Evangelism, Evangelist-B-Ware, Technique, Tracts

Lighting the Fire – Ideas for Tract Distribution

If you’ve been following our blog for the last couple of weeks, you’ve heard the testimonies contained in “An Introduction to Gospel Tracts” and reviewed “Tracting Philosophy”. Now, it’s time to get started! What follows is a brief list of ideas for both the courageous and less than courageous souls who would like to give tract distribution a try!

– Put them in envelopes when you pay your bills. You don’t know who will open your payment and this may be just what they need to peak their curiosity. (Be careful, some companies don’t like you stuffing non-business related items into their return envelopes. If you violate such a request just so you can share the Gospel, you’re probably going to end up sending the wrong message!)

– Put them in envelopes with your charitable contributions. If you donate to Christian organizations, attach a brightly colored post-it note to each tract, instructing the person who opens the envelope to pass the tract to someone else. This serves two purposes:

First, some people have spent their entire lives in Christian churches and have never come to an understanding of Salvation by Grace alone through faith alone. Your message might be just what they need to bring them the last step of the way.

Second, it encourages other Christians to consider sharing their faith with the people around them. Many of the problems in the world today could be solved (or at least minimized) if more people served Christ as their Savior!

– Leave one in the doctor’s office or hospital waiting room the next time you visit. People often read things in medical establishments that they wouldn’t read otherwise.

– Leave one with your tip in a restaurant. Some gospel tract companies actually manufacture “tip” cards, a nifty way to thank your server for their efforts and share Jesus at the same time.

– Leave one in the drawer of your hotel room, on the covers of your hotel bed, in the glove box of a rental car, or in the front cover of your library book. These are sure to reach the people who service these items before their next use.

– Leave them on the break room table where you work. I can’t count the number of times that I left something on the table and came in later to find one of my fellow employees reading it! Take advantage of human curiosity!

– Hand them through the window at fast food establishments or pass them to a cashier along with your payment.

– Try targeting your tracting endeavors. My sister and I purchased a boatload of “Lord of the Rings” gospel tracts and shared them while we stood in lines for the movies and the midnight DVD releases. We didn’t pass them out to everyone, but gave them as parting gifts to people we’d met who shared our insanity. We even met a few folks who decided to be our “friends” just to get a freebie!

– Slip one under the wiper blade of the vehicle parked next to yours. (Hint: check out the bumper stickers first. These often tell you a lot about the driver’s interests and state of mind and will help you better target the message.)

– Try passing them out at local gatherings, fairs, or popular events. The atmosphere is often just right and people are frequently willing to accept literature that they would pass up on other occasions.

– Many tract companies manufacture “kits” for various events. These usually come with plastic door-hangar bags, tracts, and an assortment of other appropriate goodies. These are useful if you’d like to canvass your neighborhood before an election (Jesus really deserves their vote!) or an upcoming holiday. These are usually best for group activities.

The more you share, the more courage you’ll build and you’ll probably come up with some excellent distribution methods all on your own. Keep in mind that just because you have two hundred gospel tracts doesn’t mean that you have to pass them all out immediately. Use your discretion about when and where to distribute – the goal is to create an interest in Jesus, not a fear of His followers! Ensure that your actions are legal before proceeding with any of the suggestions above. Recognize that techniques that work well for some believers might not work as well for others. And don’t forget to pray!

If you come across a method that works particularly well for you, take the time to share the details in our “comments” box below!

Evangelism, Get Involved, Technique, Tracts

Tracting Philosophy

If you’ve read the testimonies in “An Introduction to Gospel Tracts”, you may feel ready to give distribution a try.  But where do you even begin? In this week’s post, we’ll take a brief look at two common tracting philosophies and what they look like in action!

Let’s begin with a brief dialogue on tracting philosophy. There are two major views about when and to whom you should offer a Gospel tract. The first is that you should only hand them out as you feel the Spirit’s specific leading. Those who adhere to this philosophy won’t be found standing on street corners or whipping out a tract every time they meet someone new. Instead, they prayerfully ask the Lord to direct their steps and guide them to distribute the literature where it will be most effective.

This is a great method and almost guarantees that your sharing will always tend towards the more personal level. Its major downfall is that it is often easier to disguise fear as “lack of the Spirit’s leading” than you might think! Consequently, if you decide that this is the method for you, keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7:

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

A second popular method of tract distribution is the “scatter” method. People who share this philosophy are likely to be found distributing tracts to every sales clerk, waitress, or cashier with whom they come in contact. This approach is particularly good for those who are new to tracting, since it builds courage through repeated, inoffensive use. You will be amazed at just how many people react to the gift of a tract with surprise and even gratitude!

The drawback is that it’s easy for the actions of those who “scatter” to become rote, having little personal meaning for either for themselves or for the individuals with whom they’re sharing. There is also a tendency to begin judging the “success” of your endeavor by how many tracts you hand out in a given period of time, rather than your faithfulness to the Spirit’s call.

Both methods are good and, fortunately, the drawbacks to each are fairly well limited to your own attitudes. Being aware of those possible downfalls will aid you in avoiding them.

Personally, I use a combination of both, but whichever option you choose, make certain that you come to your decision through prayer and the conviction of the Spirit! Some of us are more forward than others and God uses both kinds of people to reach different folks at different times. Before you “hit the streets”, you will also want to take the time to ensure that your chosen method of distribution is legal. Romans 13:1,2 reminds us that,

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”

Some municipalities don’t allow the distribution of literature without a permit, even if you’re on public property. The definition of “distribution” can range from boxes of tracts to just a few, so take the time to find out whether your intended plan of action is in line with local regulations.

Some privately owned companies also frown upon the practice of tract distribution, as do many schools (even colleges), so be sure that you have done whatever is necessary to keep both the law and company policy on your side! Again, according to Titus 3:1-2,

“[Believers are] to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”

That isn’t to say that we should neglect God’s command to evangelize, but rather that, when the local, state, and national laws are not in direct contradiction to God’s Word, we are obligated to obey.

Next week, we’ll be getting specific with some detailed ideas for tract distribution. In the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences with Gospel tracts in the “Leave a Reply” box below! Got a method that works particularly well for you? Share that too!