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How to Use Tracts

Obeying the Great Commission

Handing out tracts in Kampala, Uganda

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting!" Psalm 126:5 AMP

He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,

shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6 AMP

What does the tract contain?
The specifics of how to know Jesus personally is what I like to share. I can't think of another reason to be out there.
God promised to honor his Word. Is his Word in the tract?

What do you want to communicate?
I say, "This is a booklet that explains how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
It is gentle and direct enough for the Holy Spirit to honor and indicates no presumptions about the person.
I have no problem saying it because it is true. People seem to understand it right away.

Is it in a form that you feel comfortable with?
Some people love cartoon-like tracts. Some people like tracts with numbered lists of items, or stories, or poems.
What do you like? Will it be attractive to your target audience? It's not wrong to experiment within reason.

What would you like to have someone communicate to you?
Would you like it if someone handed this tract to you? How would you feel?
Did you know very few people throw them away? If they do, go pick them up.
If they are in good condition, give them out to someone else later. If not, take them home to remind you to pray for those persons.
If someone rejects the tract, put in on the bottom of the pile and put a new tract in your hand.
Why? People don't like things other people reject. It's human nature.

How are you delivering the tract?
I don't like windshields on cars in parking lots because it's too easy for a person to imagine the worst about the person leaving it. I like to give it in person. That way a person can look me over. Finding nothing strange he or she may give more attention to the tract.

What do you want to accomplish?
Decide ahead of time what your goal is and what is possible and proper for the setting.

You may want to go over the full Four Spiritual Laws with a person, but do they have the time and thus the attention to focus? Would you have the time?

At one time I went through the Four Spiritual Laws completely with each person. Then I was fortunate to explain briefly what was inside before the person had to catch up with others. Now if I can just point to the website and the toll free number on the back side, explain what they are, turn it over and say, "This is something for you to take a look at in a quiet moment," I feel fortunate. It's no one's fault that we're all so busy. People appreciate that you are letting them go right away. They don't feel cornered or trapped and usually say, "Thank you!"

Who are you there for?
You should be out there to share something wonderful with others who don't know, just as you didn't know.
If you are out there to make your views known or to gain acceptance with God, skip it.
We are to make Jesus known, to lift him up, so that he may draw people to himself. We do that out of gratitude for what he has done for us.

Are you purposed in your heart to do this?
Are you doing it because you think it's a good idea, someone else told you to, or you feel inside of you that you want to do it? This is not a deep question, just answer yes or no; you purpose to do it in your heart.

I generally find that every time I reach out, I'm very glad I did it. Since I know this, it doesn't take too much for me to purpose in my heart to hand out tracts.
There have only been a couple times when I felt the Lord telling me not to.

Once was in Turkey where there was an argument because we'd been waiting in line to get on a ferry and they let others get on the ferry ahead of us. I think the fact that there had been an argument was the reason not to witness. There was strife, not unity. The moment we got on the next ferry, I was free to share again.

I stopped myself finally from handing out tracts in Salt Lake City during the Olympics. The newspapers had done such a job educating the readers who they thought we were that there was open mocking on the streets. I stopped because the intended goal was not being reached. There was a singer who sang on a balcony and the Holy Spirit was working, softening hearts, so I handed out more tracts but she left. It got so bad that I stopped again because I didn't want people to have this memory of rejecting the Word of God and I didn't want the Lord to hold the way they treated me against them. I went up to the Temple area and held up a sign with my website on it,, as the church officials were leaving for the weekend. They looked but said nothing, no scowls, and I said nothing also. A man came and stood next to me and said, "Don't worry; your website is easy to remember."

Are you ready not to get into meaningless discussions?
I may seem weak, but I don't answer everything.
Someone may come and tell me the real day that we should worship. This is not why I'm out there, so I listen intently and say nothing.

Sometimes people say they know I am a woman pastor. I say, "Nope." They persist because if I say I am, they will then discuss that with me, usually in the negative. I am really not a pastor. If I say anything, I say, "I'm out here because I was baptized and commanded to witness and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20 AMP).

Luke 14:22-23 AMP emphasizes that there is still room so we are commanded to go out into the highways and along the hedges to make the invitation known.

Are you ready not to know answers?
One time a man asked me if dogs go to heaven. I thought about it, I thought about major themes like creation, the fall, redemption. I could not think of dogs being included or excluded specifically. So I answered, "I'm not sure scripture addresses that, I don't know." I thought he would be upset but he went away happy.

The circuit-riding Methodist preachers in America inspired by John Wesley would take new converts on horseback to the next town, instructing them along the way. The new convert would preach in the next town.

I taught an hour about circuit riding preachers at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as part of a required course. I told my professor at the beginning of the semester that I would need my horse or I would not be able to do it. I said you must run around the classroom three times lifting up your arms neighing like a horse. I was known for things like this. When the time came to present my research as a speech, I said, "I need my horse." My professor jumped up and ran around the room lifting his hands up and neighed like a horse! You think lucky for me. I think, no, lucky for them. They got to hear my speech.

I want to add that circuit-riding preachers would ride up to cabins in the wilderness and share the Gospel. They would also ride into towns and one went right into the saloon. A woman came up and asked him if he would like to dance. He said yes. As the entire group was laughing thinking they were leading the preacher astray, he grabbed the woman's wrist and pulled her down to the floor and said, "Before I do anything, I always pray first." By the time he was done praying, the entire saloon turned to Christ! I add my story and this story to show that you have to be willing to do what it takes to get the job done. You need to develop a pioneer spirit and be who God meant you to be, not be someone you saw on TV. Part of my calling is to multiply my efforts on earth through you who are willing. I release you to be who you are in Christ to go where few have gone to reach the many who otherwise will have an unfortunate eternity if you do not go out. Just start. Ask God to help you. He can do more than I can for you!

Who was Cain's wife? I have no idea. But I do know Jesus died for me and I do know he died for you. That's the simple message I came out here to proclaim.

(Check the ages of those in Genesis at which they died. Adam died at 930.There was plenty of time for more offspring than listed by name in the biblical record. There are many he could have married. If this upsets you that not all descendents of Adam were listed, look at John 21:25 AMP

Are you ready for ridicule?
Ah ridicule! It is probably just a question. And the question is, "Are you for real? Will you reject me? Do you have what it takes to deal with me?"

If you can hold on and not feel personally threatened, a person might pour their heart out to you shortly.

The meanest person I ever met was angry just because he saw me. He gave me all his angry questions, "If there really is a God, why is there all this evil?" He wasn't going to stick around to discuss them; he just wanted to lay them on me.

As he left I said, "Keep asking, God loves your questions, and he has answers." I could only think that maybe it might help him ask someone without walking away.

Is it OK with you to not know what's going on?
You might pass out tracts your whole life and not know the outcome of any of them. Are you content to be faithful in sowing? (Psalm 126:5 AMP)

It's fine with me if tracts go home and sit on a shelf and gather dust. I know at the right moment the right person will pick it up and the Holy Spirit will go right into action honoring God's Word.

Is it OK with you that people act very strangely?
My rule is that each person sets the communication level. I say hello once. If they don't respond, I just sit or stand quietly. If they are loud and abusive, I let them. I only care that we are interacting, that they are taking whatever step they feel comfortable with. Being loud and mocking while asking questions and looking at the material to me means they are moving a step towards God. They may just want to feel safe and make you keep a distance while they are doing it.

A man came one evening and picked up the Hebrew Four Laws. He read a page, looked around, read another page. When he was done, he stood there a while and then left. I think he was tailing someone. I think he spoke Hebrew and just learned about what Jesus has to offer while doing his job. Then he left. Did it bother me that he ignored me? Not in the slightest! He was the only person I ever saw read the entire Four Spiritual Laws in Hebrew in front of me!

One time I was depositing a letter into a US mail box next to a bus stop. A woman handed me a tract from what we would consider a cult. I took it and reached out to her to give her a tract. Suddenly, she acted as if she were blind now sitting on a bench. I ended up laying down on the side walk and looking up under her sun glasses to her eyes as I continued to hand her the tract. She took it. I know it was force of personality but it was also the Lord. She set the communication level.

Some mechanics of handing out tracts
Jews for Jesus has "broadsides." Their goal is that every one who passes on the street takes one. You stand on the side walk and make eye contact with each person while handing them a broadside, never taking your hand or eye away until they take it. The broadside is usually a cartoon presentation of a timely event such as one at tax return time. The theme quickly turns to the spiritual and makes one simple point. A contact name, address and phone number is provided. They really want to reach fellow Jews, but they realize they will also minister to Gentiles (you and me). They aim to make Jesus the "unavoidable issue" for Jews around the world. That's why they hand out as many as they can.

Some people put tracts in bills (it might take longer for them to process, so mail early!).

I put them in with other documents offered to the public such as sweepstakes entry forms.

I put them anywhere I think someone will eventually find them. In magazines in waiting rooms, in furniture where small ones crawl around, by phones, on top of lockers.

If I have a tract with a movie theme, I will leave it on the towel rack in the movie theater rest room.

Sometimes I ask the person next to me on a bus which tract they like and they select one. I've never had anyone say, "None!" If they did I would answer, "I'll have to carry more and more variety in the future."

In Atlanta at the Olympics, I asked the person next to me, "Do you operate a jack hammer for a living?" He was quite surprised and said yes. I gave him one of an earthquake saying he's used to being all shook up. He thanked me and assured me he would read it at home. I think the Lord helped me on that one.

If I see a store clerk I say, "Do you speak xxx language?" If they say yes, I come back on another day with a tract in that language. I say the language name and they say yes and I hand it to them and leave. If they act nervous and trapped, I leave right away as if that's all I wanted was to give it to them. If I have anything else to give them, I hand that over right away. A baseball cap in their language is hard to refuse. If I have it, it's theirs! BTW (by the way), the question that never offends is, "Do you speak a language other than English?" If they tell you the names of 6 languages, ask which is your heart language or which one did you and your family speak to each other?

When telemarketers call, if I've been nice, I say, "I have a website!" They usually get a pencil and ask me what it is.

When I call just about any business, I ask at the end of the call, can I tell you the name of my website? Occassionally, they mix it up with email address and say no. Sometimes they immediately look it up, other times they say I'll have to wait until my lunch break. Sometimes, when the person has discretionary time, they will even tell me they are mad at God or something like that. I direct them to my The Problem of Evil page.

One time I was put on hold and I felt the Lord had a word for the man. When he came back I explained it and asked would it be ok to share the word? Yes. He got all excited and said he was going to tell his wife.

I called the IRS to order tax forms and the man said, "The number of the first form?" I read it to him. "The number of the next form?" And on we went. When I had gotten all my forms and he said, "The number of the next form?" I answered, "My website is!" He burst out laughing and said he'd look at it.

I've also had dry answers, "Is there anything else I may do for you today?" as if they want me to go away.

A word about the unseen...
You have an enemy. He is the one who wanted to become like God. (Isaiah 14:12-15 AMP)
You remind him of God, and you are trying to lead others to God, so he hates you.
He will interfere if he can. He will play on your emotions, shortcomings, and other people's feelings (maybe you remind a person you meet of someone else not much liked). He has one goal and that is to get you to STOP LIFTING UP JESUS!

Like an announcer at a boxing match, now hear the words, "And in the Other Corner, is God, all his angels, and the saints of God who see what you are doing and are praying for you, thanking God for you!" I have a word from God for you..."you never have to stop!"

I was feeling very nervous at Valley Fair Mall due to several unsettling things happening close together in time. I did not know it, but in Westgate Mall a young man was handing out tracts and God told him to go to Valley Fair Mall. He quickly found me and saw I was upset. He told me the Lord had sent him over and he prayed with me and I calmed down. He said he saw a very big angel standing behind me. On another night I felt just the touch of a hand on my hair as I sat in the Mall. I have come to understand angels are with me because I am on Kingdom business.

I also ask God when I start, "God, help me to start, make the first person really easy." Almost always someone says, "Jesus Is Lord! That's so wonderful, honey." Then I'm all set and I know God is with me. He is with you. You are not out there selling ice cream. You are an ambassador for the King of Kings!

Don't assume people in authority are against you. I asked a military type once, "Is there a better place to stand than this?" He answered, "No, all the cars have to come past you here." It seemed to delight him. If they don't agree with you, there are laws. I like to check it all out first so I can say names, job titles, dates, conversations, agreements, if necessary.

A word about the promise of God
I have a promise on my life. That promise is, "For every one who rejects you, one hundred will listen."
I don't see any reason why you can't ask God for that to be true for you.

My best suggestion is, be friendly, listen to what people say and really respond to it and what is in the heart behind it. The world can be a cold place. Be the bright spot in someone's day, and then be the bright spot in the next person's day. Be the nicest tract hander-outer you can be and don't worry. You're doing just fine.

Be safe
Determine what to you is moving in safety. We've all seen pictures of beekeepers covered with bees. To me that is not moving in safety although the evidence exists that it is safe for some people to be covered with bees. What is safe for you?

Do you have the faith to go under bridges at night to reach the homeless? If you don't, go with someone who does or don't go under bridges at night to reach the homeless until you do. There are times and places to reach out.

If you just came out of a situation that was detrimental to you, don't go back into that same situation right away! Go where you have absolutely no temptation. For instance, if alcohol was a problem to you and some of your social life revolved around drinking with other people, possibly in bars, take a time out. The last thing I want to do is to lay down a law, but stay safe in your reaching out. You can exhibit your concern by talking to the Lord about what you'd like to do and would he please give you wisdom as to what to do and where to go.

Don't stop
People who say they love Jesus may tell you to stop handing out tracts, that it's bad because you don't know the person and other people have hurt that person while handing out tracts. I even heard it said that people have marks on their bodies because of all the tracts they've been hit with. I'm strong but I feel the power of their humiliation of who I am. So I ask the Lord what is his answer to this advice? I believe his counsel is that it is he who empowers me to witness without making a mark of insensitivity and hurt. It is he who caused Jeremiah to record "Is not My word like fire?" declares the Lord, "and like a hammer which shatters a rock?" (Jeremiah 23:29 AMP. God can get through to those through his word and maybe he wants to leave a mark, the shattering of a hard and stony heart into one who knows him through the Great Physician's hammer of love. Tracts may be paper pages stapled together, but the Word is from God and he means the most wonderful business in the world with it. And if I meet strangers well and love them and help make a proper introduction to the One who loves them so, why should I stop?

One more note: a pastor may tell you not to hand out tracts. Go directly to God and ask him about this. You know the drill. We must obey God rather than man. (Acts 5:29 AMP) You can also ask your pastor to go out with you and give feedback. He or she might see you are right. Tracts contain the Word of God in short form just as a message spoken from a pulpit. People who would never go to hear the Word in the pulpit might be glad for the Word in tract form.

I'm going to repeat this because this one is tough. It's called friendly fire.

You may even find a pastor tell you tracts don't work, this other method works. You may feel a lot of pain. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to confirm whether you should be handing out tracts. Then go hand them out again. If God puts it in your heart to hand out tracts and you stop because someone told you to stop, personally, I don't want to show up before God and try and explain why I stopped. How does the other person know tracts don't work? And if that person speaks from the pulpit, that's a one-way communication. There are probably many ways to share the Gospel including sending tracts inside a balloon over a hostile country border. Only you and the Holy Spirit know what he is asking you to do. Even if 95% of the people a pastor sees come to Jesus through friendship, she or he does not see that 95% of the rest come to God through a tract ministry. I'm making these numbers up. A pastor is not God is my point. Only God can tell you what to do and only you can obey. This just happened to me again, and I told the Lord talking loudly, Lord, I'm going to stop for one day because I'm hurting, but one day only. I almost felt as if I was shaking the dust off my sandals and going to another town. I went back to that church the next day and found he was quite open to my website. It was his underlings who spoke against tracts. I decided that based on their young age and inexperience, I would say nothing and allow them to change naturally. But the next time I"m in that town, I'm going to do exactly what I feel God showed me to do this year. I just won't let them know I'm there. I'm a strong believer in greeting the saints in an area as Paul did, (Acts 20:13-28 AMP) but sometimes they suspect your motives because they don't know you.

This is a quote from the Jesus Film Project bulletin mailed to donors following Dr. Bill Bright's death in July, 2003:
"Many years ago Dr. Bright was in his office reviewing the summary of 10,000 National Collegiate Religious surveys. One of the questions was, "In your opinion, how does one become a Christian?" He was stunned when he saw that 95% did not know how, and that the same percentage wanted to increase their faith. He put his head down on the desk and with increasing emotion said, 'They don't know how. They don't know how! They don't know how!!' He sobbed for many minutes. I felt like I was standing on 'holy ground'...and I was." All his Christian life his heart for the lost never wavered." This was written by Paul Eshleman of the Jesus Film Project about the man who wrote the Four Spiritual Laws, the tract that very clearly shows how to personally come to know Jesus Christ.

What are your suggestions?
Do you love to leave tracts on windshields? Why?
Add to this page, disagree with me, and let's have some variety!
I tried handing tracts out on the water. Then I realized people would just worry about their boat getting dinged up.
Once I encouraged someone to hand tracts to firemen. Oops! Paper burns, they couldn't have them! You learn!
I think we should try just about anything. That's what inventors do!

I need tracts right now! (You can send the URL, the, via email if the tracts are online)

Bilingual Four Spiritual Laws to read with a friend in that person's heart language

Easter outreach for children but can be used year around. Easter-Outreach-Party-Manual-1.pdf

Other resources below Know God Personally

Order free Gospel coins in 132 presentations in 106 languages! ... The PDF order form uploads/2015/06/CoinOrderFormPDF-May2015.pdf

Ray Comfort, low-cost tracts, audio-video resources, and blog

World Missionary Press

Chick Tracts complete list!
People actually read them!

Gospel Tract Society

Gospel Tract Society P.O. Box 1118, Independence, MO - send a donation (or not), ask for tract samples.
Spanish tracts are available. Here is a sample tract that arrived November 2003.

Free Houses tract from Gospel Tract Society 
This is a really wonderful tract if you've never handed out tracts before The white area is the perfect place for a return phone number or web site or both. I use:
CBN: 1 800 700 7000

Office Max makes stamps while you wait for about $20
and is easy to deal with

A man may go to Heaven without health, wealth, fame, a great name, learning, big earnings, culture, beauty, friends and ten thousand other things but he can never go to Heaven without Christ!

Please note I have stamped this tract so you can see where I put the web site name although did not create or produce the tract; the tract has been stamped using an Office Max stamp after ordering it from Gospel Tract Society.
(Gospel Tract Society now offers this tract content in blue with extra space to stamp several websites)

It seems that most people believe they are going to heaven although their reasons differ. When I give a person this tract after getting to know them, they usually read the whole tract right away since it is so short. I've told them this is my web site. They usually ask me, "Where is the web site?" So I show them. They usually say, "Thanks!" and put it in their wallet (it is just slightly larger than a credit card). When they get a chance they can look up the site and continue although I may never see them again. They now have a place to go investigate the claims of Jesus Christ and can make a commitment when they are ready (which sometimes is right away!)

The resolution below is poor (pilot error). This will need to be fixed. The two tracts are still here in case they can bless you.

A Country Called Heaven
Tract availability changes so this particular one may not be available now.

A Country Called Heaven A very wonderful place Both like and unlike what 
we experience now on earth Jesus has gone on ahead 
to prepare a place for us if we want to be with him

The Roman Road of Salvation

The Roman Road to God

The Roman Road
You can print this out and speak from it and give it to the person with a N.T.

The Roman Road to Heaven The Book of Romans The Book of Romans The Book of Romans

Last updated 05/10/2017

Background music is: ShoutsOfJoyMedley[1].mid