Most people have little idea of how effective literature can be in a personal witness. While literature ministry is seldom complete by itself, it is a good door-opener for the gospel message. Nevertheless, some may have decided that this method of evangelism does not suit them. They have seen scraggly-looking street people poking unwelcome literature at unwilling pedestrians. They fail to realize that tracts can be distributed on the street with the dignity that befits the high calling of evangelism. Nevertheless, that is not the only way to have a literature ministry. With some prayerful creativity, there are other ways.
One university professor who could not hand out literature or advocate his faith in the classroom without jeopardizing his position devised a way to use our literature. He left one of our provocatively titled tracts on his classroom desk. When students expressed curiosity, he answered, That’s mine. You can read it if you want to, but put it back when you are done.” Though he had obtained a hundred of those tracts, he never replaced the “desk copy” until it grew ragged. What he liked best about this quiet way of witnessing was the questions many would ask after reading the tract. Those inquiries opened the way for some very productive conversations that brought people to a consideration of the Redeemer.
A housewife used another method. She began to enclose a cheery tract with each check as she paid her bills. She even arranged to have her checks imprinted with a Scripture message. For many years she continued to send those tracts to everyone who received a check from her household. Finally after getting no feedback, she began to wonder if she were being an effective witness with this practice. Knowing how to deal with that kind of uncertainty in a spiritual way, she asked the Lord for reassurance. The very next day, she received a phone call from a woman who sorted mail in a huge credit card company. The woman told our friend that she had come back to the Christian faith, and that God had used a word from one of the tracts our friend had sent in the mail. Within a month, that housewife received two more confirmations of the validity of her evangelistic endeavors.
Another couple always enclosed tracts with the numerous Christmas cards they sent each year. Because the husband had been a career military man with many posts around the world, they had friends everywhere. Two years ago, the couple acquired a personal computer and made up a Jews for Jesus type broadside with a very personal approach. They combined clip art with text to describe what they felt was most important to them. Actually, it was more a story of their faith than a list of reasons to consider Christ. These people were stunned by the numerous commendations they received from the recipients, and by three special responses from two beloved friends and one close relative who expressed a desire for help in finding Christ.
Most people are not so profoundly impressed the first time they hear the gospel that they feel faith rising within them and connect that faith to Calvary. Before being nudged along the path toward God, they usually have taken several gospel impressions. Sometimes they are touched by a few words from a book telling about someone’s faith in the Savior. Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses a few bars of a hymn on a television or radio program; at other times a street preacher’s courage, or perhaps a small piece of literature sent through the mail impresses them.
God uses many ways to win people to himself. One effective way is through tracts. If you care to make the effort, you too can become part of the process that God will use to bring others into his Kingdom.
To help you decide whether or not you should be involved with tracts as a ministry we are enclosing a pamphlet with this Newsletter called How To Use Broadsides. We hope you will prayerfully consider the possibilities!