(Testimony by K.J., California)
For years, I have used Chick tracts. Most of the time, I placed them where people might stop and have a chance to read them. On rare occasions, I handed them directly to someone.
This pattern radically changed after a prayer. I was coming up on a time when I knew I would have more free time. I told God I wanted to do something for him and asked that he let me know what he wanted me to do.
Without knowing it, a trial in my life was already serving to equip me for what he already had planned. Within three weeks, I met a gentleman who had a public ministry locally. Part of it involved passing tracts and it allowed me to use Chick tracts, but now in direct contact with many people.
The big difference was not only the number of people we encountered but also the opportunity to talk with some of them who had the time. The tracts became a launching point for me to begin the conversation.
When people get a Chick tract, it is more likely the recipient will read it as opposed to a standard tract containing only printed words. They are getting something that is of greater substance in their hand that appears to have more value and their eye is drawn to the cartoon art of the title page.
As the story unfolds, it often gets them invested enough to read to the end.
I've found that a friendly greeting "Good morning!" and a genuine smile, are the greatest encouragement to getting a person to accept a tract. You can soften the feeling of being spoken to by a stranger with a remark like "When you get a chance to relax..." This sometimes further motivates them to accept it by removing feelings of urgency or pressure.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to me as a person with an introverted personality was the element of speaking to the person directly as a witness when opportunity allowed. From firsthand experience, I saw the good and the bad of situations where witnessing was being done.
Something that was positive was having a "script", so to speak. It was valuable knowing in advance where I wanted to start and where I would go in my part of the conversation.
Because the tract was already in someone's hand, or willing to be received if offered, I could use it to begin the conversation. I keep a tract in my hand and go right to the inside back page to show them something in the small print that I don't want them to miss. We all know the fine print in a contract often holds important details! I point out that, in this case, it is a prayer.
I confess to them that prayer will do nothing for the person who says the words and doesn't believe them. However, if they believe what the story says about God and them, and pray it from the heart, God will be watching the heart and respond to their call. From there, I can add more about the gospel and what God has done for us in his great love.
When I began, I was very concerned that people would react in hostility. Confrontation and negative feelings were not the outcome I wanted. What shocked me then (and to this day still sometimes does) is that people would often respond with gratitude. Many anxious or hurting people have said "thank you" or shook my hand.
It brought about the realization that when the gospel message is communicated with care for a soul, chances are much greater that "...the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." (Romans 2:4). People looking honestly at themselves in response to the gospel already know they are sinners.
They are most awed by a God who has seen them at their worst and yet acted in love for them to bring about a reconciliation, if they would accept the price He paid with His own blood to make that a reality (Acts 20:28).
One instance stood out.
A conversation with a young woman turned when she admitted to me that she was born again but had been mad at God and her life had taken a turn into trouble. When asked, she let me know the reason for her anger had been that her young son had died and she resented God for it.
Feeling completely inadequate to answer, I leaned on God for wisdom. I assured her that God knew her pain and that her son was safe in the arms of Jesus but that even that event she never would have wanted could be used by Him to bring good from.
I reminded her what Romans 8:28 says and that God could use even a tragedy like this to equip her or change her for some purpose that she might not otherwise been able to accomplish to bring Him glory.
It is a privilege every day to know that the Lord allows me to serve him and that the gospel tracts Chick Publications produces help to open the door to witness.