“When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready. . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts.”
— Charles Spurgeon
Not every Christian is able to preach a sermon, or teach a Bible class, or sing a Gospel solo, or go to Africa as a missionary, but every Christian is able to sow the "precious seed" by means of the printed page. This can be done by lending evangelical Christian books to those who will promise to read them, or by placing Scripture portions or Gospel tracts in the hands of those who will accept them.
The tract distributor not only receives a blessing in sowing the "precious seed," for God has promised that "he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him," but he has the promise that God's Word will not return to Him void, and that his "labor is not in vain in the Lord." He may be tempted at times to become discouraged and stop, but as he remembers the admonition: "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good," he faithfully continues in this ministry—"not weary in well doing." Dr. R. A. Torrey used to say that he did not consider himself prepared for personal soul-winning work, unless he had his Bible or Testament in one coat pocket and a goodly selection of Gospel tracts in another. There are many opportunities for reaching men and women, which can be seized by the use of Christian leaflets. We are constantly passing perishing souls, like ships in the night. Many are in distress. Let us proclaim the message: Jesus Saves!
Passing out Gospel tracts is something that any, and every Christian should be doing. We have been commanded to give the Gospel to every creature; the distribution of Gospel literature is one of the most effective ways to reach a large number of people. Here are a few suggestions as given by Kenneth Kuykendall:
- Leave a tract with your tip at a restaurant. If you are not a generous tipper do not leave a tract. You will not only insult your server, you will leave a poor testimony behind as a believer.
- Put them at the pump. I typically leave a tract in the handle of the gas pump. While the gas is pumping you can place tracts in other pump handles.
- Leave them behind in the restrooms. You can place a tract in every stall, at every counter, etc.
- Put them in with your mail. Every bill or letter you send out through the mail box is an opportunity to send forth the Gospel. Collect envelopes through your “junk mail’ and send them free of charge through the “Prepaid Envelopes.”
- Hand them to people who check you out. Think about all the people who take your money at restaurants, parking garages, grocery stores, etc. Anyone you briefly encounter is a potential recipient.
- Distribute them at various stations in hospitals, funeral homes, and libraries. With permission you can actually set up a “Free- Take One” Box and fill them up weekly or monthly. This is a great way to distribute hundreds of tracts in a centralized location.
- Place them in magazines and literature while in waiting rooms. You’d be surprised at how many people you could potentially reach in just one waiting room with 50-75 magazines.
- Knock on doors. Personally hand out Gospel Literature in various neighborhoods. Yes- this method is still effective and still works.
- Hand them to people who knock on YOUR door. Various cults and religious groups frequently visit our neighborhood wanting to leave their literature. I always allow them to leave their information with one stipulation- they take mine: a tract with the clear presentation of the Gospel.
- Give them to every person, at any place during any time. You cannot tell the wrong person about Jesus!
Things to be kept in mind while carrying out the Tracts Ministry
- Make sure your tracts have a clear message of the plan of salvation. Although maps, directions and contact information are pertinent, nothing is more important than having the truth of salvation visibly seen and understood.
- Realize not every tract is a good tract. We should read through the tract several times; try to read it as someone who is lost. Ask yourself questions and see how easily the tract gives the plan of salvation.
- Have church contact information available. Make sure your phone number, website, and address is on the tract so that if a person needs more information they can easily find you.
- Make sure your tract is sleek and nicely designed. With the various ministries in place these days that offer affordable, high quality printing, no church should have to settle for a second-class tract. Remember, the message in your tract is the greatest message in history- put it on a nice quality paper!
- Always keep a large stack of tracts with you (in your pocket, in your car, in the desk, etc) so that no matter where you are you will have an opportunity to leave the Gospel.
- More than anything else, pray over your tracts and ask God to give the increase. Every tract you pass out or leave behind is either a seed that is being planted or a seed that is being watered.
A good gospel tract faithfully proclaims the biblical gospel. It can go to places you cannot go. It doesn’t take much effort to pass out. It is often politely received by people (or, politely rejected). A gospel tract doesn’t argue; it merely states the Truth & calls the reader to repent & believe. It is a loving way to present the gospel to sinners in need of salvation from God’s judgment. A gospel tract is an easy way to proclaim the gospel with a smile of brotherly love toward your neighbor.