The time has come for the 97th year of Falls Creek to begin. Across the years, I have been asked on innumerable occasions, “What is the secret of Falls Creek?” That is a question that I am willing to venture an attempt to answer.
Some would say the secret is the quality of programming. Without a doubt, the year-round preparation by staff and local church leaders to plan a program of ministry that is creative is very important. The task of providing clear and engaging teaching and preaching that moves young people to a point of a divine human encounter drives the strategic plan for each week of camp. If you were to look behind the scenes to see the precision and enormity of planning for communication of the Gospel, it would leave you in awe.
Others would say the secret is the quality of worship leaders—bands and preachers. I have watched from the time “band” meant kids from local high school bands forming a group to play in worship to the professional worship bands of today. Worship bands enhance the worship experience, but I am not sure that is the “secret.”
Preachers are very important to the Falls Creek experience. I love the fact that our young people want to hear men who are true to Scripture and uncompromising in their biblical convictions. Many of the preachers are people I have heard in other settings. I am always amazed that preachers seem to preach above themselves at the Creek, but the secret must be something more than preaching.
The answer for me is simple. Heaven is bombarded with the prayers of God’s people for Falls Creek. The secret of Falls Creek, pure and simple, is PRAYER! God responds to the prayers of His people. He delights in hearing His people pray for preachers, bands, teachers, sponsors, staff, and students. Nothing is more powerful than prayer. Nothing transforms a stone-cold heart like people praying for hearts to be made soft.
As I preach in our churches during the summer, I find a consistent approach to prayer for Falls Creek. Names of kids who are going to attend camp are written on wrist bands and placed on the altar. People are encouraged to take one of these wrist bands and pray for the youth or sponsor whose name is on the band. Some churches call the youth group forward for a time of prayer in the services prior to leaving for the Creek. Be assured, every young person and sponsor are bathed in prayer. That is the secret!
Would you be a prayer warrior for Falls Creek? Would you be willing to pray every week for the students and leaders who are a part of the Creek experience during the summer? Would you pray for the preachers and bands who lead in worship?
While many things have changed at the Creek, one thing remains the same. The focus of Falls Creek is to call people to salvation, holy living, and ministry. Night after night the Gospel is presented in a compelling way and an invitation is given to follow Christ. But the power in the invitation is borne on the wings of the prayers of God’s people. Prayer prepares the heart for the implanting of the Gospel.
Falls Creek is a sacred place because Oklahoma Baptists have set this place aside for the ministry of the Gospel. Falls Creek is sacred because it is a prayer-filled place.
When the new tabernacle was dedicated, two chests were buried. One is below the stage where the pulpit sets. In the chest are prayers from pastors across Oklahoma crying out to God for the anointing to fall on God-called preachers who stand with Bible in hand to preach the riches of God’s Grace. A second chest was buried under the center of the altar. In this chest are prayers from Oklahoma Baptists praying for the people who will respond to the invitations. These prayers are like a sweet-smelling aroma flowing from Earth to Heaven.
The secret of Falls Creek lies solely in the prayers of God’s people. Let’s make 2014 the greatest summer of prayer in the 97-year history of Falls Creek.