Famous author and Christian educator, R. A. Torrey, admits that he did not, at first, see the value of Gospel tracts. Later, he realized that they often take the gospel where no other witness can go. He writes:
Comparatively few Christians realize the importance of tract work. I had been a Christian a good many years, and a minister of the Gospel several years, before it ever entered my head that tracts were of much value in Christian work.
I had somehow grown up with the notion that tracts were all rubbish, and therefore I did not take the trouble to read them, and far less did I take the trouble to circulate them, but I found out that I was entirely wrong. Tract work has some great advantages over other forms of Christian work.
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 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 some one 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.
6. Tracts lead many to accept Christ.
Exerpted from Torrey's larger work, Methods of Christian Work, Chapter 5.
Editor's note: Many people have written Chick Publications to say that they did not get saved for several years after first reading a Chick tract. But, they were never able to get out of their mind the picture of the angel dropping the man into hell.