I bought a book and was given #77--meaning I was the 77th book they had sold and there would be 76 ahead of me for book signing. There was a maximum of three former books and as many of the current as you purchased. Looked like it could be a long wait when we got to that point.
I found a fairly good place to stand, but it was still 50 minutes before the start time. While waiting, I found out that people started gathering three hours before the event. The room could have been filled in the first hour with two more hours to go. That was amazing to me that people would gather for a seat three hours before Daniel Silva would arrive.
Who were those folks that got to the bookstore so early? They were educated, fairly affluent, well-read (besides mystery novels) highly communicative, and very knowledgeable about the writing of Daniel Silva. They were "disciples" of the author to the utmost degree. I felt at home amidst these folks because we all had something in common.
I am not sure if I have ever witnessed Christ followers arriving for Bible study or worship three hours in advance. I know what you are thinking...in the church we always have adequate seating. No, it was more than that. They love Daniel Silva. He's my favorite author, but he has not changed my life! I enjoy reading his novels, in fact I will take the new one with me on vacation, but it is a far cry from God's Word.
The Silva followers love to have their books signed by the author. They thank him for a certain character in his books. I don't think I've ever heard anyone pray, "Lord, thank you so much for giving us Peter. You will never know the impact he has had on my life." They buy multiple books as gifts. Many had three and four new books at about $29 per book. I wonder how many people in my church bought a hardback study Bible this week for one of their family members or friends?
The folks that I've been talking about would make great believers. We, the church, are missing out on that kind of passion. How can we ignite those around us to have that kind of passion? It would change our world.