WHAT IS EVANGELISM?
Evangelism is reaching out in an announcement, proclamation or preaching of the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ.(1 Cor. 15:1-4)
The English word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word euaggelion. Most literally translated in the noun form, euaggelion means: “gospel” or “good news.” In the verb form (euaggelizesthai), the meaning of the word changes slightly to “announce” or “bring good news.” The Greek word in its various forms appears fifty-five times in the New Testament. In addition to the before-mentioned translations, the Greek word is also translated as “preach.”
WHY DO WE EVANGELIZE?
The Bible offers us many good reasons for proclaiming the gospel.
Here are 7 reasons why we should share the good news of Jesus Christ:
1. God wants to see the world healed and restored.(John 3:17).
2. Jesus commands and commissions.“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
3. God desires a relationship with every human being and for all to hear. (2 Peter 3:9)(Luke 14:23).
4. Sharing the gospel is a powerful way to love people.(Matthew 10:8).
5. The future of unbelievers matters deeply to God.(John 3:18)(Philippians 2:3-4)
6. God is passionate about our personal growth. (Acts 1:8)(John 15:2).
7. God is glorified.(2 Corinthians 5:20)(Matthew 5:16)
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THE USE OF TRACTS
I. Importance and advantages.
1. Any person can do it: We cannot all preach; we cannot all conduct meetings, but we can all select useful tracts and then hand them out to others. Of course, some of us can do it better than others. Even a blind man or a dumb man can do tract work. It is a line of work in which every man, woman and child can engage.
2. A tract always sticks to the point: I wish every worker did that, but how often we get to talking to someone and he is smart enough to get us off on to a side track.
3. A tract never loses its temper: Perhaps you sometimes do. I have known Christian workers, even workers of experience, who would sometimes get all stirred up, but you cannot stir up a tract It always remains as calm as a June morning.
4. Oftentimes people who are too proud to be talked with will read a tract when no one is looking: There is many a man who would repulse you if you tried to speak to him about his soul, who will read a tract if you leave it on his table, or in some other place where he comes upon it accidentally, and that tract may be used for his salvation.
5. A tract stays by one: You talk to a man and then he goes away, but the tract stays with him. Some years ago a man came into a mission in New York. One of the workers tried to talk with him, but he would not listen. As he was leaving, a card tract was placed in his hands which read, "If I should die tonight I would go to ______ Please fill out and sign." He put it in his pocket, went to his steamer, for he was a sailor, and slipped it into the edge of his bunk. The steamer started for Liverpool. On his voyage, he met with an accident and was laid aside in his bunk. That card stared him in the face, day and night. Finally, he said, "If I should die tonight I would go to hell, but I will not go there, I will go to heaven, I will take Christ right here and now." He went to Liverpool, returned to New York, went to the mission, told his story, and had the card, which was still in his pocket, filled out and signed with his name. The conversation he had had in the mission left him, but the card stayed by him.
6. Tracts lead many to accept Christ: The author of one tract ("What is it to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?") received before his death upwards of sixteen hundred letters from people who had been led to Christ by reading it.
II. Purposes for which to use a tract.
1. For the conversion of the unsaved: A tract will often succeed in winning a man to Christ where a sermon or a personal conversation has failed. There are a great many people who, if you try to talk with them, will put you off; but if you put a tract in their hands and ask God to bless it, after they go away and are alone they will read the tract and God will carry it home to their hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost. One of our students wrote me in great joy of how he had at last succeeded in winning a whole family for Christ. He had been working for that family for a long time but could not touch them. One day he left a tract with them, and God used that tract for the conversion of four or five members of the family. Another student held a cottage meeting at a home, and by mistake left his Bible there. There was a tract in the Bible. When he had gone, the woman of the house saw the Bible, picked it up, opened it, saw the tract and read it. The Spirit of God carried it home to her heart, and when he went back after the Bible she told him she wanted to find the Lord Jesus Christ. The tract had done what he could not do in personal work. I once received a letter from a man saying, "There is a man in this place whom I tried for a long time to reach but could not. One day I handed him a tract, and I think it was to the salvation of his whole family.
2. To lead Christians into a deeper and more earnest Christian life: It is a great mistake to limit the use of tracts to winning the unsaved to Christ. A little tract on the Second Coming of Christ once sent me in a letter, made a change in my whole life. I do not think the tract was altogether correct doctrinally, but it had in it an important truth, and it did for me just the work that needed to be done.
There is a special class of people with whom this form of ministry is particularly helpful, those who live where they do not enjoy spiritual advantages. You may know someone who is leading a very unsatisfactory life, and you long to have that person know what the Christian life really means. His pastor may not be a spiritual man, he may not know the deep things of God. It is the simplest thing in the world to slip into a letter a tract that will lead him into an entirely new Christian life.
3. To correct an error: This is a very necessary form of work in the day in which we live. The air is full of error. In our personal work we have not always time to lead a man out of his error, but oftentimes we can give him a tract that can do the work better than we can. If you tried to lead him out of his error by personal work, you might get into a discussion, but the tract cannot. The one in error cannot talk back to the tract. For example, take people that are in error on the question of seventh-day observance. It might take some time to lead such a one out of the darkness into the light, but a tract on that subject can be secured that has been used by God to lead many out of the bondage of legalism into the glorious liberty of the Gospel of Christ.
4. To set Christians to work: Our churches are full of members who are doing nothing. A well-chosen tract may set such to work. I know of a young man who was working in a factory in Massachusetts. He was a plain, uneducated sort of fellow, but a little tract on personal work was placed in his hands. He read it and re-read it, and said, "I am not doing what I should for Christ." He went to work among his companions in the factory, inviting them to the church, and to hear his pastor preach. Not satisfied with this, he went to doing personal work. This was not sufficient, so he went to work holding meetings himself. Finally, he brought a convention to his city. Just that one plain factory man was the means of getting a great convention and blessing to that place, and all from reading that little tract. He was also instrumental in organizing a society which was greatly blessed of God. It would be possible to fill this country with literature on Christian work that would stir up the dead and sleeping professors of religion throughout the land, and send them out to work for the Lord Jesus Christ
III. Who should use tracts.
1. Ministers of the Gospel should use them: Many ministers do make constant use of them in their pastoral work, leaving well chosen tracts where they make their pastoral calls, handing out tracts along the line of the sermons that they preach. It is said of Rev. Edward Judson of New York, that he seldom makes a call without having in his pocket a selection of tracts adapted to almost every member of the family, and especially to the children. "At the close of the Sunday evening preaching service, he has often put some good brother in the chair, and while the meeting proceeds he goes down into the audience and gives to each person a choice leaflet, at the same time taking the opportunity to say a timely word. In this way he comes into personal touch with the whole audience, gives each stranger a cordial welcome, and leaves in his hand some message from God. At least once a year he selects some one tract that has in it the very core of the Gospel. On this he prints the notices of the services, and selecting his church as a center, he has this tract put in the hands of every person living within half a mile in each direction, regardless of creed or condition. He sometimes uses 10,000 tracts at one distribution, and finds it very fruitful in results."
2. Sunday School teachers: Every Sunday School teacher should be on the lookout for tracts to give to his scholars. In this way, he can do much to supplement his hour's work on the Lord's Day.
3. Traveling men: Traveling men have a rare opportunity for doing tract work. They are constantly coming in contact with different men and finding out their needs. A Christian "drummer" with a well-assorted selection of tracts can accomplish immeasurable good.
4. Businessmen: Businessmen can use tracts to good advantage with the very men with whom they have business engagements. They can also do excellent work with their own employees. Many businessmen slip well-chosen tracts into many of the letters which he writes, and thus accomplishes an effective ministry for his Master.
5. School teachers: It is very difficult for school teachers in some cities and towns to talk very much with their pupils in the school. Oftentimes the rules of the school board prevent it entirely, but a wise teacher can learn all about her scholars and their home surroundings, and can give them tracts just adapted to their needs.
6. Housekeepers. Every Christian housekeeper should have a collection of well-assorted tracts. She can hand these out to the servant girls, the grocery men, the market men, the butcher, to the tramps that come to the door. They can be left on the table in the parlor and in bedrooms. Only eternity will disclose the good that is accomplished in these ways.
IV. How to use tracts.
1. To begin a conversation: One of the difficulties in Christian work is to begin. You see a person with whom you wish to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ. The great difficulty is in starting. It is easy enough to talk after you have started, but how are you going to start a conversation naturally and easily? One of the simplest and easiest ways is by slipping a tract into the person's hand. After the tract has been read, a conversation naturally follows. I was once riding in a crowded car. I asked God for an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. I was watching for the opportunity for which I had asked when two young ladies entered. I thought I knew one of them as the daughter of a minister. She went through the car looking for a seat and then came back. As she came back and sat down in the seat in front of me, she bowed, and of course, I knew I was right as to who she was. I took out a little bundle of tracts, and selecting one that seemed best adapted to her case, I handed it to her, having first asked God to bless it. She at once began to read and I began to pray. When she had read the tract, I asked her what she thought about it. She almost burst into tears right there in the car, and in very few moments that minister's daughter was rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. As she afterward passed out of the car, she said, "I want to thank you for what you have done for me in leading me to Christ."
2. Use a tract to close a conversation: As a rule, when you have finished talking with someone, you should not leave him without something definite to take home to read. If the person has accepted Christ, put some tract in his hands that will show him how to succeed in the Christian life. If the person has not accepted Christ, some other tract that is especially adapted to his need should be left with him.
3. Use tracts where a conversation is impossible: For example, we who speak english as our common language, some people who speak other languages may not be able to understand our language but when you give them a tract of their langauge, they can get the good news message communicated to them, e.g, a Norwagian receiving a Nowagian tract or a Swedish getting a Swedish tract.
Oftentimes a conversation is impossible because of the place where you meet people. For example, you may be on the street cars and wish to speak to a man, but in many instances, it would not be wise if it were possible, but you can take the man's measure and then give him a tract that will fit him. You may be able to say just a few words to him and then put the tract in his hands and ask God to bless it.
4. Use tracts to send to people at a distance: It does not cost a tract much to travel. You can send them to the ends of the earth for a few cents. Especially use them to send to people who live in out of the way places where there is no preaching. There are thousands of people living in different sections of this country where they do not hear preaching from one year's end to another. It would be impossible to send an evangelical preacher to them, but you can send a tract and it will do the preaching for you.
V. Suggestions as to the use of tracts.
1. Always read the tracts yourself before giving them to others: This is very necessary. Bad tracts abound to-day, tracts that contain absolutely pernicious doctrine. They are being circulated free by the million, and one needs to be on his guard, lest he will be doing harm rather than good in distributing tracts. Of course, we cannot read all the tracts in foreign languages, but we can have them interpreted to us, and it is wise to do so. Besides positively bad tracts, there are many tracts that are worthless.
2. Suit your tract to the person to whom you give it: What is good for one person may not be good for another.
3. Carry a selection of tracts with you: I do not say a collection, but a selection. Tracts are countless in number, and a large share of them are worthless. Select the best, and arrange them for the different classes of people with whom you come in contact.
4. Seek the guidance of God: This is of the very highest importance. If there is any place where we need wisdom from above, it is in the selection of tracts, and in their distribution after their selection.
5. Seek God's blessing upon the tract after you have given it out: Do not merely give out the tract and there let the matter rest, but whenever you give out a tract ask God to bless it.
6. Oftentimes give a man a tract with words and sentences underscored: Men are curious, and they will take particular notice of the underscoring. It is oftentimes a good thing to have a tract put up in your office. Men who come in will read it. I know a man who had a few words put on his paperweight. A great many who came into his office saw it, and it made a deep impression upon them.
7. Never be ashamed of distributing tracts: Many people hand out tracts to others as if they were ashamed of what they were doing. People are not likely to read tracts if you hand them to them as if you were ashamed to do it; but if you act as though you were conferring a favor upon them, and giving them something worth reading, they will read your tract. It is often well to say to a person, "Here is a little leaflet out of which I have gotten a good deal of good. I would like to have you read it."
Why Gospel Tracts?
Deep down, every faithful Christian wants to tell others about eternal salvation found in Jesus Christ but find it extremely difficult to talk personally with someone, especially a stranger. Is there a way to get over those fears and make it much less difficult to spread the Gospel? Yes, there is OBSPO Gospel Tracts in Many Different Languages!
Gospel Tracts can get inside homes and stay there until read. You can't.
Gospel Tracts are willing to travel anywhere and willing to work overtime.
Gospel Tracts can be read many times over until the person meet the Lord.
Gospel Tracts never lose their temper in presenting the gospel.
Gospel Tracts never get discouraged!
Develop an effective Tract Ministry by following the steps below!
1) Pray. You cannot win anyone to Christ, neither can a tract. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
2) Approach with loving smile. This can be done by making eye contact, with a pleasant and loving smile.
3) Use top-quality tracts. Invest in the best tracts available to make the most powerful presentation of the Gospel.
4) Make every opportunity count. Never leave home without a tract and never miss a God-given opportunity to save.
5) Distribute tracts each and every day. The Lord will abundantly bless your efforts by giving you the joy only God can.
Soul Winning Tips (One on One)
Do you want to know the best way to present salvation to all sorts of people?
The answer is your personal testimony. The reasons are simple.
1. People are most interested in a true human interest story (they can identify with other people best), and
2. You are interested in sharing with others what Christ and salvation mean to you personally.
You may be giving your testimony to a friend, a co-worker, someone that you meet on the street, or in a church service.
Here are some guidelines that will make your testimony the kind that others will like and that will bring glory to Christ:
1. Realize what is at stake: the destiny of the souls of men.
You are representing Jesus Christ. II Cor. 5:18-20.
2. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and guidance in preparing and presenting your testimony.
3. Begin with an interesting, attention-getting sentence and close with a good conclusion. Include relevant, thought provoking facts and experiences.
4. Give it in such a way that others will feel associated with you.
5. Give enough details to arouse interest.
6. You should always have a general outline already in your mind. By this, we mean that you can give your testimony in two or three minutes to an hour or more. You never know when or for how long you may be called on to give a testimony.
7. If you are the first or only one to give a testimony, always give the plan of salvation.
8. Be sure your experiences are scriptural before you share them with others. Interpret your experiences by the Word of God and not vise-versa. The Bible is our authority.
9. Be lovingly enthusiastic. Let them know you really believe in what you are saying. Don't bore people with the greatest thing in the world.
10. Speak loudly and clearly, in a relaxed tone of voice.
11. Smile often. A smile tells a person, "I like you," and "You're worth smiling at." Ask the Lord to give you a happy, radiant face. Eph. 4:15.
12. Avoid mannerisms when you speak, such as: rubbing your nose, playing with your ring, jingling coins in your pocket.
13. Feature Christ, and not yourself.
14. Have a good appearance: clean, good posture, smell good. Be full of life.
Salvation in a testimony:
1. Tell the circumstances involved in your salvation.
2. Spell out exactly what salvation is. Be clear and simple. Think: Could a person be saved by hearing that testimony alone?
3. As a general rule, it is good to quote at least one clear salvation verse, and no more than two. Eph.2:8-9; John 3:16; I John 5:13.
4. Always distinguish between faith and works, between salvation and service, Christ and religion.
5. Remember the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Rom. 1:16. Rely on His Word and the Holy Spirit.
1. Don't use Words such as "born again,"convicted,"converted," to the average non-Christian.
2. Don't preach-- Do talk, share something of value.
3. Don't tear down. Be positive!
4. Don't let your testimony drag on. When you have finished, you can stop. Don't keep talking just to talk.
5. Don't apologize. This gives the person or audience lack of confidence.
6. Don't mention church denominations, especially in a derogatory way.
7. Don't speak critically or negatively about any other individual or group. You are here to talk about Christ and try to lead a person to a saving knowledge of Christ.
8. Don't give the impression that the Christian life is a "bed of roses." Some people are told that when they give their life to Christ, that all of their problems will be solved and life will be a complete joy for the rest of their lives. If you have been a Christian for very long, you know that you will still have problems.
9. Don't give a bragamony(self-righteousness).
Reference: The Use of Tracts By R. A. Torrey