Long time ago, I heard from someone that a person has to hear the Gospel six times before he or she comes to know the Lord. I heard more recently that the number jumped up to Seventeen, I think. It seems silly to assume that a person has to hear the Gospel message a certain amount of times before that person can come to know the Lord. But there is some truth to this concept, and I think it would be wise to pay attention to it.
When I was growing up, everyone went to church, or at least some kind of church. People were familiar with some Bible lingo. Many people knew John 3:16. But many of those churches did not grasp the Gospel message. In some ways, it was harder to reach people with the Gospel because many of them already had a form of Godliness, but the heart of the Gospel was missing. Today, we have people who have never stepped into a church building. Many have left the denominations they were brought up in. So we basically have today, a culture of people that are very unfamiliar with the meaning of the Gospel.
A person may receive a tract, and it could seem like Greek to him or her, because they are unfamiliar with the context of the message of the Bible. But each time that person hears the Gospel message, whether it be through a tract, or a friend sharing Scriptures, the person becomes more acquainted with the Gospel. By the time he or she hears the Gospel for the sixth time, that person might be ready to respond.
Sowing seeds, like giving out tracts or doing open air, helps prepare the person for salvation. Since the message of the Gospel is so distant from people in our culture today, we need to be sowing many seeds. When we communicate God's truth to someone, God gives the person understanding. God will convict the person of sin. He will help the person to repent and turn to Christ. God opens the heart and mind to the scriptures. We must be faithful in giving the Scriptures out and proclaiming the Gospel message.
The man you gave a tract to, this afternoon, may have thrown it away. Maybe a Christian neighbor or friend will share the Gospel message with him. He may remember the tract you gave him and the message he wasn't ready to hear. Perhaps you will be the twenty-seventh person to talk to someone, and that may be that person's day to comprehend the Gospel. Maybe that cashier you see every week will be ready to respond when you give her the tract. Maybe four other people talked to her about her relationship with God this month, and she sees Him working in her heart.
Don't be afraid to sow seeds. There is no 'one and only' way to do this. Some people give out tracts. Some leave them in library books. Some put them in trick or treat bags. Others preach the Gospel to groups of people in a park or on the street. Another idea is to create a blog and write the Gospel in your blog. Just be careful of setting up a standard that you think you have to meet or if you don't (or if others don't) then you have failed at evangelism. Also, be careful of other people's standards when it comes to statistics. Some people tell themselves that they have to give out 10 tracts every day. Or that they have to talk to a person every day. Those goals are fine as long as they are motivated by love and are not set in stone for you and others to keep. Otherwise, they could lead to legalism.