled to hold services once a month, at least initially. Can you tell us what your vision is for the future?
We're meeting once a month out of necessity. Ultimately the best case scenario is that the church be in community and meet regularly. Chris (Tomlin) is on tour. We are supporting that and excited about that, but that's a factor. We're going to meet once a month for February, March, and in April we'll have a Good Friday event for the entire city of Atlanta. We'll meet in May and then pause for the summer.

We'll meet more often in the fall but not weekly yet. Next year, after Passion 2010, we hope to have found the right kind of facility to begin to meet weekly. Ultimately we want to be a church that meets every week. We want to go slowly and surely. When the timing is right, when the facility is right, we'll shift to meeting on Sunday mornings.

What would you tell people in Atlanta about attending Passion City Church?
They should go to their own church and serve well in the position that they're in. I wouldn't say anything to them about Passion City Church. If they say, "I know about Passion; I've been to some of the events and I've been waiting for something like this to come along," then great. How other people find their way to Passion City Church is really about the Holy Spirit.

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.

We aren't afraid at Passion City Church of being incredibly large. We're not intimidated by the thought of, "What if x number of people come?" We're also not afraid of being incredibly small. We just want to be a place where the presence of God rests and moves out to help this city and the cities of the world.

We have high confidence in God. When you take steps that look a little crazy, he has a way of doing things that blow your mind. We are just trying to position ourselves, to be ready.

Read the full interview.

Comments (25)

More selfishly, when does the Passion Church website come online with audio of Louie's teaching? ;-)

This is class news.
Amen to your prayer that 'this new venture will be more God-exalting than anything that has come before. '


I'm sure this resonates very close to home with you! And, boy, are we grateful that you took the leap of faith and followed the Lord's leading in moving across the country to be mentored and finally become our pastor.


There is already a "Passion Church" in the Atlanta area and has been for over 8 years.

I remember him saying this at the Passion Conference here in Manila last August 1. Their ministry is really amazing.

Dear astor Guiglio, Here is he poem I promise d you earlier ! I hpe you enjy it adnd an use it.
You're new Fan,
Peter Sanci
Oakville, ontario

Women, The Laminin of Our World

W. Peter Sanci Dec. 8 / 2008

I heard a new term for the first time today, I had never even kwon of it
It's " Laminin, " It is a scientific term which means, membrane like substance which holds the cells together, just think of the persistence,
of those people working in their labs,
day and night to unlock the meaning of this simple term.
And the shocking thing in all of this, is
that the shape these cells take is in the form of a cross, they really affirm.
It is one of the simplest compound's known to mankind, yet it has one of the most awesome jobs.

Pg. 2

So how are women, the Laminin of the world ? I know you are dying to ask.
In my family I know my wife is the " glue that keeps our little family rolling along.
Without her at the helm, we would be
drifting around aimlessly in the sea of life.
I'm sure if you look into you're heart you can see this this true in you're family as well.
From the first woman Eve, to every woman today.
I would like to thank you in every way for being the Laminin in our world.

Josh - Do you have any idea when Passion Church is supposed to get started? I heard that it would be in December. I have been looking for some answers and don't really know where to begin. I found your blog through Google when searching for Louie.

By the way...it's really strange to come across your blog. I just read some stuff about you in a book called "Young, Restless, Reformed."


Passion City Church is starting monthy meetings in Feb. Feb 15th at the Tabernacle in Atlanta actually. It's not always going to be there. We will be meeting once a month for a good portion of 2009 (taking into consideration tours, album releases and a ramp up to Passion Twenty Ten.

So...for now: Feb 15th at the Tabernacle is the answer.

hey where did you get the info on passion city church??

passion conferences home is most likely the main source for passion city church info.


it says nothing of the place on 268generation thats why i asked


Thank u so much for all the teachings and the wisdom and honesty in your sharing.Ive been bless by it and cry and encourage.Iam Semi and ive been a missionaries in ywam for a while and Iam from fiji and i am so bless thru yo teachings.

Iam now in the Philipines try to share to people what I have learned thru yo teachings.


Hey does anyone have louie's email ? I thought I might tell him something, I no he's an amazing man that has changed thousands of lives for the good of god....

Hello and God Bless!!!!!
I Praise our amazing God for the people He has given to us like Louie Giglio who come into the world, embrace their purpose from God with fire, love and the desire of God in their hearts!
I became a fan of Louie Giglio's upon hearing his message on Laminin!!! I have shared it with all of my student's...and anyone else who I can drop that seed into. I want to say Thank you Mr. Louie Giglio for bringing the sciences that GOD created into relation with GOD of our Bible!!!! God is constantly looking for worshippers and whom to bless! Thank you for continuing to remind us to worship or why we worship our GOD! I know that Mr. Giglio enjoys science, I recently came across another wonderful scientific nugget and it is called Brain Cell Universe. I would love to know what Louie Giglio thinks about it. Maybe I will get to hear his opinion one day...possibly with my youth group at Forward 2009!!!! Thank you for helping us all realize how small we are and still loved, "known and prized by Majesty!" Great is no longer a good enough word to describe or even begin to describe God...there really are no words. God Bless you Louie Giglio may you continue with your purpose in God blessing all those who hear you! Praise our Glorious God for the HIS creation and including us not as an after thought but as HIS children HIS beloved, desiring to bless us, sending HIS Son for us, to include us in HIS story, in HIS Forgiveness, HIS Love, HIS Glory, HIS Kindness, HIS Justice, HIS Healing, HIS Joy that is our Strength! HE is the GOD from whose hand we cannot even be pulled from HIS hand...this is why we should Praise HIM without ceasing! Praise GOD for being GOD, the GOD of love, the GOD who died to ride us of condemnation! PRAISE BE TO GOD, our Lord, and Savior, our GOD of Grace!
Thank you Father! Our Redeemer, Praise be to YOU our Savior thank you Jesus Savior of all the world! May we continue to seek YOU Father, Praise You and Worship You forever being drawn ever closer to Your side, hiding even more WORD in our hearts, reaching out living the power that is YOU oh Father so that YOU will be done! Not our will LORD but YOUR will be done, for YOUR will is so great we would not even dare what YOU have for us if we knew YOUR plans! Thank YOU oh Father of miracles, of love, kindness, forgiveness, and the reason for thanksgiving in all things! Praise be to YOU forever and ever oh my SAVIOR, my ABBA, my INTERCESSOR, my FRIEND! May all the nations hear YOUR name and rejoice oh my GOD, for YOU are the only way, YOU are the LIGHT! Praise be to YOU my FATHER! THANK YOU for saving me so I may be a small speck in YOUR story! AMEN!!

Why does Louie associate himself with the prosperity gospel / self improvement driven (I.e sin = failing to reach your potential) Hillsong Church in Australia by preaching at their conferences? Along with the Osteens who will be there this year.


Seems so inconsistent with the Passion conferences which had the likes of Piper... I don't understand it? I hope its not a case of selling out to a psuedo-church which makes millions "selling a bunch of crap called gospel".

I'm so excited for this. Louie has been one of my favorite speakers since i was going to 722.

Glory be to God for the people He has given us. First day I watched astronomical grace by Louie, I was filled with tears about our great God. I am looking forward to more of Louie teachings.

Hi Louis

I'm trying to talk to you directly by e-mail, but I don't seem to get it.
I've seen quite a few DVD's on different searmons by you. I even had the privilage to see Indiscribable. I feel like my whole world is collapsing and I would appreciate it if I can send you an e-mail directly and lay down all my thoughts.

Yours faithfully

Riaan Kemp

Dear Riaan Kemp,

You are in my prayers.

Hi There!

Another request, from South Africa this time, requesting to get in personnal contact with Louie.

Why? Reason? ... A SuperNatural experience which would confirm the title of His DVD "Indescribable" ... and where technology was involved ...

Yes, an experience and incident that occured on 17 June 2007 ... this is more than human mind can think of ... a litteral 'signal' received from God ...

I am NOT smoking dope or anything, because I have in my possesion a 4min 12sec digital recording of what I claim to have and what happened.
Remember the sounds on the DVD of the Vela Pulsar received by a radio telescope? ... Well, just proof that it is indeed possible to receive a sound file or a frequency transmission electronically from God.

Am I nuts? ... No, sir. My word is my honor! And I would like to share this with Louie Giglio, as he might find this interesting enough, as the media in South Africa are no interested and are not willing to cover it ...

... this was God's own way, giving a sign as in the times of the Bible, to explain to mankind that He truely exists and that He himself would unite science and religion ... because technology is science and He made Himself known through science ... but people don't believe Super-Natural activities that can't be explained by them, ... especially not where technology is involved, because they reason that mankind are the creator's of technology. Crap! They were inspired to establish technology on earth, they were not the creators ... wisdom comes from God, God gave mankind knowledge to have technology capabilities ... and if He gave such knowledge, He could use it accordingly too! and that is exactly what had happened! As easy as that, but why do people find it difficult to grasp? ...

My e-mail was provided ... so please, I respectfully request for personal feedback or response, if possible. I'd rather share this with a religious person first, someone of the nature of Mr Giglio, than for it to be made known by ungodly people who are very interested in my testimony or story.
I am a soldier within the South African Defence Force ... an officer and very proud to be one and will not make a joke of something important as this one ... IF ONLY I CAN SPEAK TO SOMEONE WHO WILL TRY TO LISTEN TO ME!!!!!

God is a God of signs, miracles and wonders ... everyone is saying and declaring and preaching it, ... but as soon as I tell them about my incident, they tend to diagree with their own declaration and/or belief ... almost as if these signs only occured in the time of the Bible.

I might be having the most modern testimony in the world, but no-one wants to listen to me. They are sceptic and think I am lying.

Once again, it's not about Louie, or that I am a fan of him ... I think he is a valuable and powerful instrument in the hand of the Almighty God, thus the reason for my request to get in contact with him, ... he is not a idol to me, but seen as a brother in Christ. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only three heroes I will be having whilst I am living on this earth.

Thank you, ... your understanding and possible response in this regard would be highly appreciated on NOT taken for granted.

This given sign by God, surely is meant firstly to unbelievers, because as believers, we don't need proof of God's existance, but unbelievers do ... they are the ones who need confirmation of proof, not the believers. But the fact that believers themselves are unbelievers in this sense, is 'dumb-strucking' for me, because they declare one thing with their mouths, but think another way with their hearts or minds ... this is then just another proof that the content of the Bible is true and reliable ... even though I might step on some believers toes here ... but the truth shall set you free (although it hurts!).

Quintus Eksteen

To Louie Giglio,
I was so enthralled at your DVD "Indescribable", took it to my pastor excitedly, & turns out it belongs to the church. I am seeking to buy your 4 DVD collection Passion Talks. (I can't part w/it & watch you on my laptop many nights.... I will be 60 yrs young Nov 3 & will also return to stage then on piano(singer/songwriter) after many years just working 9-5 (24-7 til I had a nervous breakdown July 17, 2008 at work as Administrator of a large psychological corp I was supposed to have been laid off from. Surprise, he got rid of all my superiors and had me running the company. My life is full of ironies...). I turned down 3 publishing offers over 20 yrs ago since ex-husband said "sons or music, not both". I am in LEAD (accelerated) program for BA in Organizational Leadership at Somerset Christian College in NJ. My life is transformed. I only want to serve as God has planned for me. He has me writing music again (back then only had handful of songs, now have over 350), all new songs are praising God and Jesus. It's all God's timing and plans. I thank Him for letting me learn of you. I've had 7 or more UFO experiences since I was 12 or 13 yrs old, alone and with others around. Your DVD comforts me to know God is protecting me and Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. Must get to sleep so can finish homework tomorrow. And find time to rehearse for my 45 minute showcase. My songs have something to say to all nations. God wrote them, not me. I'm just a vessel through which He speaks. I would like to be remembered as an American Songwriter (and happy Grandmother of 3 little darlings.....).. God bless and keep you safe always,
may your fruits multiply the gardens He is having you plant worldwide. Sincerely, Sister In Christ, Marguerite Tiger, An American Songwriter (unknown).

When are you coming to the New York area? My pastor and I want to come see you, and most likely quite a few others in our Clinton Church of the Nazarenes, NJ. We will keep watching to see. May the Glory of God Almighty send His message all over the world through your work. Tell of Jesus, let His name be glorified all over the planet Earth! My newest song is called Messiah. God bless and keep you safe & moving forward with your plans God gave for you.
Marugerite Tiger

Hi Louie,
I am new to this, and i am not sure how to react or what specific words to use to express the need i have in Jesus right now. where is my manners?
I am Sarel Louis Roets, from South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg, Vereeniging @ a small coloured town called Rust-Ter-Vaal. I am 27 years old, & i live at my fathers house. I have 6 sisters, 7 Brothers, and i am the last born off them all. unfortunately, i am a result of my fathers sin, he was married and had an affair with my mother, after a 6 years he took me to his wife, so that she must raise me, along with my family. my bio mother couldnt give me a good education, so my father took me, but with her permission.
this was as brief as i could go, for now. i am actually writing to Louie, hoping he finds this?

Louie i am empty, my heart needs to have God in it, for eternal life, i am lost, i feel like a failure!
i have a girlfriend, Lerato, and i love her so much, i therefore strive to marry her, we have a beautifull daughter Venette, she is 2 years old, and i dont need to say, but i want to, i love her very very very much.
i work at a well known Financial Instition, Absa, as a Service Support Analyst, and i earn so little money, i cant even take care of my child as God takes care of me? how is that?
i realised that i need God to take over my life, and fix all my mistakes i have made, and to uplift me to take care of my daughter, and to marry her mother, and allocate into my own family home. Yes i am crying to be financial fit, and debt free, i am a prisoner in being poor, i cant blame God, but i want God to release me from this for good.
Louie, i know you are a busy man, and i dont want to be a pest or lazy, but i have been praying to hear God's voice, but nothing has happened, i think i am doing something very wrong but if i do, than i want to fix it, and do it right at all times?
maybe as you read this letter, you wonder what is going on with my writing style, or spelling, but this is from my heart, crying for help, and i dont want to change it just so that it sounds Business sense or so that it is like i am intelligent, i dont care of it now, i seek God Louie, please, even if we are 1000 miles apart, i believe if you take me with you into rayer, i will receive my Fathers blessings?

The celebritism of this church is really revolting. Since when did following Christ become so popular?

How much will they charge for this christian event? Passion conferences you know make millions. Millions.

This makes me sick.

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