Louie Giglio has been my favorite communicator of God’s truth for quite a while. You could go listen to him at http://www.722.net for the past few years. Nearly a message a week during the school year. But I saw an announcement on the site the other day. Kinda unexpected, but not really surprising. Here’s the deal.
To all on the 7|22 journey:
Ten years ago 7|22 was just a dream, a fledgling idea resonating in the hearts of a few of us who longed to see the fresh wind of worship pulse through the streets of Atlanta. Somehow, in the providence of God, I was privileged to be standing in that moment, one of the early initiators of 7|22 who were willing to follow the gentle whisper of God’s voice and step into the unknown with Him. Before we had a name, we had a vision. And before we ever met for the first time we believed we were on to something special. As it turns out, God had a whole lot more in store than even we imagined.
Thus, most Tuesdays since 1995 have found me leaning into the 7|22 vision with an amazing team of fellow servants, longing to bring through the door a message that would make God happy and spur us on to lives that reflect His glory.
As you might know, 7|22 began with a six-week trial that spring, tumultuous days which brought my father’s passing and, later that summer, significant staff turmoil at the church where we began. The resulting staff changes left 7|22 homeless before it really had an official beginning, but soon doors opened for us to meet at another church and 7|22 officially began. And what a ride it has been!
The 7|22 story is a God-story, one bigger than any one person and one that defies simple explanation. Having a front row seat for all that He has done has been a priceless treasure, something for which I will always be filled with thanks and joy.
For a while now I’ve been sensing that still, small voice, gently calling and preparing me for a turn in the road. Of course it didn’t make sense to me that God would ask me to step away from something as successful as 7|22, a place where I could not only serve the city, but connect with the lives of people in places all around the globe. I mean, how many people can drive 13 minutes from their house every week and speak into the lives of people on every continent? Ten thousand communicators would give anything for the chance to do that. Me included!
But, best I can tell, that gentle whisper I’ve been hearing is the voice of the Shepherd. He’s the same Son of God who has in times past led me down interesting and somewhat risky paths. (Though there is no risk when God is in the equation, sometimes you have to take that step before you know for sure that He is!) Yet Jesus has never disappointed me when I have chosen to follow Him. Rather, He has always surprised me with much more than I could have ever dreamed. So, in light of Who He is, and how He has led me in the past, I am saying yes to Him and embracing the fact that my season at 7|22 is coming to a close.
During the ten years that preceded 7|22 I taught every Monday night as a part of a campus ministry Shelley and I launched in 1985. If my math’s right, that’s twenty years of speaking every week throughout the school year, something I have thrived on, poured my heart into and cherished. But, after two decades, taking a break from the routine of teaching on a weekly basis actually feels like a healthy step, one that I trust will allow me to continue to serve well in the next seasons of life.
Many of you have asked what’s next for me. Interestingly, the answer is, “What I am already doing is next.” My primary calling for the past 10 years has been (and continues to be) Passion Conferences and its offshoot, sixstepsrecords. It’s this Passion team I go to work with everyday and the Passion mission I am so humbled to lead. Because of my visibility with 7|22, most people assume that I am on staff at NPCC, and in some ways I have been sort of “quasi-staff” for a while now. But while NPCC is our church home, and a place I am honored to serve, my work address is Passion Conferences.
Like 7|22’s, Passion’s future is bright and emerging—a full time, year around endeavor. So in the days to come I’ll continue to do what I have been doing every day, seeking to lead well a movement of college students living for His fame. Passion’s office house is here, so I will still be living and working in Alpharetta. And I’ll still be around NPCC—worshipping, serving and speaking for Andy when the opportunity arises.
It would be impossible to fully express my thanks to those I have been privileged to walk beside on the 7|22 team, especially 7|22 founder Bill Willits, and in these recent years 7|22 Directors Billy Phenix and Joel Thomas. And I will miss the joy of sharing leadership with my friends in the 7|22 band, guys I love and respect so much.
And to each of you who have been a part of 7|22, thank you for allowing me to share a part of your journey during the past ten years. For that opportunity, I consider myself one of the most fortunate people in the world.
I will miss seeing your faces every week, but will not stop praying for you and cheering on the cause of 7|22!
PO Box 5
Roswell, GA 30077