Yesterday felt like a day of destiny full of Spirit-arranged encounters. Let me start with the afternoon.
Author/blogger Thom Schultz, who was in Nashville for Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters convention being held at Opryland Hotel had invited me to meet him at the hotel so that he could interview me for a podcast about my new book, Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia. I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to get to the hotel an hour early and walk around and see who God would lead me to.
As I walked around the hotel, I felt rather silly. It was mid afternoon and not much seemed to be going on. I wasn’t registered for Proclaim 16 so I couldn’t go into their area of the hotel. So I just wandered.
After about 15 minutes of wondering why I was there, I saw Henry Coles, a pastor friend and TV preacher who I hadn’t seen in more than a decade. We chatted and caught up with each other. I was amazed to see him and that encouraged me.
As I continued to wander I came across Eric Metaxas (author of a recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer) interviewing Pat Boone in a hallway. As the interview ended and people gathered around Pat Boone, I approached Eric and gave him a copy of Beyond Church. He asked me several questions about it and said he would read it.
I continued walking and in a couple of minutes I saw a man in a Salvation Army uniform. It was Frank Duracher, who is the assistant editor of War Cry, the national magazine of The Salvation Army USA. I got to visit with Frank and give him a copy of Beyond Church. He asked me to sign it for him and said he would read it and consider writing a book review about it.
A few minutes later I ran into David and Peggy Fitzpatrick, who used to pastor a church my wife and I attended for a few years — a church that had an open mic. It was great to see them again after 10 or more years.
Finally I met Thom Schultz and he took me to his room, introduced me to his wife, and interviewed me for a 30 minute podcast that will be posted soon on his blog, Holy Soup. It was an amazing afternoon of divine encounters.
Earlier in the morning my day had even started with an amazing encounter. The Holy Spirit quickened me to pick up a book I have never read before and I found these two quotes about ekklesia (the lost word of the Bible):
–“Jesus’ preaching of the coming of the kingdom included His preparation of the little group of believers as the new congregation, ‘the ekklesia.'”
–“Within nearly every existing Christian communion (denomination) there is a growing challenge to complacency with the existing forms and traditions . . . This opens the way for a radical self-criticism (an internal reformation) on the part of every existing church.” –Daniel Day Williams in “What Present-Day Theologians Are Thinking” 1952
Let’s all proclaim what God is doing! Check out my post 14 bold suggestions for the National Religious Broadcasters.