Literature Evangelism

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by John of Japan, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I believe that literature evangelism is completely Biblical and even necessary. My justification for that view is in John 20:30-31--" 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

    So this thread will be about literature evangelism, telling both how to do it and how not to do it. For the purpose of this thread I will define literature evangelism as any method of presenting the Gospel through the written word: tracts (no, they are not "tracks"), pamphlets, books, signs, the Internet, etc.

    Please discuss your favorite ways of giving out tracts and pamphlets, and how you do Internet evangelism if you do it, and maybe how not to do literature evangelism.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I want to start the ball rolling here.

    Here is a link on one way of doing literature evangelism that is simply unethical, and may even turn people against Christ: http://www.techinsider.io/20-tip-bible-pamphlet-2015-12

    For crying out loud, if you are going to use this deceptive tract to reach a waiter or waitress, at least leave a substantial tip!!!

    And there is the positive aspect: if you do leave a tract for a server, leave an above average tip. That will make the server much more likely to read the tract. We always leave at least a 20% tip (my wife gets the credit--I'm more stingy). Servers deserve it; they do a difficult job for unthankful and sometimes even nasty people, and get a very low wage, because the tip is part of their salary.
     
  3. Kevin

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    If I saw that happen, I would hope I would have the guts to either grab the fake money, or probably a better thing to do would be to leave a real tip if I could. My reasoning is that the person might at least look at it, and not be left with a bad impression of Christians.

    I suppose the money tracts can be used as a effective tool, but not as a replacement for a real tip.
     
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  4. Kevin

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    How many people saw that persons online report too. So it wasn't just the server, but every person that saw that, that is looking for any excuse to slam religion.

    Can you tell I didn't like it?
     
  5. John of Japan

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    I can tell! And I'm absolutely with you on that. It was a terrible testimony from that Christian.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    I am puzzled at your use of scripture here. I am not against literature evangelism but I would like to know are you tying that passage of scripture based solely on "these are written that you might believe"?
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Sure. John wrote things down with the purpose that people would read it and believe. We should do the same, should we not?
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Back in the Fall I gave my Eng. 101 class the assignment of writing a tract. They loved it and rose to the occasion. Here is what I taught them about how to do it.


    Writing a Tract

    INTRODUCTION: Literature evangelism is very Biblical, the prime example of which is the Gospel of John (John 20:30-31). It should never replace direct evangelism, but can be a wonderful tool to win folk to Christ. In addition, tract writing is an essential skill for a foreign missionary. Briefly, here is how to write a Gospel tract.

    I. The Bait
    A. Remember that you are fishing with a pole, not a net. Catch the attention of the “fish.” Christ often used attention-getters (Matt. 21:28, 22:42, John 4:10, etc.
    B. Start with a picture or title which asks for a closer look.
    C. Continue with a discussion about the title that deepens interest.
    D. Your “bait” may be a personal experience or adventure, God’s intervention (healing, tragedy, etc.), something to think about (war, peace, salvation), or a phrase from Scripture like “Prepare to meet thy God.”

    II. The Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-8)
    A. Present the complete Gospel in a way that produces conviction of sin through the Holy Spirit.
    1. Christ died for our sins, as proven by the burial.
    2. The substitutionary atonement is vital.
    3. Christ rose again, as proven by the witnesses.
    4. The resurrection of Christ is also vital. It is what makes the Gospel unique.
    B. This passage emphasizes “according to the Scriptures.” Using Scripture is vital (Rom. 10:17).
    C. The gospel is powerful (Rom. 1:16) and the Bible is powerful (Heb. 4:12).

    III. The Invitation (Rev. 22:17)
    A. There are multiple invitations throughout the Bible: Josh. 24:15, Matt. 4:19, Matt. 11:28-30, Rev. 3:20, etc.
    B. Give an invitation at the end of your tract for the reader to accept Christ as Savior.
    1. It may be simply to write you if the reader accepts Christ.
    2. It may utilize a model prayer, but it should say that the prayer does not save you.
    3. It should say, “Trust Christ right now wherever you are.”
    C. Don’t forget to give an address where you may be contacted.

    CONCLUSION: Every single person here has the ability to write a tract. And when you publish your own tract, it is quite easy to give out! You will be amazed at how God uses your efforts and how souls are saved.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    I have three books on literature evangelism, and all three of them tell of people saved through literature evangelism: Literature Evangelism, by George Verwer; Sowing Gospel Seed, by E. Henry Edwards and Faris Whitesell (Subtitle: The Tract-User's Handbook); Amazing Power of the Gospel in Print, ed. by Viola Walden. This third one is nothing but stories of folks saved through John R. Rice's writings and the Sword of the Lord.

    One error made in writing a tract is to make it too short. The average tract only has a couple of pages of writing, which is insufficient. John R. Rice's tract, "What Must I Do to Be Saved?" is a comparatively long tract, though pocket sized.

    The writer said about this tract, "I think the pamphlet is effective for several reasons. First, it uses many, many Scriptures. Second, it is long enough to deal with problems and answer them. Third, the language is very simple, so simple that children read and understand it. This is one reason it translates easily, missionaries tell me. Fourth, the decision form calls for immediate action and often secures that decision" (Man Sent from God, by Robert Sumner, 2nd ed., p. 161).

    As of 1987, there have been a total of 10,340 people who wrote in to say they were saved through this tract!
     
  10. JonC

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  11. John of Japan

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    Here is an example of one saved through Dr. Rice's tract:

    "Howard H. Smith of Harlingen, Texas, former millionaire cowboy, who threw away a quarter of a million dollars in 1949-1950 in rioutous living, was won to the Lord from acute alcoholism by Evangelist Clifton W. Brannon of Longview, Texas. Mr. Smith had come to hear Evangelist Brannon preach. They were later introduced. Mr. Brannon dealt with him personally without a decision; then he handed him one of Dr. Rice's pamphlets on What Must I Do to Be Saved? Howell promised to read it before retiring. He did, and the next day confessed Christ.

    "Now Mr. Smith is witnessing for the Lord all over the Southwest. Everywhere he goes he tells publicly how Dr. Rice's What Must I Do to Be Saved? explained clearly what Evangelist Brannon had said to him." (Amazing Power of the Gospel in Print, p. 65).
     
  12. John of Japan

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  13. John of Japan

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    Here are some times when handing someone a tract would be appropriate:

    1. When you just have a few seconds of their time.
    2. When you don't want to interfere with their work (waitress, checkout line, etc.)
    3. As a bridge to a full presentation of the Gospel.
    4. In a letter. When you visit someone and they are not home.
    5. When you visit someone and want to give the name and address of your church.
    6. When you are on a bus, train or plane--just something for them to read on the trip, which may open up the door for presenting the Gospel verbally.
    7. In street evangelism, hoping they will want to stop and talk.
    8. When you are feeling shy but the Lord wants you to witness anyway.

    Anything to add?
     
  14. Martin Marprelate

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    Tracts are great, and are an excellent way of spreading the Gospel. Nothing that I'm going to say conflicts with that.

    As a Gideon I tend to give away copies of the New Testament. The downside is that they are more expensive than a tract, but the plus is that they are much less likely to be thrown away. The British Gideon N.T.s are much smarter than the U.S. ones IMO and people do keep them even if they don't read them straightaway. At the front of the N.T. there is a 'where to find help when' section- a sort of topical concordance- and whatever else I do when I witness to people, I always show them this section. Maybe months or even years later, something will go wrong in that person's life and he will remember that Testament, look it out and read it.

    At the back of the Testament, there are some appropriate Bible verses, a 'sinner's prayer' and a place to sign one's name. I am always a bit anxious in case people think that signing their names makes them Christians, but if one gets the opportunity, the back page is a useful help in leading folk to Christ.

    Often I put a tract inside the N.T. Then I've covered all the bases :)

    The Gideons receive a constant flow of letters from people who have been saved by reading a Gideon Testament; some in prison, some at college and others who were given one by a Gideon friend or on the street.
     
  15. annsni

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    Wouldn't the "these things are written" pertain to the Scriptures and not extra canonical writings?
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Excellent! I gave out many Japanese-English NTs in Japan printed by the Gideons. In fact, I recently gave one to a Japanese lady here where we live, and she was glad to get it.

    Giving out the Scriptures is a wonderful method of evangelism, and I commend the Gideons highly. Just this year our new Japanese translation of "John and Romans" was sent to Japan (about 86,000), and they are currently being passed out around the country.
     
  17. Jordan Kurecki

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    Your missing the point, the point is that the Gospel of John basically is a Gospel tract.

    It just shows that God uses things that are written to influence people.
     
  18. Jordan Kurecki

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    BTW, John i completely appreciate this thread and think it was needed.

    Thumbs up for Gospel Tracts.
     
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  19. annsni

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    I do agree that God uses things that are written to influence people but I'd put tracts as we see them today and the Gospel of John as kind of two different categories. It is the difference between someone handing someone a New Testament and someone handing someone a Chick tract. ;)
     
  20. John of Japan

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    There certainly are some major differences, since John is (a) Scripture and (b) much longer than the average tract. However, John would count as a tract in the usual meaning of the word, which is: "a short piece of writing, esp. on a religious or political subject, that is intended to influence people's opinions" (from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/tract).
     

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