Most of us have, at one time or other, encountered Gospel tracts – those small pamphlets that explain the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They communicate the key points of the Gospel and show readers how they can receive salvation by putting their faith in Jesus.
In other words, Gospel tracts tell the Good News.
Unfortunately, you have probably also encountered stories about awful Gospel tracts. Some may simply be poorly written, making them confusing or difficult to understand. Others may be inappropriate or outright offensive to the recipient. For instance, some tracts are banned in several countries because they promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or groups of people. And those working hard as food servers will most certainly not appreciate a “money” Gospel tract in place of a real tip. So, despite its intended purpose, not all Gospel tracts are perceived as Good News by the recipient.
Yet, well written and well-designed Gospel tracts can be extremely useful tools for evangelism.
Gospel Tracts Can Help New Believers Share the Gospel
Many of us are familiar with the story of the man out of whom Jesus cast a legion of demons into a herd of pigs (Mark 5:1-20). The man begged to get into the boat with Jesus after the event, but Jesus did not let him. Instead Jesus sent him home to his own people, to tell them “how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” The man did just that, and the Bible tells us “all the people were amazed”.
New believers make some of the best missionaries simply because they have freshly tasted grace and they are excited to share that awesome experience with others. Despite their rudimentary understanding of the Gospel, they have the passion that many of us “seasoned believers” have unfortunately lost. Gospel tracts are particularly useful for new believers because they explain what the new believers may not be able to articulate.
Gospel Tracts Can Help More Visual People Better Understand the Gospel
The pictures and colors on Gospel tracts not only make them more attractive, but, more importantly, they help to communicate the good news. Research has shown that more than half of the population are visual rather than auditory learners. Therefore, sharing the Gospel with illustrations and other visual aids help the listener better grasp and remember what you are telling them. For example, the bridge Gospel presentation illustrates that sin separates man from God but Jesus, through His death and resurrection, is the only way to bridge the gap.
Another classic example of a more visual Gospel presentation uses the colors. This can take the form of the Wordless Book or, more creatively, salvation bracelets, Lego bricks, nail polish or even a paper airplane. You can read more about Wordless Book variations here.
Gospel Tracts Can Be Useful When A Face-to-Face Presentation Is Not Possible
Gospel tracts are useful when you do not have the opportunity to explain the good news face to face. For instance, your friend, neighbor or relative may not be ready to engage you in a faith discussion but may be open to accepting a Gospel tract from you.
Seasonal Gospel tracts also allows you to share your faith in a non-threatening manner. For instance, you can give out candies and treats and, at the same time, share the Gospel with this pumpkin-shaped Halloween tract.
When using tracts in this way, be sure to include your contact details or useful information on where the recipient can go to learn more about Jesus.
Not All Gospel Tracts Are Appropriate for All Occasions
Before giving out a Gospel tract, you should always read through it first. First and foremost, ensure that the Gospel tract is biblical. When in doubt, check against the Bible or with your pastors and use only tracts from reliable publishers.
While there are many excellent Gospel tracts available, no one single tract is appropriate for everyone and every occasion. Consider some of the factors below:
1. Is the Gospel tract engaging?
In general, a visually attractive Gospel tract engages the reader more than one filled with only words. Choose a tract that is interesting to read and easy to understand. A good Gospel tract is not a one-way communication of facts, but it interacts with the reader. It provokes thoughts and addresses a felt need and points the reader to Jesus.
2. Is the Gospel tract appropriate for your audience?
A good Gospel tract is designed with a specific audience in mind. For instance, tracts for the elderly have bigger font sizes. But more important than readability is relatability. Choose one that fits your reader’s profile. The most common tracts are designed for adults generally, but some designed for specific interest groups contain tailored language, humor and analogies. Tracts for youths feature visuals and topics that appeal to youths. A good children’s tract contains features that capture and hold the child’s attention while not distracting them from the good news. Check out this sampler pack of Gospel tracts includes evangelism tools with moving animations, pop-ups and fascinating folding mechanisms.
3. Is the Gospel tract culturally appropriate?
If you are doing cross-cultural evangelism, be aware that some Gospel tracts popular in your home country may not be suitable for others. For instance, a Halloween themed Gospel tract would not be very effective in culture that does not celebrate Halloween. If you are visiting a non-English speaking country, you can choose a Wordless Gospel tool, which uses colors to share the Gospel, such as salvation bracelets or the Wordless Book.
Gospel Tracts Are Merely Tools
Some objections to the use of Gospel tracts are perhaps due to a misunderstanding of its intended usage. Bear in mind that Gospel tracts are just meant to be tools to help us share the Gospel. They are not a substitute for our personal faith and testimony. If you have the opportunity, you should always share your own personal story even when using a Gospel tract. Also, even the best Gospel tract is useless without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. As you evangelize, commit your efforts to God. Ultimately, it is He who would minister to the hearts of your listeners.