I Stand Amazed

Tonight was our annual Youth Night at Camp Meeting. All week during Camp Meeting services, the older folks come and listen to their preachers. None of the teens would be caught dead at those services. But one night each year during Camp Meeting, our department calls in a cool speaker for the youth and brings in some slammin’ music. And that night was tonight.

Really, I was starting to wonder if we should just give up on this service. Each year’s attendance has progressively gotten smaller. And even though I know we shouldn’t be slaves to numbers, I write the checks and so I know what we’re spending. And when we’re spending large amounts of money and nobody’s attending, you start to wonder if you would be wiser to spend that money elsewhere. Last year, the number slid to somewhere below 200 (in a building that can hold around 2,000). I was pretty discouraged.

This year, my wise boss (Jon) and board of directors decided to shake things up a bit. They went to the Bishop and requested that we move our Youth Night from its traditional Saturday slot to Wednesday night so that we could catch youth groups on the night that most of them meet. And then, we started raising a bit of seed money to do some cool little giveaways. And then, we started spreading rumors about the giveaways…

This week, Jon and I started nailing down the last minute preparations for tonight’s service. Double-checking the hotel room for our speaker. Does he have directions to get here from the airport? Did we cut his honorarium check? Oh and since we’re doing giveaways, we need to make tickets for them to throw into the buckets for the drawings. But how many tickets do we make?

Jon had me make 500 tickets for the youth and 100 for the adults. We were praying and believing for 600 people at tonight’s service. After last year’s 150-175, six hundred would just be amazing! So, that’s what we were hoping for. And several of y’all agreed to pray with us for that 600.

Tonight, I stood behind the counter in the lobby and in my loudest from-the-diaphragm voice, I hawked those tickets for the giveaways.

“Everybody aged twelve to twenty-two gets a blue card that goes in the bucket! Adults get yellow!”

Those kids swarmed around me, snatching for pens and blue cards. As a tiny person (5’2”) I couldn’t tell how many people there were. I just kept handing out cards and pens. When everyone had filled out their cards and gone inside, my ushers went in to take the offering and do a headcount. When they brought me the headcount, I almost hit the floor. NINE HUNDRED SEVENTY TWO PEOPLE PRESENT!

I had to do my job (counting the offering and making sure all of the stations were covered.) And so I didn’t make it into the sanctuary until our speaker was starting the altar call. The altar was filled and there were teens spilling about 2/3 of the way down the aisles towards the back of the sanctuary. And although the pictures just don’t do it justice, my co-worker, Melissa took some slightly-fuzzy pics with her camera phone and I’m going to share them with you…

All I can say is that I stand amazed…

About Sarah Salter


  1. Wonderful!

  2. That is amazing!

  3. That is crazy awesome!

  4. Krissy Buck says:

    That is so beautiful!

  5. God is SO good. I think all the changes you made to make this such an exciting night for the kids really made a big difference. I am so happy thing turned out so well.

  6. What an awesome God we serve! I saw your tweet for 600…I prayed for 800…
    God outdid us all. Funny how He does that!

    Praying the decisions made are true and eternal.

  7. Just awesome! God does abundantly, exceedingly more than we ask or imagine. Praying with Dusty that this was a moment of forever change and decision for these.

  8. I am amazed too! That’s awesome!!

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