On Oct. 24, Passion worship came to Samford to lead convo. This band is a big part of Passion conferences and has lead worship around the country and the world, encouraging students to take part in worship, as well as attend their Christian conference in January.
Campus Pastor Bobby Gatlin was excited to have Passion come perform for the Samford community.
“If Passion is willing to go to college campuses in the southeast, the question is why not Samford?” Gatlin said. “It’s big for us to host you guys [Passion] here, because it helps to speak into the culture of Christianity on this campus.”
Olivia Webber, a freshman songwriting major, spoke to the popularity of Passion as a draw for more students.
“I think bringing Passion was a really great way to outreach to a greater audience because Passion is a name people have heard of,” Webber said. “By them coming to Samford, it allowed for more people to be drawn just to kind of see what everybody was talking about.”
Webber also appreciated Passion’s worship set, as it differed from normal campus worship.
“I was very much looking forward to them coming to campus,” Webber shared. “It was amazing. Me and a group of friends sat like second row back and just got to worship with them and it was just so incredible.”
Gatlin is always looking for ways to make the weekly convo hour more engaging and rich for students on campus.
“We want, as much as possible, campus worship on Tuesdays, and bigger picture, kind of the Christian culture on Samford to be more than skin deep and sort of plastic feeling,” Gatlin said.
He mentioned a spiritual movement on campus in Feb. 2023, during which students led communal worship and prayer for hours into the night.
“It was very basic, organic, grassroots, no screen, no microphones, we didn’t do any typical programming stuff, it started with people praying and reading scripture and singing, and that’s how it continued on,” Gatlin explained.
Gatlin also reflected on his perception of the current spiritual atmosphere on campus.
“I think it’s cool that freshman and this year’s sophomores now are in an energetic way leading,” said Gatlin. “It feels more like a genuine seeking after God wanting to make a difference, wanting to be influential, ‘If nobody else is going to lead, then let me lead’ kind of mentality.”
Finally, Gatlin discussed ways the Office of Spiritual Life seeks to serve students.
“A big part of our job through our staff is being relational,” he said. “We want to walk with people through the good and the bad and the difficult because that’s life, and we’re going to have ups and downs in the rollercoaster of life so let’s keep holding on to the hand of God.”
For those hoping to attend the Passion conference, they can register on their website, https://www.passion2024.com/ and use code BULLDOGS for $20 off.