Parking Lot Witnessing
I find that having step-by-step instructions is always helpful when starting some new activities, even simple ones. It is no different with a task as simple as distributing tracts. I hope these detailed instructions put you at ease and help you effectively begin your tract evangelism ministries.
Carry a supply of bagged tracts with you in your car. I recommend keeping them in a box or bag for safe keeping. Once you park, you can carry the tote bag with you. Or fill your pockets with tracts from the storage box. I also recommend wearing seasonally appropriate clothing like jackets, trousers, shirts, and shorts with large patch pockets to carry tracts. The flaps on patch pockets keep rain or snow out and tracts in your pockets. The bags also protect the tracts from perspiration in warm weather.
The best place to put tracts on cars is on or near where the driver will notice them immediately. No one can tell from an empty parked car how many passengers it carries or where they sit. But every car will have a driver. So the most sensible place to put a tract is in or near the driver's seat, where it will be seen at once. Otherwise, the car driver may not see it until he is underway. Then he might see the tract as an annoyance or irritating distraction and angrily throw it away when he has a chance. Rather, tract should be placed where the driver can see them as he first approaches the car. The best place I have found to put tracts is under the wind shield wiper blade or on the door handle.
Be careful to have as little physical contact with the car as possible. Some people are very particular about their personal property, and we need to respect their feelings. Some Christians have ruined a good witness by trampling across someone's pride and joy -- their yard -- instead of using the sidewalk. Remember, to unsaved people, their car or lawn is more important than the Gospel, so act accordingly. Thus, do not lean over the car or touch it while placing a tract. Do not smudge their wax job or scratch their paint job and then leave your contact information on a tract! Simply lift their wiper blade and put a tract under it. Or roll up a tract and place it in the door handle, title up and bag flaps down.
Eventually our goal is to initiate personal contact with people. Car evangelism opens up an opportunity. As we increase our experience we should feel bolder about telling people. Eventually we will see someone sitting in a car. Take the occasion to approach and personally offer the rider a tract to read. Just say something like, "Good afternoon. I'd like to give you some literature to read." Most people usually accept the offered tract thankfully. Then reply, "Thank you. Have a nice day." Even if they reject your tract, be gracious. "I hope you change your mind. I'd like to see you in Heaven." Hellfire and brimstone threats will not help your witness. Besides, the public has been conditioned by the liberal media against the Gospel. Even if the recipient of your tract does not get saved then and there, you may have prepared the way for someone else to lead that person to Jesus.
I originally planned to carpet parking lots with tons of tracts. But this could be overkill. We do not want store owners to tell us we cannot distribute tracts in their parking lots. While we protest about our First Amendment rights, the merchants can claim we are littering and chasing off customers. All it takes is one atheist like Madalyn Murray O'Hair to start complaining for the ACLU (you know, Anti-Christian Lawyers Unleashed) to get involved. Now I've had people many times put flyers under my windshield wiper blade advertising nightclubs and inviting us out for dinner, drinks and dancing. I'm not interested in nightclubs, but I don't mount a raging protest about their advertisements. But atheists are always ready to demand the removal of any religious witness, even Christmas trees or Nativity scenes. So pick your battles. What is more important -- a court battle (a court battle, which Christians would probably lose) or witnessing? I recommend avoiding years of litigation and thousands of dollars in legal expenses by keeping the tract distribution low key. Commit yourself to placing a tract on the driver's side of the cars on either side of your wherever you park. This is an easy goal to set and reach. Enlist any passengers, like a family member or friend, to place tracts on cars with you. Two tracts each time you park. People who set small goals and achieve them actually accomplish more than people who dream big and talk big, but end up doing nothing.
When you come back to your car, check on the tracts you placed. Rarely have I ever seen comic strip tracts discarded. If you put them in sealed snack bags, you can pick up discarded tracts and use them again. While people get saved by tracts found in the trash, our goal should be to get tracts into people's hands first.
Remember to give tracts to Christians as well. I used to see cars with Christian bumper stickers and pass by, thinking, "Good for them. They're saved." But now I ask myself, "Are they witnessing?" So, I prepared some tracts, like "The Letter" and even promotional tracts like "Who, Me?" and "Congratulations!" to encourage Christians to witness. I even use "Going Down?" for pastors. I check cars for Christian bumper stickers, decals for Christian radio and TV stations, as well as Jesus front plates (my state requires only a rear plate). Cars with American flags or patriotic bumper stickers might be receptive to tracts about Communism or Islam. Also, I carry tracts into the store to give them to people wearing Christian t-shirts. Revival among Christians is as much our service to God as the evangelization of the unsaved. Indeed, motivating our fellow Christians to witness will greatly expand our outreach. When possible, ask other Christians to join with you, or at least to start their own personal witness.
This method of tract distribution can be expanded to door to door calling and encourage Christians to learn other ways of witnessing. Some ask, "What if people don't go beyond tract distribution?" Thank God for them. They are still doing more witnessing than 97% of the evangelical Christians today!
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