Tracts Field Manual
Tracts are a form of sowing.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6 (KJV)
Do tracts work?
Granted, it's hard to measure results, but most people do believe they work.
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
- Mark 4:26-27 (KJV)
Check out these testimonies to get a better idea of the effectiveness of tracts.
It Is Written has reported that they get 5-10 responses out of a 1,000 Bible study invitations. And out of those responses 1 will lead to a baptism.
God put letter boxing in my heart, and I will certainly continue with that.
The Importance of Tracts
Ellen White clearly links tracts with the third angel's message.
Let every Seventh-day Adventist ask himself, "What can I do to proclaim the third angel's message?" Christ came to this world to give this message to His servant to give to the churches. It is to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. How are we to give it? The distribution of our literature is one means by which the message is to be proclaimed. Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time. Colporteurs are needed who will go forth to circulate our publications everywhere.
- Ellen White, The Southern Watchman, January 5, 1904
That's just astounding.
Here's some more.
At this writing nearly twenty thousand colporteurs are in service throughout the world, but this number is far from adequate to meet the need. God calls for message-filled books, magazines, and tracts to be scattered everywhere like the leaves of autumn. As church members unite with literature evangelists in spreading the good news, the task will be accomplished.
- Ellen White, The Publishing Ministry, p. 5.2
Too simple to be true?
God often uses the simplest means to accomplish the greatest results.
- Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 822
Ellen White clearly thinks tracts are important. Do you?
Tracts come in all sorts of different sizes and flavours. The most common one is probably the folded tract.
I only know three publishers:
|Signs of the times||
Since Glow tracts are the cheapest in New Zealand we have decided to stick with those. You can order them from ABC. They are not currently listed on the website, so you will need to contact them personally.
The 4 GLOW tracts are all generic tracts, which are great for non-believers. When I order something I just ask for say 1,000 tracts with a mix of those 4 titles. That way there are always plenty of tracts available almost immediately.
Sometimes the publishers change the title of a tract, so please be aware of that.
Okay, so now you have a 1,000 tracts in your home. Now what?
We follow the breadcrumb approach: Tracts -> Website -> Bible study -> Church -> Baptism.
And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
- Luke 5:10 (KJV)
So somehow we need to invite people to come and check out a website which then contains information and further study, etc. Most publishers put their own website link on the tract. That's great, but we want to interact with people directly, so we've created our own website, e.g. Onwards.co.nz.
Now we decide what articles we show to people, and people can also ask us questions directly.
There's no point ordering and letter boxing a 1,000 tracts if they don't have some sort of website link on it.
We just cross out the publisher's link, and add our own stickers.
And yes, that is a lot of work, but it's also a great opportunity to get together and have some fun with it.
There are different kinds of A4 sticker sheets, but you may want to try them first, because sometimes they are impossible to peel.
I have actually written a software program that fills an A4 with 33 stickers. If you're interested in it, please let me know.
We have actually recently designed our very first custom tract. Very exciting.
We just went with a double-sided A6 leaflet from Printing.com.
It helps if you know someone who is good with Photoshop.
If you decide to write your own tract, don't hold back.
The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knows that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn....
- Ellen White, Letter 31, February 28, 1897
Our latest tracts also include QR codes.
Ordering in Bulk
Regular tracts and custom tracts cost about the same at first glance, but when you order in bulk, custom tracts become much cheaper.
For example, the first 1,000 tracts may cost $145, but then the next 1,000 tracts only cost an extra $40.
Furthermore, if you find 4 people in your church, and you order 5,000 tracts together, you can each have a 1,000 tracts for only $60!!
I find this very exciting.
There is absolutely no excuse not to do this in your church. Just do a bulk order once a month, and you'll have plenty to do.
A 1,000 tracts doesn't even take that long. Well, maybe 4-6 weeks or so.
Ask your church to fund half of it, and see what happens.
Website and Links
There are a lot of ways to setup a website, so here are some basic tips that might help.
- Get a domain with GoDaddy, let's say forexample.com. This will cost you about $20 USD.
- Hosting is expensive, but you can create a free website at Wordpress.com. Let's say something like forexample.home.blog.
- Then just point your domain to that account, so that when people type forexample.com it will go to your website at forexample.home.blog.
You'll learn as you go.
If you're going to link to your church on the tracts, then the church website must at least have the following articles:
- The Gospel
- The Sabbath
- The Mark of the beast
You can use my articles if you want, just ask.
Always carry tracts with you when you go out.
We recommend the following three GLOW tracts for this.
- Not good enough?
- Myths about hell
- Sunday is for football, Saturday is for _____
I try and have two of each in my T-shirt pocket. With a little rubber band around them.
Also, consider handing out tract bundles in church (three tracts, two each). Then top them up the first Sabbath of every month.
The reason for picking only three tracts is to keep it simple, e.g. it then only takes 5 minutes for someone to get familiar with them.
It requires a bit of planning, but it's well worth the effort.
People love them, and will appreciate all the hard work you put into it.
When you letter box tracts you become a Foot Soldier for Christ.
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
- Romans 10:15 (KJV)
If you can't afford tracts, you can always letter box Firstlight TV flyers (scroll down to the bottom).
Letter boxing is hard work, so make sure you look after your body, especially your feet.
I carry with me a backpack with water, snacks, and some literature that I can give away to people.
To keep track of donations for your ministry, consider setting up a separate bank account. That's relatively easy to do these days.
Some mail boxes have the words "No Junk Mail" on it. The legal definition of junk mail is "anything that does not have an address on it". Sadly tracts fall under that definition, and you will need to decide for yourself whether to letter box it or not. Tracts are also considered circulars, and in some cases also as advertising material (depending on the content).
You can hand deliver your tracts by doorknocking if you feel up to it.
If 7 people donate $5 per week, you can easily do 1,000 tracts per month.
Setting goals helps, especially when you add a time-specific deadline to it (download SMART goal).
There will always be a need for regular tracts within the church, e.g. for handing out in resthomes, etc. In fact, I carry regular tracts with me, in case I have a conversation with someone.
When you go into enemy territory you are also going to need lots of prayer. Keep that in mind.
Letter boxing tracts can be very rewarding:
I get a real thrill when letter boxing flyers and tracts. It gives me a sense of purpose. Last Sunday when I delivered our new tract an old lady came running out of her house to see what I'd put in her letterbox It put a smile on my face.
Having a nice treat or reward when you reach a goal can really help too.
Hopefully we've given you some ideas as to what is possible.
I wholeheartedly believe that the opportunities to preach the gospel are now unprecedented, so I pray that you will make the most of it.
When probation shall end, how many will see the opportunities they have neglected to render service to their dear Lord who died for them. And even those who were accounted most faithful will see much more that they might have done, had not their minds been diverted by worldly surroundings.
- Ellen White, Gospel Workers, p. 38
If you need any help, please let us know.
Tracts save lives!!