About six months ago, I started meeting with a gal from our church. We try to get together each week for a time of Bible study, accountability, and prayer. Our meetings usually “wrap up” with each of us asking the other for a specific, personal prayer request. Here was my most recent prayer need for “Suzy”: If you would, pray that I will become a better witness.
You see, over the past several weeks, the Lord has clearly been calling me to and convicting me about personal evangelism (or my lack thereof). There was no doubt that this request was to be at the top of my list. I desperately needed my sister in Christ to be praying and holding me accountable about my sharing the Gospel.
We are all called. We are all commissioned to be telling the Good News of Jesus as we go about our daily lives. And in recent days, the Lord has really kept this spiritual discipline of witnessing before me. As a compassionate Father, He has been reproving me and tenderly challenging me to share His wondrous Gospel on a daily basis wherever I may go.
I’m all for lifestyle evangelism; it is crucial that our lives convey the Gospel. But we cannot let our commitment to lifestyle evangelism take the place of you and me deliberately offering people the message of the salvation. Yes, we are to live according to the transforming power of the Gospel, but we are also to initiate conversations and engage encounters that present the Good News. Hymnist Catherine Hankey (1834-1911) may have referenced witnessing best when she beautifully penned of her love – to tell “the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”
How about you? Do you struggle with verbally witnessing? (Some call it confrontational evangelism.) Is it hard for you to walk up to someone and generate a discussion about Jesus and salvation? This is tough for me, but I must be obedient. I am convinced that it is God’s will for me (and for all Christ-followers) to verbally share the Gospel with others.
With that being said, I also recognize that there are times that our spoken dialogue with someone about the Gospel may not be exactly feasible – or may even be viewed as inappropriate by some. Here is an example … I have a hard time interrupting an employee from his/her work at a business and using his/her time “on the clock” for a spiritual conversation. Yes, nothing should stand in the way of my talking to that employee about his/her eternal destiny, but my testimony could be tainted if I violate the employer’s expectations for the hired employee by my having a prolonged chat with the worker. Does that make sense?
I’m sure you can recall situations in which a verbal conversation about the Gospel is not exactly conducive. What about this one? On the go … the folks we meet everyday are all on the go! I’m not really sure that a frazzled mother who is frantically trying to load 2 carts of groceries and 4 kids into her mini-van (before the rain hits) is going to be appreciative or even open to our verbal walk down the Roman’s Road. It’s obvious; there are times that we need to utilize other methods of witnessing. And so, that brings me to the topic of – bet you guessed it! – Gospel tracts.
I am so grateful for Gospel tracts! I have seen first-hand the impact of these wonderful (and clever) pieces of witnessing literature. As a matter of fact, a tract was given to my brother while he was trick-or-treating, and it prompted him to question salvation and then to accept Jesus. Gospel tracts are handy. They are non-confrontational. They are ideal witnessing tools for occasions when time doesn’t allow for an eternity-related discussion, and they can easily be handed to someone without a threatening feeling or awkwardness being created. I recognize that tracts cannot become a substitute for times that I need to speak the Good News to others, but I also realize that tracts are effective witnessing tools that I should be distributing to folks, all the time, everywhere I go.
Can I encourage you to join me in this commitment? Just think of the ministry potential. What would happen if more and more Christ-followers surrendered to handing out tracts? Can you imagine the impact it might have upon a community if brochures containing the Gospel message were distributed and left-to-be-found everywhere? I would love for my community to be saturated with pamphlets – here and there and everywhere – that share the salvation that is available through Christ Jesus. Can you speculate with me the many lives that would be transformed and redeemed upon learning of and surrendering to God’s saving grace as it is presented through a tract?
Here is a website of a ministry that has changed my life. I’d like to share with you the resources of Living Waters Publications. Its founder, Ray Comfort, is marvelously and Divinely gifted with an ability to witness. Please take a look at the various tracts his ministry offers. Many of them are captivating, humorous, and intellectually stimulating, and all of them contain a clear presentation of the Gospel. Please visit www.livingwaters.com.
Join me in this. Let’s order some tracts. Let’s take them with us wherever we go. And then, when we are prompted by God’s Spirit, let’s extend them to others with a smile.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
Do you have a Gospel tract story? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share your story as a comment below.