Harold Smith, President and CEO of Christianity Today, was in Traverse City for just 36 hours last week but in that brief time, he blessed TC Christian with two important conversations.
On Thursday evening, a group of TC Christian supporters gathered at Lobdell’s Restaurant overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay to enjoy food and fellowship, and to hear Harold’s heart on a number of issues related to our Christian walk.
Harold’s consistent theme was something he called Beautiful Orthodoxy. Simply put, it means communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ without forsaking Biblical truth. Beautiful orthodoxy should be practiced everywhere – church, work, school, and the public square. It was this theme that Harold drove home many times as he emphasized the value and importance of Christian education in raising up a new generation of young men and women who don’t simply understand Beautiful Orthodoxy. They pursue and practice it.
The next morning, following an interview on WTCM’s AM-580 breakfast show, Harold joined a group of pastors and ministry leaders to discuss events in the Church and the challenges faced by those in leadership. Recent happenings drove a conversation about crisis management and how best to minister to those affected by sin without losing sight of our witness. Here, too, Harold shared his vision of Beautiful Orthodoxy. Stand firm on Truth and love the broken. It was a precious time.
Following the coffee, one of those present sent a note which read in part: “(M)y heart is charged for the Church! The Church is THE establishment of Jesus Christ and His redemptive plan for the world. I’m struggling with (recent events locally) like everyone but that coffee we had with Harold changed my heart! WE MUST FIGHT! WE MUST BATTLE BACK DARKNESS WITH THE MARVELOUS LIGHT OF JESUS! I’m so thankful for how God is using (all that is happening) to pull the church of TC together.”
Thanks to everyone who made Harold’s visit to Traverse City possible. We wish him God’s blessings as he prepares to retire next month. For pictures from Thursday evening, please click here.