Baby Steps -- Tract Selection
We need to select tracts on the basis of doctrinal correctness and appealing format. I recommend a careful study of the tract's doctrinal content. This is important because as sure as there is one thing in the tract that you disagree with, your prospect will notice it and make an issue of it. Not only is this embarrassing, such inconsistencies undermine your witness by making you look insincere. So I advise a careful review of the tracts' doctrinal content, including quotes and references before you select and distribute them.
I also recommend using comic strip tracts for initial contacts. We need to realize that the audio-visual media has influenced people's perceptions and attention span, Whether we like it or not, we have to adapt our witness to be more effective. Comic strip formats are an inexpensive, easily accessible method of having the modern media impact that many people are used to. Comic strip tracts have the literary appeal of books and newspapers, as well as the visual appeal of TV and movies. I see comic strip tracts as printed versions of parables. Becky Pippert said that seminaries teach ministers to answer questions and preach sermons, while Jesus asked questions and told stories. Not to discount Jesus' sermons, but people do remember His parables more than His speeches, which He filled with stories and imagery. Also a tract's witness continues beyond a speaker's words.
Comic strip tracts are also cost effective. I've seen Christians witness by giving away books. This is good, but comic strip tracts are less expensive and can reach more people. One book may cost $16.00. But that will reach one person, who may or may not read the book, may or may not be influenced by it, and may or may not get saved, and may or may not witness. But for $16.00, you can buy one hundred tracts and reach one hundred people. Once you reach someone who shows an interest, then you can share text pamphlets and books.
Some people go to the other extreme, using text only tracts that are both less expensive and less effective than "Christian funny books." Some have a good message. Sadly, I usually pick them up off the ground or out of trash cans. How useful are they if they aren't read? Tracts should make converts, not litter.
At the end of this article I will present a list of comic strip tract sites I have found doctrinally correct and widely accepted. As I mentioned above, it is important to thoroughly know the tracts you use. It is also important to use a variety of tracts. Some Christians fall into a rut, sticking with a handful of their "old favorites." A variety of tracts allows us to present the gospel in many ways. A tract that we may not consider especially good may have a great impact on someone else. Now I admit I have my own list of "old favorites," but I also add new ones too. I start at the top of the list and go down alphabetically. Sometimes I jump ahead if I see a tract on a current important subject. This list, of course, will vary with each tract publisher. As time goes on, I will add to the list of tract publishers. But do not wait on me. Google up "comic strip gospel tracts" and go exploring!
The following web sites provide comic strip gospel tracts and/or comic formatted publications:
10) Ron Wheeler a) www.cartoonworks.com/cotd
Next I will look at tract preparation.
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