Five years ago, Pastor Jerry Campbell of Abundant Life Baptist Church decided to see what he could do to seed more gospel into his community in rural Indiana. He knew that Jesus said not everyone would respond to the gospel, but that He wanted us to make sure everyone was told. Pastor Campbell also knew that he could not reach everyone by preaching or one-on-one witnessing.
A long-time fan of Chick tracts, he had learned that if he could get one into everyone`s hand, they would have the gospel in a form they would likely read. He approached retired computer technician Dale Detro with a plan.
Detro liked the idea and went to Walmart where he found some small display racks that fit the tracts. He bought several racks and filled them with Chick tracts.
In his travels, he would ask a local store owner if he could place one of the racks with a "FREE TAKE ONE" sign on a store counter. He promised to return in a week and refill the rack if the tracts were taken. Some owners agreed.
When he returned, he found the racks nearly empty. He placed more racks in more stores until he was supplying about 30 of them a week.
"We thought, when we started, that people would take them good for awhile, then it would level off and eventually people would quit taking them, but it has been just the opposite," says, Detro.
"They keep taking them all the time," says Detro. After a couple of years, Detro noticed that, when he gave a tract to someone, they would say: "Oh. I`ve seen these before."
He had succeeded in doing something that few of us accomplish: getting the gospel to almost everyone in his community. Just to be sure, Detro enlisted other helpers including Rick Clark and they mailed a tract to every address in the county phone book.
The enthusiasm spilled over into a desire to bless missionaries and they began sending shipments of 10,000 tracts to various mission fields. The church has dedicated the weekly Wednesday night offering to the tract ministry.
This has funded the seeding of over 250,000 gospel tracts into their community and sent tens of thousands of foreign language tracts into other countries.
Pastor Campbell says that it is so gratifying to know that almost everyone in the community has received the gospel and several have been added to the church as a result of the tract ministry.
Another ministry, to Hispanics, became interested in the tracts and Pastor Campbell`s church began supplying them. Using tracts in Spanish, they report over 150 people saved.
Soul winners from other states have heard of Detro`s strategy and asked his advice. He says, "Call me anytime at (765) 630-8269."
Inspired by Detro`s success, Chick Publications has purchased clear plastic display racks that fit Chick tracts and are now making them available to anyone who has a burden to use Detro`s method to reach his community.
Click here for more information and pricing.
Pastor Campbell is sold on the cost-effectiveness of tracts: "For the price of a tract, how much cheaper can you go to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ? And anybody can do it.
"And once they do that, the Lord will open the door to talk to people. Even people that are shy can always give out a gospel tract."
We cannot force people to chose Christ, but with tracts, we can make sure everyone in our town gets the gospel. That`s our job.