Here’s the basic problem we have with Signs of the Times magazine: it’s not for Adventists, but we still want them to be passionate about it. Signs is an evangelistic magazine; it’s primarily aimed at readers who don’t necessarily know much about the Bible and haven’t necessarily made a commitment to Jesus. Therefore it won’t always scratch where Adventist readers are itching—they might even write Signs off as “light” or “not meaty enough”.
So why is every Adventist church across Australia and New Zealand due to get a batch of new-look Signs magazines this Sabbath, August 25? And why are we, Signs’ publishers, spending thousands of dollars to get these extra magazines into the hands of people who aren’t even our target audience?
Because we need you.
We need you to connect
Signs makes its most powerful impact when it’s a natural part of a genuine friendship between a committed Adventist and a person who’s exploring faith. For most adults who become Christians in secular cultures, their experience is not one of sudden conversion, but a gradual journey where a series of different incidents and influences gently nudge them towards God. And human contact is often one of the most vital influences.
As you build friendships with neighbours, colleagues or past church members, you may find that the time comes when a well-placed Signs article is the perfect invitation to deeper conversation. Signs is for sharing!
We need you to sponsor
I received an email recently from Teresa Clark, an Adventist woman who coordinates a community food pantry in Newcastle, NSW. She asked if we could send some Signs magazines to her to share with the people who come for food and friendship—her experience so far has been that any Christian literature she makes available is eagerly received. We sent her a box of leftover previous months’ magazines, but told her we’d need to find sponsors so that she can continue to receive Signs regularly for the 60 people who come every week to collect food and the 80 who enjoy the community meal together.
This is exactly the kind of partnership we want to set up with mission-minded individuals and churches around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. But key to the success of these initiatives is the financial backing to fund the printing and distribution of the magazines. Nearly everyone I talk to who’s distributing Signs to the public says they don’t have enough to go around. We need more sponsors to meet the demand for Signs of the Times.
We need you to pray
We’re doing what we can to make Signs attractive, relevant and spiritually convicting for people seeking to know more about the God of the Bible. But we need you to join with us in praying that He will guide every step in the process and that the Holy Spirit will be preparing the hearts of readers ahead of each month’s issue.
Over the past 40 years Signs subscriptions have been steadily declining—they’ve dropped from around 70,000 to 20,000 during that time. We need more than slick marketing, a new website and a redesign to turn this trend around; we need a move of God through our church community.
So please pray. Pray as you read through each Signs article that God will connect you with someone who needs to read it. Pray as you consider how you might partner with Signs through outreach initiatives, subscriptions, sponsorships or donations. And pray that God will use our little magazine to make a big impact in this final stage of Earth’s history.
Find out more and support Signs at signsofthetimes.org.au.