So while I was at the World Fantasy Convention 2005, a group of us were walking back from dinner only to be accosted by a contingent of Campus Crusaders shilling tracts and asking if we knew Jesus as our Lord and Savior … Apparently I can’t be pleased. “Witness” to me and I’ll lecture you about the limited effectiveness of this approach, especially in a postmodern age. Don’t witness to me, and I’ll complain about you not wanting me.

Sadly, this has been typical of my experience with folks who hand out tracts. Even when I’ve been the folks handing out tracts. It’s an impersonal action (that makes us feel like we’re “doing” something) over actually engaging the person we’re handing stuff to. You know, “I’m not going to take the time to get to know you, I’m gonna assume that you aren’t a Christian and would rather leave you info to get yourself into heaven.”

Anyway, this got me to thinking about how we should think about evangelism again, and how we go about doing it. The whole cold call, “if you were to die today do you know where you’d go”, “God has a plan for your life” constant hard sell works for some. It may have some value and some effect – some folks have “come to know the Lord” this way. If we can get to the point where we can say “that’s not how I would do things, but that doesn’t necessarily make it bad” then we are in a good place.

Now, this has nothing to do with the new American Tract Society release “Who is the Real Super Man?” Yes, I was commissioned to write a tract. It never occurred to me that people actually wrote them. Or were paid so well to do them. It was kind of like writing a romance novel: you want to stick to their structure and formula, while sneaking in your style, voice, and message. (Okay, I’d tell you more about it, but my hope is that my old church, who tends to question my theology, but also buys these tracts by the hundreds, buys them.)

Did I mention that it pays well?

As you know, if it leads even one person to Christ, then it was all worth it.

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