I was considering calling this post “equip the chickens!” after a comment from a conversation I had with a church planter some time ago. We were discussing ways of growing an Old School Presbyterian church plant and I mentioned that while having a good website and being in the phonebook were both important, that the primary means of growth was going to be via word of mouth as members of the church evangelized the lost and invited the unchurched. This provoked a rather disheartened sigh from the other pastor and the comment, “I’m afraid that most our people are too chicken to do any personal evangelism” to which I responded, “well how have you equipped and encouraged your chickens for battle?” He laughed but confessed he hadn’t done anything along those lines and didn’t really even know where to start. I had two suggestions for him, first beginning a simple program of evangelism training and second, producing a gospel tract with a gospel presentation, and information about the church. I’ll discuss methods of going about training your congregation to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… with gentleness and respect” in a follow-on posting, but for now I wanted to discuss how to go about preparing a simple tract. I’ll be using as an example one we are currently handing out:
The tract itself is a fold-over with an infinity symbol on the front and a map to the church on the back. When folded it is the size of a business card and fits easily within a wallet. On the inside of the tract is a simple gospel presentation, which uses the infinity symbol to discuss the importance of eternity, namely that whether or not they are saved during the incredibly brief period of their lives will determine whether they spend eternity in heaven or hell. It then gives the church logo, times, and contact info. The tract utilizes both law and gospel and calls upon the sinner to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
These tracts are small and simple to hand-out, the average church member requires no training whatsoever to use them (to illustrate that point, my five year old son gave away three yesterday). They are also relatively inexpensive, especially compared to far less targeted general advertising methods like the newspaper, these cost us $150 per 1000.