Behind the Creek: Andy Harrison and views from backstage, onstage
by Mason Phillips
DAVIS—I drove early once again to Falls Creek so I could gain more camp experience through the eyes of another. When I arrived, I hunted down Andy Harrison: the man behind the microphone. I was just in time for the morning session in the tabernacle, so I hurried backstage to speak with him. We walked down the hall together, and he told me that he was just about to go onstage and speak with the campers. We were surrounded by people rushing and moving to get microphones hooked to ears and people in all their places; Andy told me we were in the middle of the “holding tank”—a small room backstage where the speakers and band congregate so that they know when and where to go on. The Cody Dunbar Band was the worship team this week, and they were quick to introduce themselves to me.
I asked Andy what he would be doing next and he said, “Well, we’re going to go onstage while the band plays a song and . . . actually, why don’t you just come with us.” So I followed him backstage, stepping cautiously around the precarious cords covering the floor. We rounded the corner and walked right out on stage to see about 2,000 middle school students jumping and clapping, anxiously awaiting the band to begin. Before us there were some old-timey diner booths from a 1950s-style diner.
I sat down with Andy, Norman Flowers and Todd Sanders. They sat casually and invited me to do the same. We sat down and some kind ladies in aprons even brought them coffee! What’s more is that they came out a few moments later with pie! We chatted for a while over the loud singing from the band and the crowd. Andy told me that in a few short moments the lights would come up and he would go speak center stage, my cue to hop up and move on backstage. While I would have to miss Andy’s speaking time that morning, another surprise would await me backstage.
Since the Cody Dunbar Band played only one song, they were backstage about the time I was. They chatted me up quickly and I learned their names and hometowns. They showed interest in “Behind The Creek,” and after talking with them a short while, they decided it was important that I see the conference center’s backstage “Green Room.” I walked into a nice room filled with comfortable seating, a kitchenette and a private bathroom. They had a monitor screen tuned to the live video feed of Andy delivering his message. They gave me an MTV Cribs style tour, and I left a happy correspondent.
While all of this was exciting and altogether a great experience, I still wanted to know one thing. It’s the one thing I make sure to ask everyone I interview: what is your mission? When I asked Andy about his mission, he had several in mind. He wondered first at the mission of Falls Creek. Of course, I wanted to know about HIS mission personally. His response was simple, “My personal mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ—always has been, always will be. My job is to plan and facilitate a program at Falls Creek that leads students to a saving knowledge of Jesus and equips Christian students with ministry skills and opportunities.”
There’s a personal lesson to take away from all of this, a mission can be as simple as Andy’s—make disciples of Jesus Christ. For Andy, Falls Creek is how he executes that mission. So we must ask ourselves: what is my mission? How will I execute it?
If you’d like to see the view from onstage and the tour of the Green Room, be sure to follow @BehindtheCreek and see the video on www.youtube.com/BehindtheCreek.
Mason Phillips is Falls Creek correspondent for the Baptist Messenger.