How effective are tracts?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by SaggyWoman, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    Do you see a lot of results from tracts? I know it is "a" method, but is it as an effective method anymore, as opposed to a good website?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I have not seen any results from tracts. But then again, my pastor preaches twice on Sunday with little or no invitation response many times.

    I don't think we can ever know the answer to the OP question. But let's not stop distributing them. God is not boxed in. The word of God does not return to Him voice.

    We are commanded to carry the gospel, even if no one is saved.
     
  3. annsni

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    I know of one story where a young woman was sitting on the beach really questioning life and God when someone walked up to her and spoke to her briefly before leaving a tract with her. A few years later, she was in a college class and a young man befriended her and invited her to our college group that Friday night. She came because she wanted to ask us some questions about the tract. She told us that night about the night on the beach and how she's been searching for the Lord for years. She actually still had the tract in her purse and she pulled it out to show us. We turned it over and saw not only the name of our church on it, but the name of the man who had given it to her. He was one of our pastors and the father of the young man who invited this girl to college group!! It was so cool!! She came to the Lord the following week and has continued attending our church, growing in the Lord, ministering to the young teen girls and is now married to the drummer in DH's worship team and has a little boy.

    So a tract really DID make a difference.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Tracts are no more effective than the person using them.

    Some tracts are better than others. We need to remember that being trite and cutting never work with people. I find that (at least for me) personal stories of strong Christians, well done and timely tracts about God's hope for the world are the best. I rarely use them (I prefer to dialogue with someone) but when I do I try to use them to supplement for future reading.

    There are some tracts that should never be used. They are insulting and a dangerously trite representation of Christianity.
     
  5. annsni

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    I agree. I think the tract that this young woman had was the Four Spiritual Laws.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    In a few minutes I will leave this morning to go pick up Habazaki San, and he and I will get out tracts door-to-door. Here in Japan you are allowed to put things in mailboxes. Some years ago Mr. Habazaki got my tract in his mailbox, and wrote me a post card with four Chinese characters meaning, "I want to join your teaching." I visited him and led him to Christ!

    In our sister church across town is a couple, both with mental problems. The Mrs. got a tract I had written and became interested in the Lord through it, and started going to church. Her husband then joined her and they both got saved. They still have deep problems, but are growing in the Lord.

    A close missionary friend was sitting on the campus at Berkely U. when a student came up to him and said, "Have you ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?" Being bored, he said "No," and the student had soon led him to Christ using that tract.

    So tracts can be used to (1) get the Gospel out directly, (2) arouse interest in your church, and (3) as a witnessing tool.
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Very true and well said.

    When I write a tract, here is what I strive for:

    (1) Interesting bait, something that will make the person want to read the tract. An evangelist friend used to have a tract that looked like a folded $100 bill, and would lay it on the floor in a store just to see what would happen! (I don't necessarily recommend this!) People would cover it with their foot, looking around casually. Once two women bumped heads grabbing for it! Here in Japan, I write tracts that have the term "Japanese" in the title, since these folk love to read about and debate what it means to be a Japanese!

    (2) The complete Gospel, clearly stated. This includes (1 Cor. 15:1-8) Christ's death for our sins and His resurrection (often left out).

    (3) A clear invitation, asking the reader to accept Christ as Savior.
     
  8. Alive in Christ

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    Tracts were beneficial for me back when I was lost and under conviction.

    In addition, I have heard many testimonies through the years from many people who were positively influenced by tracts.

    The truth in printed form.

    They worked in the past, they still work, and they will continue to work.

    Praise God!
     
  9. Alcott

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    I don't have any first-hand stories of the 'success' of using tracts, but I have heard plenty of stories of their inappropriate use... such as, dropping them in kids' halloween bags instead of (maybe in addition to) candy or treats, and placing them on the table in a restaurant instead of a tip. And a long time ago I heard a Church of Christ preacher on radio talking about one he found placed on his car. He went over the basic info-- "you are not perfect, so you're a sinner in need of salvation"-- "you cannot save yourself"-- "you must have a savior, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God"-- if you wish to be saved, say this prayer: '........'" You can imagine how he tore into that last part: "Show me one verse of scripture that says you get saved by saying a prayer somebody wrote in a little booklet..."

    Tracts may have their use, but be careful where and to whom they are given; and give anyone what they are due, tract or not.
     
  10. Alive in Christ

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    Praying that prayer and meaning it could very well get a lost person born again and given the gift of eternal life.
     
  11. exscentric

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    Tracts are very ineffective overall but suppose you were the one that was saved by one of those ineffective buggers. Bet you would be thankful for them.

    I've found that they get read when attached to a helping hand. Back in years of yore I used to stop and help people on the road with car trouble. Often when we were driving off they were still reading :thumbs: One midnight we stopped and got a guys car running and as we went back up the ramp to the freeway he was holding it up to the dome light reading.

    God knows the effectiveness, we probably do not.
     
  12. JTornado1

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    I use tracts on a regular basis. I like to use ones that are attractive and catch one's attention and in a translation that's easy to understand, such as the NIV or the NLT. It has to have the Gospel message about how to be saved. :jesus:
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    It is most certainly not a given that tracts are largely ineffective.
     
  14. Alcott

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    Then is it an ungiven that they are smally effective?
     
  15. webdog

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    My pastor was saved in part to a tract given to him while hiking Europe. That's one person I know that was saved indirectly with a tract as the tool.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
     
  17. JTornado1

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  18. TheBibleSender

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  19. Spinach

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    I have heard testimonies of salvations by tracts, so I wouldn't say they are ineffective. However, I am not sold out for them because I am not for easy-believism.

    And what about the illiterate?
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Why would tracts be easy-believeism? :confused: The doctrine of a tract is no better or worse than that of the person who wrote it. Having said that, I suggest that longer tracts are better, since they can have a more complete discussion of salvation. To me, the first tract of all is the Gospel of John, since it was written specifically for people to believe in Christ.

    One of the most used tracts of all time is John R. Rice's "What Must I Do to be Saved?" It was originally a sermon, and is 23 pages long. It has been translated into something like 40 languages and distributed around the world in the tens of millions. Many thousands of people have written to say they have trusted Christ as Savior through this tract.

    One good thing about a tract is that it opens the door to witness for Christ. I once sat on a train here in Hokkaido next to a Japanese man and offered him a tract, a lengthy one with pictures about the life of Christ. He said, "I'm illiterate." But the very fact that he still took the tract opened the door for me to witness about it's contents. As it turned out, he was a yakuza gangster involved in the "water trade" (a euphemism for a certain wicked business). He didn't trust Christ that day, but I believe the seed was planted.
     

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