Gospel Tracts are Good Gospel Tools
Pastor Jeff Pollard refers to gospel tracts as “paper missionaries.” I think that’s the best description of gospel tracts I’ve ever heard.
Ray Comfort, a man who has taught me so much about evangelism and living the Christian life, explains some of the benefits of using gospel tracts in evangelism:
- Tracts can make an opening for us to share our faith.
- We can watch people’s reaction as we give them a tract, and see if they are open to listen to spiritual things.
- They can do the witnessing for us. If we are too timid to speak to someone about the things of God, we can at least give them a tract, or leave it lying around so that someone will pick it up.
- They speak to the person when they are ready–i.e. they don’t read it until they want to.
- They can find their way into people’s homes when we can’t [example].
- They don’t get into argument. They just state their case.
Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” had this to say about gospel tracts:
“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.”
And, while certainly not putting myself in the same conversation with men like Pollard, Comfort, and Spurgeon, I’ve written an article about the use of gospel tract you might find helpful.
No argument need be made to defend the use of gospel tracts in evangelism, just as no argument need be made to defend the preaching of the gospel in the open-air. Arguments for these forms of evangelism need not be made, just as no argument need be made for simply striking up a conversation with someone, with the hope of communicated the gospel to them. The distribution of gospel tracts is a biblical form of evangelism.
With that in mind, what is the best gospel tract available today?
Gospel Tracts: Which is the Best One?
Ray Comfort swears by the Million Dollar Bill, and so do a countless number of Christians around the world.
My good friend, Jeff Sherfey (a gospel tract distribution machine), really likes the What If? gospel tract from One Million Tracts.
Another friend, Justin Edwards, has written an excellent gospel tract that is growing in popularity titled Do You Know Him?
Like many churches, Grace Fellowship Church of Davenport (soon to be home to the Miano Family) has produced its own gospel tract titled Are you Ready? Like Justin Edwards tract, Grace Fellowship’s is a detailed, tri-fold tract.
Over the years, I’ve written a number of gospel tracts with Marv Plementosh, of One Million Tracts. I’ve been contacted by Christians who have told me that one title or another is their favorite gospel tract. If you were to ask me which of the gospel tracts I’ve written is my favorite, I would say it is Who Do You Say I Am?
But which gospel tract is the very best? Which is the most effective? Which one will allow you to reach the most people with the gospel?
The answer may surprise you.
The very best gospel tract is the one you will actually distribute. That’s right. A gospel tract is useless if it is purchased, put in a box, put in a closet, and gathers dust like an old baseball card collection. The best gospel tract in the world, assuming its content is a biblical presentation of the law and the gospel, is the one you will lovingly place into the hand of a lost person.
With that, allow me to give you a few simple tips for selecting the best gospel tract, for your evangelistic use.
Choosing the Best Gospel Tracts
Choosing the best gospel tracts for your personal evangelistic use is relatively simple. However, there may be a little time of trial and error spent narrowing down your favorite one or two tracts. Simply looking at and reading gospel tracts will not give you all of the information you need. You will have to spend some time distributing different tracts before you will know for sure which ones are right for you.
Here are some tips for determining which gospel tracts are right for you:
1. Narrow your search by reading the text of gospel tracts online. Regardless of how a gospel tract looks, if the written presentation of the law and the gospel is not biblically sound, it will be a waste of money to purchase them. The gospel tracts you use should include, at a minimum: who God is; the sinfulness of man; the consequences of sin (not merely separation from God, but eternity in hell as the just punishment for sin); who Jesus is (fully God and fully man, without sin); the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection; a clear call to repent and believe the gospel.
2. DO NOT use tracts that include what is commonly referred to as a “Sinner’s Prayer.” People must believe the forgiveness of sin and the free gift of eternal life is only possible by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and not as the result of praying a prayer.
3. Don’t put too much importance in how a gospel tract looks. Granted, you won’t likely distribute a gospel tract that looks like a used Kleenex (and not too many people will take it from you). However, your speech and demeanor will likely do more to improve your ratio of tracts offered to tracts accepted than how eye-catching your tracts are. A beautiful gospel tract in the hands of a grumpy, seemingly bored Christian will not move as quickly as an ordinary-looking gospel tract in the hands of a genuinely enthusiastic and friendly Christian.
4. Generally speaking, there are four sizes of gospel tracts: business card, baseball card, tri-fold (1/2 sheet), and tri-fold (full sheet). Purchase a small assortment of tracts in each of the four sizes. See how each size feels in your hands, pocket, wallet, purse, etc. Spend a little time distributing each size gospel tract to determine which size do you feel most comfortable distributing?
5. Don’t collect gospel tracts. Buy what you reasonably believe you will use. There’s no virtue in having a closet full of gospel tracts. If you distribute gospel tracts in diverse locations, you may want to consider what would be the most appropriate tract for each location. Or, choose a tract or two that can be distributed anywhere at any time.
6. If the elders of your church have produced a good gospel tract for use by church members, then that tract should be your primary tract for local evangelism, regardless of size, shape, or design. Whenever possible and practical, you want to point those with whom you communicate the gospel to your church.
The above tips do not represent an exhaustive list. Again, the most important thing to remember is that the best gospel tracts are the ones you will actually use.