OK, I’ll be honest with you, I am a sucker for Cracker Barrel. I don’t know what it is about Cracker Barrel, but I’m a fan. Maybe it’s because as soon as I walk into the place I immediately feel like the youngest adult in the place, by like 20 years. Or, maybe it’s all the cool-retro snacks and toys from days gone-bye. (Heck, I got 2 packs of Pop-Rocks the other day. Didn’t they kill Mikey?) I know some people may think I am crazy, but I also think their food is pretty good. Maybe it’s because when you travel your standards are lower than normal, but I have always liked whatever I have ordered at The Barrel.
We have been doing some traveling recently and the Hill-Circus stopped at Cracker Barrel to take a rest and get some dinner. I had placed my order, got the kids situated playing checkers and headed into the men’s room. (Oh, and on an aside, this is another reason that I love cracker Barrel; they have THE cleanest bathrooms on the highway.)
As soon as I walked into the stall I saw a little pamphlet resting on the toilet paper dispenser that implored me to STOP! But, I didn’t want the Cracker Barrel staff to have to clean up a mess in stall #3, so I paid little immediate attention. It turns out, after further investigation, that the pamphlet that was left for my bathroom reading pleasure was indeed a gospel “tract” that wanted to know who I thought Jesus was.
What is a gospel tract? A tract is a little pamphlet that Christians use to grab your attention and then to explain the gospel (good-news) of Jesus. Now, I understand the reason why someone would leave a tract in the bathroom at Cracker Barrel, I mean let’s be honest, the average age of customer at Cracker Barrel is like 132 years-old, and people who leave tracts in the bathroom at Cracker Barrel are just hitting their prime target audience. But, I have never really been a fan of gospel tracts if they are used outside the context of relationship, but I know that there are people out there somewhere that have heard about the grace of the cross through good-news tracts. Right?
What do you think when you see a tract? Have you, or anyone you know, ever been affected by a tract? do you think they are good ministry tool or not? What are some of the tracts that you remember? (I once found a tract on the ground that was the shaped like a folded $20.00 bill, and when I picked up it was only a tract telling me about Jesus. I was really ticked about that incident because I already had Jesus but could have used $20..00 bucks. That was a joke.) I wonder if tracts send more people in the other direction? But, if they are used to communicate the gospel (the good-news of Jesus) to even one person are they worth it? I wonder if they are a generational thing too? I don’t think there is any way that a post-modern generation uses them because they lack authenticity. Anyway, would love to get some input on this one!