Street Tracts F.A.Q. ...
Answers For Frequently Asked Questions...!
Plus some more that you may have been just thinking to yourself!
Please mail free tracts to (John Smith or other name) at the address ------ ------- in (some nation or other). Thanks.
Please mail me some free tracts. I have a tracts ministry here. Can you send me an order form? Thanks.
We usually can't do the printing for you, except in EXTREMELY RARE circumstances.
We should never be expected to take care of all the publication requirements and costs for you (!), because Street Tracts is actually a family-founded and family-funded evangelism project.
We supply free tracts content and printable text, as well as online digital printing-pattern files... but we DO NOT usually supply anyone with free paper booklets for no-cost distribution.
We want you to do the printing work yourself, as well as the distribution!
We don't have any order forms that we can mail out to you, because we are simply a family-run internet ministry, a writing ministry maintained by Ken Street and his wife Nansook Kim Street, with a bit of assistance from a few friends & relatives, plus some volunteer translators & volunteer distributors in India, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, South Korea, etc.
Sounds like you're just trying to promote your own creative writings and your own evangelism messages, rather than distributing the existing tracts of great evangelists like Bill Bright, Jack Chick, Ray Comfort, or Billy Graham! Isn't that what you're really all about?! Sounds a little vainglorious to me!!
Street Tracts is primarily an Author Showcase ministry for Ken Street, a Christian writer with a Master of Divinity degree (1995) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary who likes to produce free evangelism material for other Christians to utilize as they see fit. It has been helped and supported also (with prayer, money, and labor) by his wife Nansook Kim Street, who also holds an M.Div. degree, and it also showcases 3 Korean translations that she has made for 3 of Ken's evangelism tracts.
Ken & Nan are not full-time, paid employees of any church and have extremely limited personal income to use for this volunteer-ministry work that they do.
Strangely, over the last 20 years the Baptist churches (and even Korean Presbyterian churches, with one brief exception) they have attended have never offered them any financial support whatsoever for any of their internet evangelism work... even though they are both Southern Baptists with Southern Baptist seminary degrees!
So you've basically got no staffing, no funding, no money... and only the Lord on your side in your worldwide battle against the forces of evil?
Very nearly correct. You may recall that the US military used to make television commercials which were supposed to entice recruits by telling you how you could some day end up becoming "an army of one."
But as you may have heard it said before, just one Christian believer with the Lord on his side becomes a really powerful army.
Hey, the Lord Himself counts for three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), so that makes you four right at the beginning. Throw in the invisible army of loyal angels that are fighting for you while you are on God's side, and then you've got a really massive army of guys contending on your behalf!
What about all of your volunteer helpers? Aren't you going to give them any credit?
Yes, thankfully, we've also got an occasional Christian volunteer or two who pops his/her head up above the worldwide crowd of cyberspace to then say to us "I can help for a while!"
These usually help with labor and time devoted to translation, printing, and distribution... and seldom with any money or in funding matters.
So you've been short on donations/gifts for a really long time?!
Yes, regrettably so. Our prolonged lack of funding and staffing is probably due, in a very real way, to the fact that Ken himself has never wanted to go begging for donations... always hoping and praying that God would finance his tracts ministry discreetly, instead, through a few major donations and a few individual sponsors. Rather than through a need for public solicitations of money!
He did not want to ever end up like so many others, to be forced into constantly and repetitiously asking people for donations, like so many of those ministers that we often see on television and on the internet.
He always felt like it demeans a ministry of Christ to have its leader constantly and repetitiously asking others for financial gifts, so he just didn't do it.
But unfortunately, those few big donations that he dreamed of getting from individual sponsors just never became a reality.
And consequently, Street Tracts has never even become a traditional "business" entity, or even become any kind of official non-profit organization. It is not a registered charity organization either. Never got big enough to deserve such a status. It is still just a privately-supported internet outreach and a family-centered ministry.
Are you really working for Jesus as a servant of the Lord, or aren't you just trying to publicize your own writings and make a lot of money from them for your own pocket?
Also-- what makes you so sure you're absolutely right in all the things you keep saying in all of your tract messages?
The fact that you've got so many web sites just convinces me that you DON'T have the truth at all!
Our goal has been to publicize through the internet all the evangelism messages written by Ken Street and hopefully get them multiplied by the public...
But our goal has also been to publicize Jesus Christ and the unchanging Truth of His Holy Scripture, as He is the Holy Word of God and the ultimate Source of the Holy Scriptures for all of the Christian world.
We have prayed toward this end for a great many years. That's why we so long ago purchased as our first three domain-names the early sites that still exist today as Worldwide Christian Tracts Network (WorldwideChristianTracts.net), Online Christian Tracts (OnlineChristianTracts.org), and Christian Tracts Network.
That last site has always existed before at the web-address "Christian-Tracts.net," but it's got a newer twin that will also be found today at ChristianTractsNet.com.
( -- We for a while hoped to obtain ChristianTracts.net or ChristianTracts.com, but finally gave up on those domain-names and settled for the ones we've already got!)
We do hope, prayerfully, that we have also served the Lord in our small way by producing some new content for the "information highway" that is the internet. We have made our evangelism messages freely available to everyone as online printing-patterns and digital-display messages, because the internet has been correctly named "a library without walls."
So then why do you act like you've got a big "international" tracts ministry anyway, if you've got so little funding, so few helpers, etc?
Every Christian ministry found on the internet, by its very existence on the internet, becomes an international ministry and a resource "without walls," and we can easily see that Ken's own little Resource Centers are now all over the internet.
This is perhaps appropriate, since Ken spent the first half of his working-life as a librarian and as what was called (at least in his public elementary-school employment years) "a Media Specialist."
Ken has been recently trying to serve the Lord a bit better as a full-time writer of Christian literature content/text and as a supplier of materials for what we might properly call Internet Media Resource Centers that have been popping up all over the net.
We've also customized tracts especially for South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Africa, and Native American Indians. We've had volunteers make foreign-language translations for us in at least 7 different languages of Asia.
But even ONE web site maintained on the internet for a long time would be enough to qualify ANY Christian ministry as "an international ministry."
What?! You mean you're not a tract-booklets publisher?!
That is indeed the case here. We are primarily a content provider. It's rather like the way AP (Associated Press) and UPI (United Press International) provide news content for newspaper-publishers all around the US and the entire world. Ken is a Christian writer of evangelism messages and tracts who hopes to provide a lot of Christian lay-people with content/text that they can use for printing up their own paper materials!
However, we do in one sense serve as a sort of "internet publisher," because we put all of Ken's evangelism tracts content/text on our internet sites, giving everyone in the world free access to his evangelism materials.
So like everybody else, you don't have much money. Are you just too cheap to pay for giving away thousands of paper booklets to all the people who send you e-mail requests?
What if we sent you a gift of $20 or $40? Would you do the printing work for us then, or would you still expect us to just print up our own paper booklets?
No, you'll still have to print up the booklets for yourself, with your own time and labor!
Instead of sending us a gift of money by snail-mail (which is the only way it can be done right now), you can use your own cash to pay for your photocopies and make the paper tracts yourself!
That would help our tracts ministry to progress and multiply a lot faster than a $20 gift (or $40 or even $60) could ever do so. Even though we'd be pleased to occasionally get a few free-will gifts of money, our aim is for you to print the paper booklets yourself!
It's better that you spend your money to make your own paper copies, because we don't have time to do that labor for you!
How do we know that your evangelism tracts are any good, then?!
A lot of people, we think, e-mail us asking that we mail them "free tracts" even when there is nothing in their e-mail message to indicate that they have even taken time to READ some of our online tracts, or to examine all the info in the material that we've already placed on the internet sites!
Haste makes you sadly uninformed, perhaps; all play and no work, in this particular case, will tend to make Jack a very dull boy indeed. You may need to spend more time reading what's already on our web sites! THEN e-mail us, with a clear appreciation and a strong indication that one particular tract appeals to you, and we'll be much more speedy in making an e-mail response.
But the fact remains that we have been drastically understaffed and underfunded for 20 years now, so our e-mail responses are often extremely slow!
So when we send an e-mail message to "Street Tracts," we are really sending it to Ken Street-- the author of all the Street Tract evangelism messages?
Yes, exactly. Ken is primarily just a humble Christian writer who aspires to do a lot of evangelism through the internet, but his tracts-evangelism ministry has been only a part-time activity for him and his wife during 19 of the last 20 years.
He's never been an ordained pastor, nor an unordained preacher, nor a big-shot television personality, nor a traveling evangelist! He hasn't even been a full-time, paid employee of any church!
Were you ever a missionary family? Are you missionaries right now, or are you a retiring missionary family?
During his prior "missionary visits" in South Korea, Ken and his wife Nansook were not paid missionaries with a stipend, nor were they even sponsored by any church; they were just self-supporting Christians doing a kind of labor/work that Christians usually call "tentmaking." His family-income always had to be gotten from other sources (and from his secular employment), not from any church.
That's the way it's been since Ken came up with the "Street Tracts" idea 20 years ago.
For the last 14 months he's been completely unemployed, finally able to focus on his writing work for a while.
And it looks like he may be forced into a premature retirement now, at age 58, with a definite lack of retirement funding. Right now, he needs to focus more on personal survival and his various writing projects, including some ebook Bibles that he is in the process of designing for the internet.
Rather than spending all his time printing up paper booklets for other people who think that they "don't have time" to use the printing-patterns that are online to just print up their own paper tract booklets. Sorry, but the author is busy trying to actually get some writing done these days!
So he and his wife really don't have time anymore to help you out by doing the actual printing of the paper Street Tract booklets for you!
I live in the US, but I just don't have time to print up my own paper tracts. Can't you send me some free ones that you've already manufactured?
I live in Brazil. Please send me some free tracts in Spanish.
If you are living in an English-speaking country, especially, you should do all labor of the printing work, assembly, and distribution yourself...please!
If you live in a foreign nation (outside the US and the Western world primarily) and you can voluntarily (for free) translate a Street Tract for us, please send me a digital copy of your translation by e-mail... and then I'll be happy to post that on all our web sites of the Street Tracts International net!
In a few cases (for European languages, but not often the Asian ones), we might even be able to help you transform your digital translation of a Street Tract into a digital printing-pattern. From that you can then print up your own foreign-language editions of our originally-English Street Tracts.
What's this?! You've even gotten some tract requests from Pakistan?!!
Yes, surprisingly, we've gotten two or three now from that country. Amazingly, we've even gotten by e-mail some tract requests from faraway Pakistan, with some Christians living there in Pakistan apparently hoping for an Urdu-language edition to be available!
But we can't have even a digital tract in Urdu that's available through the internet... unless some Christian volunteer somewhere will first choose to make us a free-will translation as a love offering... and then e-mails the finished translation to us. Then we can maybe offer that kind of booklet pattern through the internet as well.
Aren't you a little disappointed that your Street Tracts logo has never become that of a big publishing house? Do you feel this means that God failed you... or that you failed God...or that your tracts aren't really very successful?
Street Tracts is not a big-time booklet publisher with massive funding, but that was never really our main aim or desire for the Street Tracts ministry. Instead, it is an internet evangelism ministry that showcases the evangelism tracts written by Ken Street-- a communications/media ministry that attempts to offer the world online access to Ken's digital printing-pattern files, his computerized tract slideshows, etc.
The service we are attempting to provide is that of a content/text/information source and a digital information service, not that of a paper-booklets printer and a paper-pamphlets publisher.
To see some really big paper editions in print would certainly be nice! So far we've only helped produce a total of 100,000 copies for India (in 4 languages of India), with a print-run of 10,000 copies for each of our Street Tract translations there... plus 10,000 copies of a Burmese-language tract for Myanmar, and 5,000 copies of our first Nepali tract for the people in the nation of Nepal.
We also did a small print-run or two for South Korea, plus a few tiny ones here in the US, and we haven't given up yet. We still cling to our old "pipe-dream" of getting a lot of free evangelism tracts out to the world through a worldwide network of volunteer workers!
What?! You mean that you expect us to do all the work ourselves, instead of just sending you our hard-earned cash as a donation... and then having you mail us back a lot of paper booklets in return?
That's exactly right. Ken's basic idea, starting with his first web sites back in the 1990's, was that there would someday be a "Christian Tracts Network" of web sites and links for the internet, getting digital tracts out to people through the internet.
The proposed network was to include not only a lot of Street Tracts web sites, but also a lot of volunteer Christians (all over the US and the rest of the world) who would volunteer their time and use their own money to finance private printings of Ken's evangelism tracts.
How come you've got so many web sites if you don't have much income or any real funding for your tracts ministry?
Since Ken is a Caucasian American of British ancestry and his wife is originally from South Korea, their plan from the beginning was to create an international fishing "net" for Jesus via the world wide web, which they prefer to think of as a "world wide net." Thus, as the number of Street Tracts sites started to multiply, they decided to call the project "the Street Tracts International Net."
After maybe 7 years of trying to build "an evangelism tracts network" with just a few sites, we discovered that we were ranking okay (very high, actually) in the Yahoo Search engine, but we were never showing up at all in the Google Search engine for the necessary search terms. (We were often still on maybe page 20 of the results list that came back from the Google Search engine. That was extremely discouraging.)
So we decided it was essential to multiply the number of sites, and we began a big campaign to do so, financing all the acquired domains and sites with our own Street Family income. We started multiplying our sites (with our own family money footing all the bills for domains, sites, and servers), and it eventually got a lot better!
Then we started showing up a lot better in the Google search-engine... due to a lot of cross-linking and prayer and a special promotion from God Almighty.
Wow! So how are you doing with Google Search these days... in the current time?
In the last 2 years or so, we've started getting some excellent rankings in Google Search for a lot of relevant search terms and phrases. The two where we have been especially blessed by God in the past 2 years are the search terms "Jesus tracts" and "tracts Jesus."
For those two-- praise God!-- we have been daily at the top of the first page of the Google search results. This has been maintained by our Lord Jesus on a daily basis for over one year now! Halleluyah! And we've been at the top of the Google listing in a search for "gospel booklets" for over two years now!
We've also been at the top of page one, for over one year already, in a search for the terms "Jesus booklets" and "Jesus pamphlets."
(We'd like to improve our ranking for the term "Jesus information" too, so please help us pray that this will be accomplished soon!)
Won't you just mail us some free paper booklets as samples, at least? Don't you keep some paper booklets on hand that you can mail out to interested Christians?
No, we don't have a supply of paper-booklet samples on hand that we can mail to you. Our previous home-printings went out of our home and into the wider world a long time ago! Please look at the digital files that are online at all of the web sites, and READ them for yourself online-- these are the "free samples" that you can easily view online before choosing to print up your own booklets from our patterns.
The family-income of Ken Street & Nansook Kim Street has until now (for 20 years already, as of May 2009) been the main source of funding for all the evangelism works of Street Tracts, providing the financing for more than 90% of all our evangelism efforts. And we have extremely limited income. The only monetary gifts we've ever gotten for our tracts ministry have come from a handful of personal friends and relatives that we could count on the fingers of two hands. We've had a lot more persistence than prosperity in the past 20 years, but we've managed to establish a significant internet presence-- by the grace of our Lord Jesus-- in that same time period.
So then-- is the Ken Street tracts ministry that of a publisher, of a publicist, of a webmaster, or of a writer?! Your sites sometimes make me think that maybe it's like-- maybe its all of the above!
Ken Street is primarily a writer of free evangelism tracts and Christian books, and also a webmaster of sorts, but his family-run internet ministry is not a that of a big booklet publisher... and his home is actually not a printing house.
Our occasional little forays into the private printing of booklets at home (in our own home location and home town) have always been in the form of small desktop-publishing jobs of the same sort that we ask you to do for yourself.
We can't usually do the printing for you, but we try to help people by providing free of charge the creative source-material (text and content) from which you can easily print up your own booklets. We may also be able to help you by a bit of customization of the online printing-pattern files-- if you happen to be part of a big tracts-evangelism campaign or a church-sponsored outreach.
That's rare, though, and requires personal correspondence that shows a big appreciation for our Street Tracts and a strong desire to use them.
On such occasions, rather rarely, we may then be able "speed up" the production of a particular tract that still needs to have its "printing pattern" posted online for your access; we might even be able to give you an "alternate version" of the original tract pattern that includes the name/address/phone info for your church as part of the digital pattern files. This happens rather rarely now, however, and would require a special show of interest/enthusiasm on the part of the solicitor.
Ken really needs to spend all his time in creative writing now, month after month, as much as possible... for at least the next year or two.
What's the basic foundational idea behind this "Christian Tracts Network" that you now call the "Street Tracts International Net" anyway?
The whole idea of the Street Tracts evangelism ministry has always been that the public (in the form of a network of Christian volunteers located in diverse cities all over the world) would itself shoulder the expense of printing up all the paper booklets that it distributes.
And that's the only way in which the printed Street Tracts can ever be a "free" service of our Street Tracts International Mission.
All website ministries have an international outreach, however, and that is more true in our case than most, as we have written, designed, and printed up new evangelism tracts specifically for South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Africa, Native American Indians, etc. So we have sometimes described our sites as an "International Source of Free Evangelism booklets."
Don't you sometimes make an exception or two and print up the paper booklet copies for somebody else who is living in the US, England, or a nation of Africa?
Maybe in the past. We might have attempted that a few times in prior years, but we can no longer do so. This is due to a persistent shortage of time and funds that has continued now for 20 years already.
We always try to insist that you should print up your own paper booklets from our online paper-pattern printing files and just finance the print-run with your own money, doing all the work in your own home town.
This is now more essential than ever! We no longer have enough time or money (or staff) to be able to help all the people who e-mail us with requests for evangelism tracts!
So what's the rare exception to that rule, then?! I know there's got to be a rare exception to your standard rule-of-thumb concerning this! There always is one, for most people at least!
No more help for anyone now--?? Not any time at all?
The very rare exception to the above publication rule is perhaps when you've made a foreign-language translation for one of our tracts (as an unpaid, volunteer Christian worker) and you've then e-mailed to us a digital copy of your translation that we can post on the internet for the benefit of a global audience.
In such cases, we may try to use our own limited Street Family income (extremely limited) to help finance a printing or two of your foreign-language translation of our tract for some overseas nation. But that will probably have to happen less often now than in the past.
It's true that it has happened this way several times in the past, and thus we helped finance some foreign-language printings in India, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, and South Korea.
But Western nations and all English-speaking people are generally expected to just print up their own tracts from our online printing-patterns... in accordance with the original aim and plan of the Street Tracts ministry.
Please make use of them and put them to good use! That's why we've put them all online!
The whole idea of the Street Tracts family evangelism ministry, ever since the earliest computer-slideshow tracts that we designed so long ago (1990-1995), has been that the public itself, via Christian volunteers like yourself, would use our online files to print up and distribute the Street Tract booklets to a waiting world!
Are you really serious?!? You really expect us to print up all the booklets by ourselves?
You've got to be joking!
How can we expect you to actually do the printing jobs yourself and thereby help us economize on such publication expenses? Well, in this modern age of ours, when just about every family in the United States seems to have a computer, a printer, and internet service... printing up your own tract booklets is a lot easier than you may think!
All you really have to do is use one of our online printing-patterns and your own computer's printer to print out a first copy of the paper pages that will serve you as a prototype-pattern.
The paper-format printing-pattern pages, which you can rather easily produce from our online pattern-files, can then be used by you to produce as many photocopy duplicates as you may choose to make. You just go to your own town's local photocopy-service center (Federal Express or whatever), and make a lot of photocopy pages; then you slice up the photocopies into the page-strips you need with the cutting-machine of that same photocopy-service center, for which you just pay them a few dollars extra.
Then you tie up all those page-strips with rubber-bands, put them into carrying boxes, and you carry all those zillions of page-strips back to your home or church, where you get family and friends to help you fold in half each of the page-strip packets. Then you get those same people to help you staple each booklet with two staples and put them back into your carrying boxes again. It's pretty simple, really.
Not so expensive if you do it all yourself via free volunteer labor... but it is rather time-consuming! Better perhaps for persons who have a lot of time they are willing to volunteer to the cause of Christ, but not much money to go along with it!
E-MAIL MESSAGES & PAPER-MAIL CORRESPONDENCE
Follows Below . . .
Please Note: "Street Tracts" is merely a family-run internet ministry these days, operated part-time with no paid workers and no correspondence-manager!
In other words, Street Tracts now has only Ken himself answering e-mails sent to him/us at this time, while his wife & two sons are not currently available to help handle this task. When you send an e-mail to "Street Tracts," therefore... you are actually writing one to the author himself!
Although Ken's quite busy with his creative-writing work nowadays and simply does not have enough time or patience to answer every e-mail, he will still be happy to receive any pleasant or complimentary e-mail someone wants to send-- any brief or long e-note that is a message of real encouragement and helpfulness, desiring to give assistance via a new translation or whatever. He's happy to get any brief note giving a good report from a fellow Christian concerning some beneficial usefulness you may have found in one of Ken Street's Bible-teaching sites or in one of his many net-evangelism tracts.
That kind of e-mail can be a real blessing and encouragement for any aspiring author, especially one who is self-publishing free evangelism tracts in digital format through a lot of internet web sites, as does Ken Street. Since Ken gets no financial benefit at all from any of his creative writings and evangelism tracts that are in this way always being freely posted on the internet... for everyone to use without any charge... well, a kind word or two in response will be greatly appreciated by the author!
In these modern days of rapid internet communication, however, unpleasant and disagreeable messages are commonly transmitted/posted with excessive frequency, and Ken wishes not to be annoyed with any unpleasant or argumentative messages...please! He needs to use his time for actual creative-writing activities-- not merely for casual correspondence with argumentative persons who are really quite unknown to him.
If you do happen to send an e-mail, please use Ken's etracts @ yahoo.com address, rather than the itracts @ yahoo.com address or the ewtracts @ yahoo.com address. Please avoid using the old eztraveller @ netscape.net and the old earthtrek1 @ hotmail.com address likewise! Our e-Prompter program doesn't seem to be working properly at all, and the only web-mail site that Ken now logs in for frequently is his "etracts @ yahoo.com" address.
If anyone in these difficult times is so successful in evangelism work that you can offer Ken distribution/ publishing assistance in a big way, please use paper-mail correspondence to communicate with Ken about your proposals. If you are still rich enough to be able to offer a financial gift to our fledgling evangelism ministry, you will have to do so via regular paper-envelope surface mail sent to our Mount Airy, NC address. What is that address?
Well, if you've actually read entirely some of our online slideshow tracts and digital evangelism messages... you will see our mailing address for surface-mail has been there at the back of each tract all along, for a great many years... ever since the first tracts appeared back in 1989! Please just use that long-posted Mount Airy address for paper correspondence and for any helpful financial contribution, as the address has never been changed!