Grant Partrick, pastor of Passion City Church Cumberland, encouraged students to establish their true identity in Christ during Christival, a three-day event hosted by PBA’s Spiritual Development team.
Christival has been a tradition at PBA since it was established in the 1980s, and it is the most time-honored conference in the school’s history. This year, Christival was centered around the question: “Who is Jesus?” which was emphasized in the event’s praise and worship services, led by The Worship Initiative, and in messages from Partrick, the headline speaker.
Over the week, Partrick worked through the seven “I am” statements found in the Gospel of John, showing how they reveal the nature of Jesus. These seven “I am” statements were also incorporated on the back of the Christival T-shirts that were thrown to the crowd at the beginning of every service.
Natalia Gerard, a freshman studying theater, shared her gratitude for Partrick’s ability to explain the Bible passages succinctly. “I have really enjoyed Grant Partrick’s preaching over the past few days because he has been able to break down certain scriptures that are hard for me to understand,” she said.
Christival is hosted at the Family Church Downtown and Christ Fellowship Downtown campuses, and it features midday chapels offered between classes and evening services.
Gerard described the convenience of having services between classes and at night, which helped her connect more with her friends. “Christival is a great opportunity because it allows me to spend time with God and take a break from my busy schedule,” she explained.
Since Partrick graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a master’s in theology, he has been passionate about inspiring people to give their ultimate focus to Jesus. “He does for us what we can’t do for ourselves,” Partrick said.
In his Tuesday morning message, Partrick declared that Jesus is the vine, and we have to rely on Him to bear fruit. Jesus’ identity overwhelmed the failures of Israel then, just as it does the mistakes of Christians today. He explained that while Christians will experience failure, they will never be considered a failure in themselves by God. “That failure is an event, not an identity,” Partrick said.