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Under-rated Treasure

Those who are followers of Jesus are in possession of the greatest of treasures... the priceless message of the gospel. And yet in seeking to 'keep the faith' this mustn't mean keeping it to ourselves! And in this ultra technological age surely we must utilise every method of communication available to us in order to reach as many as possible of those still outside the Kingdom of God.

However, there's one 'vehicle of communication' which has served the worldwide Church extremely well down through the years, and yet it is widely considered to have out-lived its usefulness today. And because of this it is discredited, disregarded and even scorned by many of our most prominent churches. I'm referring of course to gospel literature.

Now at this point I do have to declare a somewhat biased attitude to this subject, especially having produced evangelistic material for 25 years under the auspices of the TELit Trust. (TELit - shorthand for Thematic Evangelistic Literature.) But then the value I place on this form of evangelism is surely underlined by the American Tract Society who point up its unique characteristics in saying...

'Evangelistic literature can travel further, say it better, last longer and cost

less that just about every other form of evangelism.'

Of course gospel communication through literature is an undramatic, unspectacular form of evangelism. Yet in a day when so few will receive a clear understanding of the gospel in any other way, at very least it's a seed-sowing exercise. It can be a link in the chain that the Lord uses to draw men and women to Himself... perhaps the first link, maybe the last but often somewhere in the middle. And of course we need to exercise urgency in our outreach because, after all, the gospel is only 'good news' for those who receive it in time!

The particular merits of gospel literature are also analysed in terms of the following, though the author of this is unknown to me...

'The printed page never flinches, never shows cowardice,

it is never tempted to compromise; it never tires, never grows disheartened;

it travels cheaply and requires no hired hall, it works while we sleep;

it never loses its temper; and it works long after we are dead.

The printed page is a visitor which gets inside the home, and stays there;

it always catches a man in the right mood, for it speaks to him only when he is reading it; it always sticks to what it has said, and never answers back;

and it is bait left permanently in the pool.'

You've probably heard it said that the day of the 'tract' is gone, or words to that effect. And I heartily agree with those sentiments... yet only if by the term 'tract' we're referring to what is usually envisaged... a flimsy pamphlet cheaply produced in tiny print with no colour of visual illustrations and whose whole image speaks more of yesteryear than today.

But you've also probably heard it said that followers of Jesus must make the gospel relevant for today, but of course this is utter RUBBISH! The gospel is as relevant today as it ever has been, though surely we need to SHOW its relevance through the design and production of our publications. After all, we need to realise that every piece of literature, whether Christian or secular, is not only a 'messenger' but also an 'ambassador'. And we need to reflect the 'quality' of our message through the quality of our presentations. Because, in the words of the great Christian haulage entrepreneur, Eddie Stobart...

'Only our best is good enough for the Lord!'

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2 коментарі

Riaz Mohammed
Riaz Mohammed
29 бер. 2023 р.

Very sensible Barry - as usual! If the apostle Paul had this way of communicating the Gospel the whole world would have heard from him about the Lord in his life time! God bless all that you do,



Angus Bell
Angus Bell
24 бер. 2023 р.

A great thought Barry! As someone for whom evangelistic literature was the last link in my chain to the Lord, it’s great to see a positive take on it when it’s often rejected as old-fashioned, as you say!

praying for you brother,


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Hello, welcome to my blog site.

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Reflections of a Jesus follower

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