Passion: Kristian Stanfill talks about the ministry since Chris Tomlin's departure

Tuesday 26th June 2018

Tony Cummings spoke to Kristian Stanfill of the Atlanta-based modern worship trio, PASSION

Continued from page 1

Tony: How does the Passion event select its songs?

Kristian: It's a team effort for sure. We don't do anything on an island or in a vacuum. We have so many amazing people who will weigh in on which songs should be a part of concerts and a part of a record. A lot of people have been involved way longer than I have, and way longer than any of us have. They have great instincts. So there's a team, then there's also the church. We play a lot of these new songs for the church, and the church is a really good barometer. They tell us a lot about what is connecting with people. There have been a lot of songs we thought were going to be great, then we lead them for the church and we realise they're not that great.

Passion: Kristian Stanfill talks about the ministry since Chris Tomlin's departure

Tony: Were you on staff when the church was planted?

Kristian: My wife and I were part of it right when it was just going, about nine years ago. I'm on staff now as the worship pastor at Passion City Church. We love it. I don't think I ever thought that I would be on staff at a church, but there's nothing I would rather do than lead our team of musicians and build the worship culture at our church. Being part of building a local church is eternal, and I love doing it. Louie and Shelley are amazing leaders; being under them is such a gift in life.

Tony: What's the membership?

Kristian: We have three locations - one downtown in Atlanta, one in the outskirts of Atlanta, and one in Washington DC. On a Sunday we have nine or ten thousand people between those three locations. Right now our team moves in between all those three. This past Sunday I was at our Atlanta location, then this Sunday I'm flying to Washington DC to lead at that location. We all move around. At some point we might have a specific team for that location, but right now we're all moving around.

Tony: You put out a solo album in 2009 called 'Attention'. Was that connected with Passion?

Kristian: It was through Passion's sixstepsrecords. I was signed to them and I put out two records as a solo artist. As the church started to get going I realised that my heart was to build the church, so I put the solo artist thing down and became part of the Passion worship team.

Tony: You, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone are now an entity in itself?

Kristian: Yeah. That would be the touring expression of Passion. Whenever we go on tour we take the songs of Passion, the heartbeat of Passion. We were just on tour with Louie Giglio. We would lead some songs then Louie would preach. So we're called Passion, and we take everything that is Passion out with us.

Tony: Would those tours extend to doing something without Louie - with another band, perhaps?

Kristian: Yeah. We've done that before. We've been on tour with Danny Gokey, Steven Curtis Chapman and Francesca Battistelli. We do different tours with different people, but we also do our own tours where we can have a big part in designing the night, making it look and feel and sound like we would want. We do it all!

Tony: People have commented on the disappearance of Chris Tomlin from Passion events. Is that a permanent departure, or will he be back?

Kristian: I don't know if he'll be back, but Chris is amazing - a phenomenal worship leader and a great guy. What people are seeing is Chris watching the younger generation come up behind him. Chris has led that process and was so gracious and willing to hand the baton. In Brett and Melodie and myself, he saw a new group of leaders coming up under him and he said, 'I want to hand this off to you and let you lead the way now.' That opened the door for us to step into a new season of life and leadership. I can't say enough great things about Chris: I love him so much.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Trina Cummings in Carbondale, Illinois @ 23:46 on Apr 1 2019

I just wanna say thank to Passion and the all the inspirational singers, i am a Christian and homebound, very handicapped!! I watch Utube every day and there songs and songs with Chris Tomlin has given me a light to look forward, my faith in God never ever looses faith, but people like all of them are God's Angels shinning through them and i myself it's God's working! Awesome witnesses in there faith our God! Thank you again!!

Reply by Debra Keeler in Orange, California @ 21:45 on Jul 26 2019

Hi Trina! I agree with you completely! I am also disabled by chronic pain & Arthritis. I do the very same thing by starting my day with singing worship music to God via YouTube! It really places me in the presence of God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit! Then I go on to my time of Bible Study. It just starts my day off right with my focus and praise on Jesus & with that I know I can handle anything that comes, with His help! Reach out to me if you’d like.... I’m on FB as Debbie Ahlberg Keeler & email is Praying for you today! In Christ’s love, Debbie

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