Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I have a mission given me by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15)

Now, there are many ways to "preach" and every Christian has his/her ideas about how to do it. I prefer to establish relationships with people, and eventually get to the point where I can share my faith. Sometimes this sharing happens in small, tiny moments of conversation and sometimes God blesses me with a huge window of opportunity during a long talk.

Some can confront people with the truth of the gospel in a matter of fact way on a street corner or doughnut shop.

Some leave tracts in strategic places or pass them out to strangers.

I think God uses each of these methods in wondrous way to prick the hearts of a seeking non-believer. I do wonder sometimes though, if some of our efforts are in vain?

I have a thing about tracts. I think there is a proper way to use them, and an improper way. To me, a tract should be used as a "springboard" to a conversation. It should not be left on the floor! Have you seen those tracts that are made to look like a $10 bill? A person reaches down thinking "jackpot!" and suddenly realizes they've been duped. How is that effective? It gets tossed aside, that's all.

I sometimes find tracts scattered throughout my store. I find them laying in browsers, placed on the counters, some even on the floor. Frankly, it makes me angry because to me, those tracts are litter! It's more trash that I have to go around and pick up! How is that effective? It's poor stewardship of the money spent by the church on the tract, and it's litter! It's disrespectful of a place of business!

Now, do I believe God can use that $10 fake bill, or the tracts littering my store on occasion to prick the heart of the non-believer? Yes, but is this what Jesus had in mind when he said "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation"? I think He meant what He said...he said "GO! PREACH!" Not, go leave tracts in hopes that someone will find it and get saved! I think dropping tracts all around is cowardly, and people use this way of "preaching the Good News" to ease their own conscience. Somehow it makes some people feel like they are following the command to go and preach, or to be a witness.

I do carry a couple of tracts in my purse. I keep them there mostly for me to use as reference when it's time to point someone to Christ. I have given one away to a person who came to me asking questions about my faith and used it as a conversation starter. There are times to leave tracts with people because they can spark questions and that can lead to conversation and open doors of opportunity to share the Gospel. Giving tracts to people can also help one "measure" where a person is in their spiritual journey. If they toss the tract aside, that person probably does not have an open heart at that time to receive the Good News. If that person reads it and shows an interest by asking questions, that may be a heart that is ready to hear.

When I first met Katie, she used to have "thank you for your service" tracts to leave with a tip for the server. It was set up like a card and included a thank you, the Roman Road illustration, and a place Katie could leave her name and phone number, in case the server wanted to ask questions or talk. It was a simple tract with a more personalized touch. We haven't been able to find a tract quite like it, but in my search recently I came upon Jesus Tips.

I like the idea of the Tract being the form of an envelope in which to place the tip money. On the outside flap there is room enough to put the server's name on it. I think that is a great idea to personalize the tip! It's also a good idea to leave a decent tip too, if you are wanting the server to pay any attention to the "tips" on the envelope!

The "tips" are interesting, for example:

#1 Asking Jesus into your heart is not the way to be saved.


#5 Only those who hate their life every day are true Christians.

What do you think? You can see all of the "tips" HERE.

When I first read the tips, I was puzzled. Then I thought about it for a moment and considered the fact, that in the "Bible Belt" where I live, many people profess to be "Christians". I hear people, who I see to be people living in direct contrast to Biblical principles say things like "I asked Jesus into my heart when I was such and such age", or "I was saved when I went to camp one summer".

Each of the "tips" on this tract has a bible verse to complement it:

#1 Asking Jesus into your heart is not the way to be saved.

Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

So, I see the point of the "tip", pointing out that there is cost involved in serving Christ. It is more than simply asking Jesus into your heart. It is asking, and also receiving and committing to abide in Him.

I can justify the "tips" on this tract, but they seem to me like their purpose is really to "debunk" popular myths people may have about Christians in general. I'm not sure they really stress the importance of understanding that:

  1. God LOVES you and offers a wonderful PLAN for your life.

  2. Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life.

  3. Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.

  4. We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

There is a list of seven tips, after which there is a statement to the reader "to discover Jesus Christ's terms of peace ask for the FREE book Even the Demons Believe" and directs them to . I can't comment on the book because I haven't read it, so I ordered a free copy. I just want to make sure it is sound doctrine before I "advertise" it.

Any thoughts on tracts in general? Do you use them? If so, how? If not, why not? Have you ever been influenced by what you read on a tract? I'm really curious to know your thoughts on these "Jesus Tips" tracts I've found, so leave a comment and share your opinion!

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