Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: Passion Conferences

3 Million For Freedom From Slavery.

Passion 2012 literally just ended a few hours ago, and soaking in God’s presence for 4 days with 45,000 university students in the Georgia Dome (where the Atlanta Falcons play!) was amazing. More stunning (yet believable, as college students are not poor and have always been at the forefront of changing the world) is how worship was wed with justice, as we collectively chose to Do Something Now  to end modern day slavery around the world (A sobering reality: There are more slaves worldwide, 27 million+, than at any point in human history).

The result: Over $3 million US dollars (24.5 million RAND) raised through college students in 4 days to combat this!

Don’t ever count college students out!

White Space Begins Our Year.

(Each Wednesday (Although today is Thursday!) I will attempt to post a story or reflection about some aspect of the work that our missional community, NieuCommunities South Africa, is currently engaged in here in Pretoria. I’ll simply attempt to answer the question, ‘What stories are you co-writing with God in South Africa, and how does this story fulfill your unique mandate to apprentice South African leaders into sustainable mission around the globe?’)

"An inciting incident is a doorway through which a protagonist cannot return" (James Scott Bell).

For the past 7 years the start of the new year has dawned with a giant reset button known as Passion Conferences. A movement engaging the collegiate generation around the world to consider making much of their lives for the fame of Jesus while affecting tangible change around the globe, I’ve shepherded over 50 college students through these gatherings. Students have engaged in mission to China, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, New Orleans, Haiti, and local opportunities throughout the globe as a result of these powerful days where worship and justice are wed together, and the name of Jesus lifted high.

Shot 1 is happening today as Colletta steps into her story while leading NCSA in a racial reconciliation forum. Awesome!

At my first Passion gathering in 2005, the college leader gathering was shepherded by JD Walt, Dean of Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. I was struck by his humility and deep theological mind. Following his writing online after the conference, I found this post that has haunted me ever since:

“When we come to grips with our own limitation in the face of unlimited need something happens deep inside of us. We finally cease to believe so much in ourselves and begin to believe in God. When we begin to believe in God, rest becomes possible. Rest is the presence of margins. Think margins–like the literal white space surrounding a page of text. The margins–the white space–this is the place of creativity. This is the place where one doodles the design of the next good thing in life. The margins of life are where creativity happens. And so rest, and consequently margins, and subsequently creativity are only possible for those who have not over committed themselves. Doesn’t this help us understand burnout? Burnout isn’t so much the inescapable presence of tiredness but the drudging absence of creativity.” (JD Walt)

What a climactic scene: White South Africans standing in allegiance with foreigners in line to receive citizenship papers in South Africa! How could this change the city of Pretoria?

With this in mind, Joe Reed tasked me with crafting a personal retreat that would begin 2011 creating space for creativity, fresh stories, and tangible goals to be set that would guide our work as a missional community this year. Burnt out myself and desperately looking forward to going on holiday with Maxie’s family in Jeffrey’s Bay for Christmas, I threw a few things together combining the concepts of looking back systematically at our lives throughout 2010, storyboarding as a narrative framework through which to set smart, attainable goals, all in the context of ‘enough white space’ that creativity would breathe again within our weary souls.

I’ll blog more intentionally on each aspect of this retreat in the next few weeks, but wanted to invite you to consider spending some time before January escapes considering what sort of stories you want to tell with your life this year. Our community had a powerful time sharing our storyboards with each other, explaining the narratives that would drive what we actually want to see God do in Pretoria in the next 12 months. I especially thought that Colletta Cole’s storyboard, which you see in the selection of images throughout this post, was provocative in nature. Her ‘Shot 1’ begins Thursday as she facilitates a discussion on racial and cultural integration within the South African context for our community and several invited guests. It should be a hard look in the mirror for us all come tomorrow morning!

And Colletta said that these were just 'sketches...'

Feel free to grab, steal, and use this retreat to shape your stories here:

Storyboarding Retreat (New Year’s Week 2011)

Storyboarding Climactic Scenes

Living A Good Story

I am so grateful creating white space for our community to dream within is a central part of my role in the training of South African leaders!

1000 Words: Art.

I agree with whomever once said that art and beauty point to something larger than themselves.

Passion 2010 Live Link.

Come join the movement.

Come join the movement.

Passion 2010 Live Link. TONIGHT (Monday, Sept 14th) @ 5:30pm PST.

Click here to come join the movement.

I believe in the Passion Movement more than I believe in the Spirit’s work in any other conference or gathering. I realize that is a massive statement, and yet have seen life change happen to a degree that most other gatherings fail to have.  I’m not sure entirely what it is, but I know that I am writing this from Pretoria, South Africa as a direct result of the Spirit’s impact on my life through a series of Passion gatherings.

Join us tonight for the road leading up to Passion 2010, a powerful series of days in early January 2010 where tens of thousands of university students and high school seniors will converge upon Atlanta, GA for 4 days of seeking God’s face.  Tonight is the Passion 2010 Live Link, a webcast gathering of the tribe to cast vision and prepare hearts for the just-begun school year.

Join us…

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