At a certain point in all of our soil preparation, we will have an opportunity to cross the line into the planting. Sometimes the opportunity is obvious, while at other times it’s implicit. Some say that Christian outreach should be limited to community service and acts of kindness, but the ministry, teachings, and example of Christ, as evidenced by John 4, indicate the contrary. Christ continually sought opportunities to interrupt people’s lives with the spiritual realities of the kingdom of God. Christ’s approach will be revisited in the inVite section.
When one-to-one opportunities are not available, the usage of tracts is quite effective. As the preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “When preaching and private talk are not available, you have a tract ready. . . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a telling, touching gospel tract may often be the seed of eternal life; therefore, do not go out without your tracts” (The Soul Winner, 141).
Tracts and spiritual literature should contain the clear gospel message, the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16). In the parable of the sower, the seed is the Word of God; therefore, good tracts should contain Scripture. These messengers can go where we cannot go; they can be read at different times when we cannot speak. God has used the form of gospel literature on countless occasions to bring the most random of people to a genuine relationship with Christ.
In many ways, it is also the perfect instrument for the introvert. While extroverts might enjoy the verbal interaction of sharing their testimony, introverts can find creative and sensible ways to distribute tracts. Sadly, many Christians today mock this method and its efficiency. While discussions to increase the effectiveness of the method should be welcomed, mockers ought to evaluate where their criticism comes from. After all, aren’t they mocking just another form of the expansion of the gospel, the kingdom of God, the three angels’ messages, the good news, salvation for humanity, the message of Jesus?
Numerous accounts have been gathered of individuals being turned heavenward after reading a tract. Some threw away the tract only for it to be picked up by disposal services personnel who read it and began their journey to conversion. Others walked far enough away from those distributing the tract to read it privately later. There are also those who fill balloons full of tracts and launch them across international borders to reach “closed” countries in the world. Missionaries drop these seeds from planes across the hills and valleys of some countries to win those native to those lands or even guerrilla fighters in hiding! Others stand in the central nexuses of urban concrete jungles to distribute tracts in highly populated areas. Who can tell the effects of these seeds until the very end of time?