Posted on April 10, 2007 by TheHomelessGuy
Someone recently asked about religious tracts for the homeless. For those who don’t know, tracts are small pamphlets some Christians use as a way to promote the faith. Personally, I’ve never known tracts to be an effective means of ministry, especially to non-Christians. And they often have the opposite effect - instead of bringing people closer to god, they often turn people away from Him.
Faith is a personal thing, and can only be properly dealt with on a person to person basis. Personal interaction is needed, and tracts are not personal. If anything, tracts are about as impersonal as you can get - and are often used so to avoid personal contact with people. Handing a person a piece of paper and then walking away from them is not how Jesus teaches how to minister to people.
Throw those tracts into the trash, and go out and meet people, and talk to people, and get to know them, and their needs, and help those people you encounter to meet their needs because that’s what God wants you to do. Then these people, so effected by your act of kindness, will be converted and they will begin doing as you do - going out and meeting people and meeting their needs, with the help of God.
And that brings up another subject.
What a weak and selfish people Christians have become. Even the well intentioned Christians get it wrong and make mess of things. When a Christian encounters a person with a problem, they will introduce Jesus, and tell the person with the problem that Jesus will help. And then the Christian leaves the person with the problem alone with Jesus, for them to work out the problem between themselves.
As Christians we are called to help people, and to be the problem solvers. We are supposed to be involved in the solutions. It is not our calling to point people in the direction of help, we are supposed to be the help. Passing out Bibles, or tracts, or inviting people to Church, is a way of avoiding our calling. We serve no one when we pass the buck, not our fellow citizens, not our God.