We live in an A.D.D. world. More and more, it seems like our attention span is shrinking to accommodate the flood of messages that come at us from every direction. For instance, 4 out of 5 people who landed on this webpage 30 seconds ago have already clicked away to look at something else.
No exaggeration…I’ve got the stats to prove it…
Anyone who’s trying to sell anything recognizes these trends, and so they adjust their marketing practices accordingly. Television marketers and internet spammers bombard us daily with stimulating images, blinking/flashing advertisements, and over-hyped sound bites to get our attention and keep it for that magical 30 to 60 second window of opportunity so they can make their pitch.
Should the church follow suit?
30 – SECOND EVANGELISM
Today, the most popular tools for evangelism are gospel tracts – short pamphlets filled with photos, illustrations, and dramatic one-liners designed to grab the reader’s attention and keep them engaged for 30 seconds or so…just long enough to read a page or two about Jesus and then make a decision whether they want to follow him or not.
These tracts are useful and have their place, and they are so common in the church that I think we tend to just assume that this is how evangelism is done. But they are not the only method, and evangelical Christians might want to consider whether there is another way.
IF GOD WERE TO WRITE A GOSPEL TRACT, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
In a way, he already did. It’s a book in the Bible called The Gospel of John, and it states its own purpose:
…these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. – John 20:31
In 1893 a teen girl named Helen Cadbury (whose father was the president of Cadbury Chocolates) recognized the value of John as an evangelism tool and rallied a small group of her girlfriends to join her in sharing copies of it whenever the opportunity arose. They called themselves The Pocket Testament League, and from these humble beginnings a legacy was born.
THE POCKET TESTAMENT LEAGUE
For over a century The Pocket Testament League has worked tirelessly to share the gospel, distributing over 110 million copies of the Gospel of John. Members can purchase the pocket-sized Gospels by the case to give away themselves, and they can sponsor other members to do so as well. The books are available in paperback, in several different languages, with dozens of covers and themes to choose from (including everything from surfing & nature to business & finances to driving trucks & riding Harleys).