Over the last few weeks, we’ve offered you “An Introduction to Gospel Tracts”, discussed “Tracting Philosophy”, offered some great ideas for distribution in “Lighting the Fire”, and shared some advice on selecting the best tracts for your audience in “On the Right Tract”. This week, we’re wrapping up our series on Gospel Tracts with a discussion about the inevitable issue of rejection. We’ll be sharing a few reasons why a person may reject the offer of a tract and some great ways to turn those occasional rejections into opportunities to share.
Truth be told, the more time you spend passing out Gospel tracts, the more you increase your chances of someone rejecting your offer. When this happens (and it probably will), be gracious – even if the intended recipient’s actions boarder on the offensive. It may very well be that your response to the rejection will do more to further the message offered inside the tract than the tract, itself.
Take the time to listen to the reasons for the person’s objections to Christianity (or to you) and don’t try to argue them out of those beliefs. Some people are used to Christians being pushy and getting angry when they don’t get their way and will be surprised to see something different in you. Your reaction might be just what it takes to cultivate someone’s willingness to discuss the Gospel in the future!
Don’t automatically discount any criticisms they may offer about you; You may learn something about your mannerisms or methodology of which you were unaware. Sometimes a minor adjustment in the way we present ourselves can make a major difference in whether someone else is willing to hear our message!
Also, keep in mind that sometimes a person will reject a tract for a reason that is less than evident. Those whom we encounter do not always share our own ethnic, religious, or cultural background. And, while most of us are experts in our own culture, we aren’t always experts in everyone else’s. For some great advice on how to clarify your message and better target it towards your tracting audience, visit James Herz’ blog. After years of distribution, James has compiled quite a list of reasons for which a person might refuse a tract and some good suggestions for making the gift more appealing!
If you’re like me, you may also suffer from an inability to accurately recall the name and face of everyone with whom you’ve had the opportunity to share. While you should do your best to remember those to whom you’ve offered tracts, somewhere along the lines you’re bound to offer a tract for a second time. Sometimes, the recipient will remain silent about the matter, but on occasion, they may return the tract to you and this is a great opportunity to share. Take a moment to ask them what they thought about what they read and why. Then, listen carefully as the Spirit opens the door for further conversation. (In some cases, it may be necessary to arrange to meet with a recipient later, outside of their place of employment.) Keep in mind that God will give you the words to speak when He gives you the opportunity to share. (Luke 12:11,12)
Finally, remember that one of the special oddities of Gospel Tract distribution is that you very rarely get to see the results. Keep in mind that all God has called us to do is plant the seeds; He’ll do the growing. People do get saved through the influence of tracts. Even if only one person finds eternal life as the result of the thousands of tracts you distribute in your lifetime, you can rest assured that one soul was well worth your investment!
Next week, we’ll start looking into a new evangelism topic, but for now, take the time to share your thoughts and any other questions you may have in the comment box below. We’d love to hear what you have to say!