Every culture and sub-culture has its own unique language. Each uses words and phrases which either mean something different to their normal usage or simply don’t exist outside of that particular circle.
Evangelism is no different.
*Note: Evangelism is a form of culture but that’s a discussion for another day*
There are phrases and abbreviations which may not always make sense to those who are a little newer on the scene. For want of any better idea, I’m going to share with you a few of those terms, particularly in regard to tracting. So here are a bunch of terms every tracter will find helpful.
(v.) – distributing gospel leaflets to passers-by or posting said leaflets (tracts) through people’s doors. (n. tracter, tract) Example: We’re going tracting in Perth today.
(v.) – tracting an entire area thoroughly, sometimes several times so that absolutely everyone in that area receives something. Example: The plan is to blanket-bomb Leith, it’s our target area.
(v.) – similar to blanket-bombing, quickly and completely tracting an area. Example: We’ve got a few hundred left, we could just blitz the flats on the main road and use them up.
(n.) – electric buzzer entry systems. Example: These flats are a pain to get into, they all have buzzers. (adj. buzzered, v. to buzz)
(n.) – the person that you go tracting with (it’s safer in pairs). Example: Grab yourself a buddy and we’ll allocate you a street.
(n.) – more of a Scottish colloquial term for the stairwell of a block of flats (usually tenements). Example: I’ll run to the top of the closey and work my way down, you start at the bottom and we’ll meet in the middle.
I’m all out.
A phrase indicating that there are no tracts left and the job is (nearly) done. Example: I’m all out, have you got any spare?
(v.) – you take the first door, your buddy takes the second and so on, alternating doors as you work your way down a street. Example: We haven’t done that side of the road yet, you two jump out and leap-frog down.
(n.) – the highly anticipated words which hopefully follow ‘I’m all out’. Need I say more.
(adj.) – tracts that have been turned to mush (usually by the rain since tracting is an all-weather activity). Example: Please keep your tracts in your bag/pocket, we don’t want to be posting porridge through people’s doors.
Take the right/left
(imp.) – also stay on the right/left, an instruction to only tract one side of the road. Often your buddy or another team will take the other side. Example: You guys take the left and work your way down. We’ll take the right.
(adj. or n.) – an estate or area with a particularly confusing road layout. Frustratingly, these roads often all have the same or similar names (Station Road, Station Street, Station Lane, Station Avenue, Station Gardens, Station Terrace, Station Brae…) Example: Try and stick to the map for this area, it’s a bit of a warren.
**Fun fact: Many housing estates don’t actually have a No.13 so don’t panic if you think you’ve missed it.**
(n. or adj.) – a large batch of tracts, usually as many as will fit in your hand/pockets/bag. Example: Grab a wodge and see if you can finish this street.
So there you go. I hope that provides a little clarity for you. Admittedly, each church will have its own variations and additions, usually including running jokes or cultural or biblical references (a block of impenetrable flats nicknamed Jericho for instance), often from previous endeavours but they will become clearer and also be added to with time.
If you are new to this whole thing, welcome! We greatly appreciate your help as we seek to get the gospel out into out little corners of the world. And whether you’re new to it or not, may God bless you as you serve him in this way.
May the gospel run swiftly and be glorified with you just as it is with us!