There have been times when I have flat out refused to use gospel tracts but I’m now discovering that I like to have some on hand in case I have a gospel discussion with someone and want to leave him something to reflect on later.
The problem I have with gospel tracts is that many are poorly made, have poor theology, and are handed out like it’s no different from a We Buy Gold! flyer. We cheapen the gospel when we sink to tactics like dropping a “million dollar bill” tract on the ground hoping that someone will pick it up. Or, another tactic I’ve heard is after you use a public restroom, leave a gospel tract in the toilet paper roll for the next person to discover.
Nothing conveys the incomparable value of Jesus’ sacrifice and glorious resurrection quite like discovering a cheap, unhygienic gospel tract just before you flush.
If your personal evangelism strategy includes dropping gospel tracts on the ground or hiding them in a roll of toilet paper you might need to rethink the gospel.
Instead, I think gospel tracts are useful for giving to someone after you’ve had a good conversation about the gospel. This way, the gospel tract, which is probably more of a summary of the gospel anyway, will serve to remind the person of what was said and provide contact information if they want to explore further.
With that in mind, a compelling gospel tract should include:
- A clear summary of the gospel;
- Good design and readable text;
- Contact information;
- Website where the reader can explore further;
- Clear instruction how to be saved. (Hint: Repent and believe the good news!)
Rather than a typical gospel tract, I’ve created an outline anyone can use to explain the good news from creation to redemption! It’s called The Best News You Will Ever Read.
This gospel tract isn’t perfect, but here’s why I wrote it:
- I wanted to provide a basic outline of the gospel with a few key verses.
- I wanted something I could give to my church members that would help them share the gospel with others.
- I wanted to remove the “pray this prayer” and “Congratulations! Today is your spiritual birthday!” sections that are included in most gospel tracts. I find these to be unhealthy and unnecessary. A piece of paper cannot affirm someone’s identity in Christ.
- I also wanted the whole thing in pdf format so that I can pull it up on my phone or send it to someone via email after a conversation. You could even link to it in your email signature line after you send a follow up email to a church guest or to someone you shared the gospel with in person.
The Best News Gospel Tract isn’t perfect. It doesn’t provide any information about what it might cost to follow Jesus. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail. But that’s what your actual gospel conversation should include. This tract won’t be for everyone, but the greatest strength is that it provides a simplified outline that a disciple can elaborate on when making disciples.
The three part outline starts with the big news that God created us. He deserves honor and demands holiness.
Next, the bad news is that we dishonor and disobey God and the Bible calls this sin. Our sin separates us from our Creator physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
But the best news is that God sent His one and only Son to fully honor and obey Him. Jesus was without sin but He became sin so that we might be made righteous before God.
Here are a couple of ideas you can do with this The Best News gospel tract:
- Print out a few high quality copies. Make it a point to share the gospel once a week with someone you are close to who is far from God (a coworker, a friend, or a relative).
- Download the pdf version on your mobile device so that it’s easily accessible.
- Send me an email if you’d like me to customize the contact info section. The PDF currently has information for our church plant. You can either leave that part out, label over it, or have me customize it for you.
What do you find attractive about The Best News Gospel Tract? Is there anything you think is important to include? Do you use gospel tracts? Why or why not?