Sometimes the words in a book I'm reading jump up and smack me right between the eyes! That happened just this week, and I want to share the experience with you.
The book was Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church by Lee Strobel (Zondervan, 1993). Strobel talked about “Tour-bus Christians” who, like tourists on a bus, ride above the fray, high and comfortable, looking at what passes by through the bus windows, watching those in need and those outside trying to help them, but never getting out of the bus to get their own hands dirty.
At first this seemed like just a judgment on someone not willing to do his part to carry out the Great Commission to help others. But then the author went on to describe what this tour-bus Christian is losing himself by never getting out of the bus.
Tour-bus Christians are insulated from the real-world activity and excitement of God's work. They may avoid some of the pain that's involved, and they may protect themselves from the difficulties, and struggles, but there's no real adventure on a tour bus. They miss out on the excitement of living at the edge of expectation. They don't experience the tremendous counter-cultural truth that the more a Christian pours himself out serving others in God's name, the more God will fill him to overflowing.
How often have I stayed in that seat when I should have gotten off the bus?
Because I was tired…
Because I was afraid…
Because I didn't want to get dirty…
Because it was someone else's problem…
My fervent prayer
Lord, save me from being a tour-bus Christian! Use me to make a difference in this crazy world…to be a conduit for your love. Don't let me wait for a mountaintop moment or a burning bush or to be struck dumb on the road to Damascus. Keep me awake to every opportunity to mend even the tiniest bit of the world's brokenness.
Nudge me—oh, go on and kick me—off the bus!