Handing out Gospel tracts is something I like to do on a daily basis as the Lord grants me the opportunity. As I’m usually on the go between home and work and sometimes lunch breaks off site, I don’t have a lot of time to stop to witness. The people who mostly get tracts from me during the week are gas station, grocery, or fast food cashiers, but no matter how many times I hand out a tract, there’s always that bit of butterflies in the stomach before doing so. Or maybe it’s adrenaline. Or fear. I don’t know, but I do know the blessing it is to pray for the person I gave the tract to after I overcome my fear each time by the Lord’s grace.
I’m always trying to think of new and interesting ways to minister the Gospel of Grace to people, including how I break the ice to give someone a Gospel tract. Last week, I thought of a new way that I’d like to share because I find it to be very encouraging and hope you will too.
I’ve used all sorts of methods to give out Gospel tracts, whether it’s asking people “did you get one of these” (which, by the way, I seldom use anymore unless I know there is an actual possibility they could have received “one of these”), or “here you go”, or “here’s a Gospel tract”, or giving the tract to someone while saying “it has a good message on the back”. All of these things are fine to say (except potentially the first), but what I’ve asked over the last few days as we traveled to Georgia and back is,
Do you like good news?
Without exception, there has been a smile on each person’s face in affirmation, or saying something to the effect of, “oh yeah, I like good news”, or “of course I like good news!” My response has been,
Well here’s some good news for you. Have a great day.
In various ways, each person has thanked me for the kind gesture.
On one occasion, as I was waiting for some BBQ in Georgia on Friday afternoon, I noticed a newsletter sitting in front of the cash register. It was titled “Good News [something]”. I then told the young lady cashier “this newsletter says ‘good news’, but I have some real good news for you,” and handed her a tract, as well as two more for her coworkers. I told them it was a Gospel tract, and one of them asked where I went to church. I told them I was actually from Charlotte, and that we were in town for my wife’s grandfather’s funeral. The 20-something cashier said, “my dad’s father just died a few months ago and it was my first funeral ever.” I told her I was very sorry to hear that and sure it was very hard for her, but we can have hope and victory over death because of what Jesus Christ has done for sinners, who deserve God’s justice and wrath in hell forever. Through repenting from our sins and trusting in Christ alone for our salvation, I shared with her, our sins are forgiven and we receive eternal life. Her coworker then said with a big grin, “and that’s the good life”, and I responded, “yep, that’s the good life” and was on my way. This encounter lasted only a couple of minutes, but they had the message of Life in their hands and I was able to tell them the Hope of Christ for all who believe. Praise the Lord!
I like asking the question, “do you like good news” because in doing so, I’m attempting a friendly encounter and asking them a curious question. Also, instead of just giving them a Gospel tract and saying nothing or being vague as to what it is (which I’m trying to do less) and leaving it to them to figure out, I am, in a way, guiding their expectations as to what I have given them to read. My hope is that as the reader of the tract wades through the bad news of their guilt before God and the wages of their sin (eternal death), they might remember there is Good News yet to learn. After all, I did say what I gave them is good news, and that is what the Gospel surely is!
I’m really looking forward to using this method more as I have enjoyed seeing people’s reactions to the question. The bad news, however, is some may not find the good news to be good at all because they love their sin too much, but the good news is that some of these, by the glorious grace of God through the Holy Spirit, will see that the news of reconciliation is the best news they have ever heard and will run to Jesus Christ and follow Him.
What are some of the ways you give Gospel tracts to people? I’d love to read about them in the comments!