Issue Date: July/August 2007
Are you afraid to approach a stranger and hand them a tract? Soul winner Tim Berends has spent years developing techniques that get people to accept them. He is currently working the streets and casinos of Las Vegas. He says, "The tract, How To Get Rich is perfect for the casinos. Most people are there out of greed."
At a line of people waiting to cash a check, Tim will start down the line of two or three dozen people, handing each a tract. "If someone refuses, immediately the devil will try to intimidate me so I will not finish the line," he says. "But if two refuse out of forty or fifty, that`s pretty good odds."
"If Tim sees someone wearing a green shirt, he will say, "Everyone wearing green today gets a free one of these," and hand them a tract. To someone with a baseball cap with Maui on it he says, "Everyone who loves Maui gets a free one of these." When they hear the word "free" it makes it special and they seldom refuse.
To someone who is not particularly attractive, he says, "I saved one of these for you." Tim is six foot six and when he sees someone over six feet tall he says, "Everyone who is over six feet tall gets a free one of these, today."
Tim relies on the Lord to prompt him. One day he was crossing a parking lot and saw an expensive car with the windows tinted. He felt led to knock on the window. Someone inside rolled down the window and Tim said, "Here`s some very important reading," and handed him a tract. "I went on into the store and when I came out this same car honked at me. I thought, 'Oh, no! He`s offended. He may shoot me.`"
He went, anyway, and the man in the car waved the tract and demanded, "What`s this all about?" Tim said, "It just points out that we are all sinners and deserve hell, but Jesus came to keep us from going to hell." This opened a conversation that led to the man accepting Christ as Saviour.
"But I almost didn`t go to him because I was fearful," Tim says. "But Proverbs 29:25 says, 'the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.` And besides, Satan can`t threaten a Christian with heaven. What have we got to lose if we get killed?"
One morning, Tim was out walking in a ghetto area and saw a group of young men. In fear, he considered turning around, or walking on the other side of the street. Putting fear aside, he walked directly up to them and said in a loud voice, "Do you fellows know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?" This started a conversation that led to two of them accepting Christ.
Tim says that fear is Satan`s greatest tool to discourage the soul winner. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." With a little creativity in our approach, we can get the gospel into the hands of many more people who need Jesus in their lives.