As I mentioned earlier, we went to the Welcome and Information Center for Panama City Beach this morning to get. . . um, information . . . about what there is to do here in Panama City Beach. Of course there are those little brochure kiosks everywhere to try to get you into their place of business. But we wanted to hear an “insider’s view” of the attractions. Someone who has a “been there, done that, DIDN’T buy the T-shirt” (or vice versa) kind of informational experience. But it simply isn’t going to happen! Not today anyway!
Here’s a little tip for the city of Panama City Beach. See if you can’t spring for a couple of bucks to send the help to some of the excursions–ANY of the excursions. Basically, the lady(ies) who helped us had not been to ANY of the tours or whatnot in the town. “They were too busy working to have time to go on those things.” What!?! Isn’t that your job to know what tours are good and what tours stink?? Shouldn’t you be able to steer people clear of spare tours and tourist traps?? Seriously, you can be more help than “I think there are some brochures over there on that kind of stuff!”
For what it’s worth, I think that we in the church are a lot like that aren’t we? We are representing something that many of us aren’t really that enthused about, let alone even experienced!! To put it the way Rob Bell puts it, “we aren’t ‘smokin’ what we’re sellin’.” You can’t talk about an experience with Jesus until you have come face to face with Him and He comes in and changes your life. This isn’t simply something that you “do” . . . this Christianity thing! It is your “LIFE!” Every time someone comes into one of our environments (churches), people ought to get an “insider’s” view of the Gospel–EVERY TIME! They shouldn’t just hope they “get the good one [volunteer]” or not get the “guy having a bad day, ur, life.” Think about the consequences of not having an insider’s view of the Gospel at your church. Who is there because they had an insider’s, “I once was blind, but not I see” kind of person helping them to understand this crazy thing called the Gospel and the Church? Is someone there because you are “smokin’ what you’re sellin’?” Or are they turned away unsatisfied because you are no better than a bunch of brochures sitting all neatly in a row–lot’s of information, but no passion of an insider’s perspective.