If you were to walk into the local tourist office in the town where I live they might show you some of the local attractions like The Giants Causeway, Mussendun Temple, Dunluce Castle or the Carrick -a- Rede Rope Bridge.
They will probably give you some information about them all and if your lucky they might dig out a map to help you find them or point you in the direction of the nearest public transport.
A few years ago I traveled to San Antonio to present our Because You’re Loved
initiative at the Pais USA Swap conference hosted at Oak Hills Church. While I was
their my friends Chris and Emma became my tour guides. They showed me around
downtown San Antonio, the famous Riverwalk, the Alamo, took me shopping at some of the malls and organised places to eat, they even took me for a meal at one of their friends houses.
There is a profound difference between the two approaches. The first educates their
guest on what is available, what possibilities they have, whilst the second leads their
guest and shows them what is available, they take them on an experience.
Could it be possible to better inspire, empower and mobilise everyday people to
share their stories, their faith and Jesus’ glorious invitation, in their everyday
environments using the Tour Guide Model?
Educating from our pulpits the need and possibilities with the hope that those who hear our words will be galvanised to action may mobilise a few with whom it resonates. But by creating opportunities for people to experience the need and possibilities with us we have found many more come alive as they see, try and process with us. If we want to inspire everyday mission, then I believe we must behave less like tourist offices and more like tour guides. As we have shifted our approach we now find it normal to hear stories of students leading their friends as they say ‘yes’ to Jesus during their lunch breaks. Young adults leading their colleagues as they say ‘yes’ to Jesus while they are at work. Young children courageously asking to pray for friends, teachers and anyone they meet in need of healing and many more stories of incredibly bold steps of faith. And in many cases from people who have only recently invited Jesus to be part of their lives themselves.
4 years ago together with some friends I started an initiative called “Because You’re
Loved” to be a resource to help create meaningful opportunities. Last year it mobilised over 2,500 around the world to share God’s love and won best youth work resource at the Christian youth work awards. If you would like to use it as a resource to help you create experiences and opportunities where you can take people with you to share God’s love in everyday contexts you can download our resources all for free via www.becauseyoureloved.com
Long may our world come alive as we show people what is available and what
possibilities lie in front of us like a tour guide leads their guests to experience the best
their area offers!