Are gospel tracts an effective tool for evangelism?Yes. Gospel tracts, by definition, include the gospel. Anytime the gospel is disseminated, heard, read, and understood, that is good.
Gospel tracts come from myriad organizations and usually are based on some sort of theme, such as Christmas or Easter, a current movie, a personal story, book series, or a series of intriguing questions. Pages lead to an explanation of God’s goodness through His Son Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.
Gospel tracts have no specific biblical mandate, but have been around since the 1200s. They were popular during the Protestant Reformation as the invention of the printing press made the production cheaper, easier, and faster. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) is the author of the most well-known tract The Four Spiritual Laws.
These sort of booklets do have a general biblical mandate: that is, as Christians we are called to spread the gospel, to proclaim the salvation Jesus provided. "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Some Christians find that sharing a tract with a friend or coworker, an acquaintance or someone they run across regularly (such as a bank teller or grocery store cashier) may be easier than trying to engage a person into a conversation about Jesus. God says He will bless the proclamation of His Word (Isaiah 55:11). So if the gospel tract is biblically sound and proclaims His Word, we can trust that it is a tool God can use.
However, relying solely on a tract for your method of sharing the gospel can be a mistake. Some relationships would be damaged by simply handing a tract to a friend. Other times, a tract will most likely be discarded without being read at all. Remember, Christians are called to a readiness to share the gospel (Matthew 28:19–20: Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15). We should not rely solely on tracts to the exclusion of being willing to personally share the gospel.
Also, be aware that cults and some pseudo-Christian organizations and false religions use tracts as well. Be sure the organization you order or use tracts from is a Bible-believing, orthodox Christian ministry. Read any information about such an organization carefully, be sure the gospel is clearly and simply presented, and check out any websites listed. If you use tracts, you want to be sure they are sharing the real gospel.
What is the gospel?
What is a biblical approach for evangelism?
What are some tips for how I can share my Christian testimony?
What is the key to evangelizing friends and family without offending them?
How can I share my faith in the workplace? Why should I talk about my faith at work?
Truth about the Christian Life