For a long time my vision for using gospel tracts was way ahead of my skill. I knew that the little 24-page Chick booklet carried an important message with eternal consequences. I knew that when I managed to deposit one in someone's hand that it would likely get read because of the engaging story.
I also knew that the reader would inevitably make a decision: to agree with the message and be drawn closer to Christ, or —scoff and disregard that message. Maybe he would even tear it up and trash it. If he did, I was saddened to imagine his appointment with his Creator on Judgment Day. I could see him objecting: "But... I didn't know!"
And the Judge of the Universe chiding him: "Don't you remember that little booklet I sent your way at 2pm on January 21, 2015 that told you about my gift of eternal life that I offered you?" On heaven's overhead would then appear the very trash can containing the crumpled tract. "You are without excuse. Depart..."
Such is the heavy responsibility of witnessing with gospel tracts. What an invitation to joy we carry —or message of doom!
But two things primarily stand in my way of witnessing freely with tracts. First of all, I must have a vision for the lostness of the lost and a confidence that I carry a vital message available nowhere except in the word of God. The promise that sin's leg-chains can really be broken, freeing Satan's prisoner from the bondage of sin, is unmatched in any of the Devil's counterfeits.
This singular gift of forgiveness is unmatched by any other world religion. Handing out $1000 bills on the street pales in comparison to the value of the message in a gospel tract.
To be effective in tract witnessing I must have that world view.
On the practical side, convenience is the other factor. If I have to go to the car, rummage in the glove compartment under the vehicle registration behind the gummy bears to get a tract for the fast food cashier, the opportunity is probably long lost.
For the gunslinger, a ready holster was essential. For me, I do not own a shirt without a pocket. And my morning dressing always includes a stop at my nightstand where my bulk stock of tracts is stacked. Half a dozen tracts fit nicely between my cell phone and pocket protector ready for my quick-draw if I am surprised by a sudden divine appointment. In fact, if I have enough time to anticipate an opportunity, I may draw a single tract part way out of the pack where I am sure to be able to get it without having to look.
With this careful planning, putting that glorious message into the cashier's hand when she hands me my receipt becomes an easy, natural gesture as part of the smile and "thank you" for her service.
Obeying the Great Commission is the requirement for all who claim citizenship in Christ's Kingdom. There is no other basic option. Some may be specifically gifted in preaching, teaching, helps, or prophecy, but all of us are obligated to "preach and/or "teach" the good news at every opportunity. The 24-page Chick tract/booklet can both "preach" the good news of salvation and "teach" essential biblical doctrines, all for little more than the deposit fee on a couple of soda bottles.