Using Tracts to Produce Beneficial Results
1 Jehovah’s modern-day organization has a history of successfully using tracts. The very name of our legal corporation, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, implies that tracts play a vital part in the dissemination of the good news. From 1881 to 1918, more than 300 million tracts were distributed by Jehovah’s people. Many of those who became part of the remnant of Christ’s brothers during this period were first introduced to the truth by means of these early tracts.
2 In 1987 renewed emphasis was placed on the use of small tracts with the release of four colorful ones that have been available since then. It was announced at the 1992 “Light Bearers” District Convention that this series of tracts was to be enlarged with the addition of four more colorful and thought-provoking tracts. They are Comfort for the Depressed, Enjoy Family Life, Who Really Rules the World?, and Will This World Survive? Are you using all eight tracts to produce beneficial results in your ministry?
3 Good results come from using the tracts effectively. We will need to familiarize ourselves with each of them. For example, have you read them over carefully to get in mind what each one discusses? Have you thought about what type of person each tract will appeal to? Thoroughly familiarizing yourself with each tract will build your confidence in using them in the house-to-house work as well as in many situations where you can give an informal witness.
4 Use in the House-to-House Ministry: One circuit overseer writes: “I am having fine success by starting most of my discussions with the tract.” Have you tried this approach? Why not use tracts as a means to introduce your conversation? With eight tracts, we now have eight stimulating introductions to choose from. Each tract gives us an opportunity to start a Bible study either on the initial call or on a return visit.
5 There are other opportunities for using tracts. During a conversation at the door, you may learn that the person has recently lost a loved one in death or that someone in the family is ill. People who experience great sorrow or who are trying to cope with prolonged difficulties often develop negative emotions and become depressed. How loving it would be to share the encouraging message found in the tract Comfort for the Depressed! You may learn that the person was recently divorced or that he has lost his employment. Such experiences can be traumatic and take quite a toll on the family. Use the questions on page 2 of the tract Enjoy Family Life: “Why are families today bombarded with such serious problems? How can we enjoy family life?” Perhaps these are the very questions that the person has foremost in mind. Even if immediate interest is not apparent, it is possible that he will read the tract later on.—Eccl. 11:6.
6 In some congregations the territory has been worked frequently, and many people already have some of our literature. By using the tracts, we will have an opportunity to discuss something of interest with householders, draw them out, and get them to think about the Kingdom hope. Plant a question in their minds that can be discussed at a later time. Make a return visit, and develop this interest further. In time we may be able to begin studying with them using a brochure or a book they already have.
7 Use Tracts Informally: If we keep tracts within easy reach—in our shirt pocket, coat pocket, purse, or witnessing bag—we can use them on many different occasions, wherever people may be found. Use them when shopping, traveling, or talking to relatives or visitors. Tracts afford us the opportunity to give a brief witness. A tract is something that does not overwhelm a person but is pointed and tactful. It is more readily accepted than a book or the magazines, since there is not so much to read.
8 Be alert to opportunities to offer the tracts informally at school or your place of employment, at restaurants, at a gas station, and so forth. When making arrangements to take her grandmother to the doctor, a sister made sure that she had some tracts with her. At the doctor’s office, she started a conversation with an expectant mother. After showing the tract Life in a Peaceful New World to the woman, the sister asked: “Would you like to raise your child in a world like the one pictured here?” She was able to follow up that conversation with a visit to the woman’s house. This led to a number of regular return visits.
9 Bible Studies Can Be Started With Tracts: One circuit overseer reported that the congregation he was visiting started 64 home Bible studies during the week by using tracts when initially greeting the householder.
10 Have you tried offering a Bible study on initial house-to-house calls? By using a tract, you may be able to demonstrate briefly how a study is conducted. One sister did this using the tract Life in a Peaceful New World. Pointing to the picture, she asked the householder if she thought our earth would ever be like that. After the householder responded, the sister invited her to read 2 Peter 3:13 and Isaiah 65:17, which are highlighted in the tract. Our sister then said: “These promises are neither a dream nor a fantasy but are actually made in God’s Word, the Bible.” She then arranged to continue the conversation the following week. On the next visit, a number of the woman’s questions were answered and the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth was left. A Bible study resulted.
11 Are you one who is newly baptized or perhaps an unbaptized publisher who is gaining experience in your ministry? If so, you may want to seek out those who are more experienced and ask for their suggestions on using tracts in your congregation territory. We have many examples in the Bible of those who received encouragement and direction from mature ones in the faith.—Acts 18:24-27; 1 Cor. 4:17.
12 The Congregation Book Study conductor can be especially helpful in making arrangements for others to give you assistance in using tracts effectively. Parents have the responsibility to help their children make advancement in the preaching work. One young Witness was trained by her parents to offer the tract Life in a Peaceful New World. While with her mother on a Bible study, she offered a tract to the interested person’s husband. The husband was impressed that a young person would have such strong religious convictions. He thoroughly enjoyed reading the tract. Each time the young girl returned with her mother, she shared a scripture or Bible story that she had prepared especially for him. The man now reads the magazines regularly, has shown interest in the Revelation Climax book, and has attended a few meetings. All of this resulted because the parents took time to care for their responsibilities in teaching their daughter to make good use of the tracts.
13 Use Our New Tracts Effectively: In using the tract Will This World Survive?, you could introduce yourself and begin your conversation by saying: “Good morning. We are talking to people about the quality of life today. Do you think the quality of life will improve, or will it continue to decline? [Allow for response.] Some think that what is happening in the world today is in fulfillment of Bible prophecy and that the world’s end is near. What do you think?” After the householder responds, offer the tract and draw attention to the three questions in the second paragraph. Then follow the development of the tract to show how a world has ended before and that this one also will end. As the visit is concluded, arrange for another visit to consider the Bible evidence that the end of the world is near.
14 Many times we find ourselves in a position to share the Kingdom message with others only briefly, such as at work or at school. At your place of employment, a discussion may come up about recent news items concerning government. You could agree that despite all efforts made by leaders who may be well-meaning, the world has suffered terribly throughout history. Then refer to the bottom paragraph on page 2 of the tract Who Really Rules the World? Read the three thought-provoking questions. If there is no time for a brief conversation, give the person(s) the tract and make arrangements to discuss these questions at another time or place.
15 As individuals and families, take time to consider how to present each of these different tracts. Hold practice sessions. How can you use the tracts with the other literature being featured in the field ministry for the month? What appointments do you have coming up where you could take a few tracts along with you? Will you come in contact with someone this week who would benefit from the timely message these tracts offer?
16 Deep love for Jehovah and concern for people will motivate us to do all we can in making the good news known. Using tracts regularly will help us do that. One young boy, seven years of age, wanted to help his next-door neighbor make it into the new system, so he gave her a tract, and a Bible study was started. It sounds so simple! But do we appreciate this simple approach in our ministry? The next time we leave a tract with someone, it may lead to a Bible study too. If we make wise use of tracts in preaching the good news of the Kingdom, we are certain to experience beneficial results.