Sharing The Stage with Amy Grant
Amy Grant songs have been uniting Christians for decades. Her passionate, soulful music expresses a faith most believers can relate to. Even her own personal vision for fans involves bringing them together—which is exactly what happened as over 600 guests joined Amy for a weekend retreat on her Tennessee farm.
The evening event kicked off a whole weekend of more-than-typical interaction between Amy and fans in a setting where few ever gain access. And while Amy lives inside a constant spotlight, it was refreshing to see how often she transferred it to others.
One fan wrote:
The first evening, Amy surprised us with a meet-and-greet. While waiting for my special time to take a picture and chat for a few moments, I noticed a pretty teenage girl talking to Amy. I couldn’t hear all of the words that were passed back and forth between the two, but by the sincerity on Amy’s face and the glow of her young fan, I could tell it was more than just a typical introduction between the two. Out of curiosity I stepped in a little closer. I heard the girl explain that she was an aspiring musician, she then gave Amy a copy of a CD she had recorded. Amy received it with gratitude, gave her new musician friend some encouraging words, and as the girl stepped away, I could tell by her mile-wide grin that her heart was overflowing.
The next day we were welcomed to Amy’s farm to enjoy a good ol’ Southern party which ended with a concert inside the barn featuring Amy and some of her friends. It was such an intimate setting, I felt as though I was sitting on someone’s couch, listening to each person’s heart as they shared the stories behind the music and then sang their song. After a few people sang, Amy invited the young girl from the meet-and-greet, 15 year old Jordan Hoffman, up on stage to share her own story and song. I quickly realized that this young lady was far beyond her years.
Jordan’s story was about her friend and schoolmate Jonas who had been battling a rare form of cancer. After a request from her choir director, Jordan wrote a song in her friend’s honor for the school choir to perform. She eventually recorded a solo project and sold it on iTunes to raise support for Jonas’ medical needs. As she began singing, I could feel the goosebumps crawling up my arms – and this time it wasn’t from the chilly weather. The lyrics encouraged her young friend to find strength, not only within himself, but also in the people around him, who would be fighting at his side.
After the impromptu song Amy also encouraged listeners to support Jonas’ cause. This kind of selflessness became a theme throughout the weekend. The shared stories and coming together as the body of Christ focused listeners toward serving and loving others. Amid dozens of special moments the takeaway—or souvenir—of the weekend was the warm glow that each participant seemed to leave with.
Our prayer is that this experience doesn’t fade in the following months the way a summer camp mountain high tends to. Even now that everyone has returned home, and as the holiday rush threatens to overwhelm schedules with an endless list of errands and tasks, we’d love to remind readers to take out that beautiful souvenir moment, pull up that photo album from the weekend and look for ways to share the love of Christ with others. It doesn’t take a stage; all you need is a moment and a friend in need.