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A New Angle: Digital Tracts
#1
I know that what comes to mind when speaking about Gospel tracts, is the small printed pamphlets and leaflets that are physically handed to people in everyday circumstances. However I was racking my brain today to see if there was some sort of digital equivalent that could be used to complement the more traditional way of reaching people with the Gospel message. Obviously this is only in the earliest of stages, so I would appreciate feedback on what I've come up with so far.

I fully understand that without prayer and the intervention of the Holy Spirit upon those receiving a tract, it would be an utterly worthless tool. Suffice it to say from the outset then, it is a given that any method of evangelism, regardless of what shape or form it may take, must have its message applied to the heart of a sinner by the working of the Holy Spirit according to the will of God. And to this end our diligent prayers must accompany our efforts in order to be effective.

With all that said, I believe on a practical level there are two main elements needed to make up an effective tract. Firstly there needs to be an element that is able to grab hold of the attention of the person receiving it, and secondly there needs to be the element of being able to accurately and clearly conveying the truth of God's Word in such a way that it can be digested and understood. Obviously these two elements can be clearly seen in the tracts provided by Xpand, but now I would like to show how I believe a similar yet complimentary evangelism tool can be created digitally.

I will approach the second element I mentioned first, which is the message contained within the tract. Because a digital tract would not have the same restrictions as a printed leaflet due to size of material etc., it would be less of an issue to provide a far more in depth explanation of the message being conveyed. The way I would intend to do this would be to create a message that is concise enough to avoid losing the attention of the reader, but clear enough to challenge the reader to explore the matter further. Obviously this pathway can be easily provided with links to more in depth resources covering the subject matter being brought to the readers attention. I suppose this would be the equivalent of the point at which someone receiving a printed tract either tosses it in the nearest bin, or decides to use the information on the tract to explore things more deeply. Just as with a traditional printed tract, the options to vary the message according to the audience are endless, with the same intention of encouraging the reader to consider the matter at hand from a Biblical perspective.

With regard to the ability of the tract to grab the attention of the reader, I had to consider carefully how I envision such a tract could be used. I know that personally I have many online interactions with people on a daily basis, both Christian and non Christian. It would be those people who I would like to share the Gospel message with, yet rarely do I, mainly because of not knowing how to do so effectively, or their complete lack of interest if I'm totally honest. What I believe would be a valuable tool would be something that I could figuratively "drop in the water" so to speak, that had the potential to pique their interest enough to follow a path of their own accord, that would ultimately bring them to the Gospel truth. But how?

I know from personal experience that when I share the Gospel message front and centre on my Facebook feed for example, there is virtually zero response by the majority, even though quite the opposite is true when I share messages that have nothing to do with the Gospel or Christianity in general. However when those same people who care nothing of the Gospel find themselves in the middle of a conversation on such matters by some coincidence, often strong opinions begin rising to the surface. In my opinion, this in itself shows that contrary to the way in which many seem unconcerned about these things, in truth they are matters that clearly do concern them.

What I've decided to do is to attempt to approach from a different angle. Rather than revealing things so clearly from the outset, and giving everyone the clearest of indications to give an extremely wide berth in passing, I will do so more discreetly. My plan is to make use of a service such as offered by the likes of bitly.com to both shorten and veil the web address of the Gospel message I wish to share. Then instead couple the link with a simple statement inviting the person to contemplate something they would normally try to avoid contemplating, even though in truth they understand the need to, as I pointed out previously.

As a brief example of what I'm trying to describe, imagine that I am having a conversation online with someone that for whatever reason has a contempt for Jesus Christ, and does nothing but ridicule Christianity. I know that if I were to share a post openly describing the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross on my Facebook page, he would completely ignore it, or possibly leave some dismissive comment without even really taking any time to digest the content of my message. However if instead in saying goodbye to the person, I casually left a comment saying something along the lines of:

"But what if it's all true? http://bit.ly/2pYcJYy"

Obviously the link above just leads to a video on Youtube, but could equally lead to an entirely different message I had constructed in written format, or whatever else would be most appropriate for the situation. Either way, my hope is that this means would bypass the hesitancy of a person who is reluctant to willingly consider the things of God, and instead force them into the conversation, so to speak.

Anyway that's the sum of my idea so far, and I would sincerely appreciate your feedback.  Big Grin

God bless,

John
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#2
I am not sure on the matter of digital tracts, I think it may work for some as tracts do though Smile I do not know anyone who has come to the Lord through a tract I have given them in the past, yet I do hear many testimonies from others who use them and for all I know some I have given out may have led to conversions I am unaware of. And this is part of the reason for my reply to your post. I just wanted to encourage you, and any others that have the same situation,  as you said ...

"I know from personal experience that when I share the Gospel message front and centre on my Facebook feed for example, there is virtually zero response by the majority, even though quite the opposite is true when I share messages that have nothing to do with the Gospel or Christianity in general."

I have people, most people to be blunt, who are on my fb friends list who NEVER comment or like or react to my gospel and other biblical posts. But they will pretty much comment on anything else I post , a cute joke, a new profile pic etc. I actually quit fb several times feeling it was just pointless as I mostly use it as a place to reach out with the word. But this thought always brings me back .....

I have some who will react almost immediately to those ones, and that means they are still following my general posts as they know as soon as a "non-biblical" one is up on my wall. That is encouraging because they will still be getting all the biblical ones and it hasn't made them un-follow me on their private feed. 

So I guess I just wanted to encourage you with that thought, that though they may not be commenting or publically responding, they may well be taking in and considering the things you share about the Lord. A bit like our friend Nickodemous, they may well be considering Jesus and be out there in the dark of night, and may yet come to Him unseen by the public (or by us). 

Let us hope our messages make them at least consider the Lord Smile
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