It would be easy for a magazine like Signs of the Times—one of Australia’s longest running published periodicals, since 1886—to fall under the weight of time. Instead, the magazine has always managed to stay relevant by exploring current topics in the world through a Christian perspective. A strong advocacy of the Adventist health message combined with exploration of easy-to-understand faith topics has made the magazine appealing to a general public audience.
Just ask Arnel from New Zealand, who has incorporated literature evangelism into his everyday life. “My goal is to have one magazine contact every day,” he said.
After a serious car crash and subsequent upgrade to another vehicle, Arnel decided to take up being a driver for a ride-sharing company. He made it his mission to have Signs magazine in the car with him.
The January/February 2019 edition of the magazine explored the topic of pornography, and Arnel decided to gift the magazine to a few of his passengers. “There were these four guys who were my passengers. One of them is a groom, that’s the one I gave the magazine to.” After reading the article in the car, Arnel’s passenger made a commitment. “I like this, I love this. I will share this to my fiancé. And I will promise purity in that relationship. I’ll keep this as a gift for her,” he told Arnel.
Andrew Johnson from Darwin, NT, has also found success with displaying the magazine at the Rapid Creek market. “We put inserts in the Signs that suggested they contact us if they wanted to continue to get them on a regular basis,” he said.
Andrew describes how a Jehovah’s Witness member contacted him after receiving Signs magazine from an Adventist. “The lady impressed her so strongly that now she’s left the Witness church. She told me that by finding the Signs, she was able to get an address, ring me personally and was able to attend the Darwin church.”
A Signs rack at the popular tourist Katherine Hot Springs is also filled by Andrew each day. He has found that demand for the magazines is high. “We pray every day for the Signs rack that people might be drawn to pick up the Signs. The times when we don’t get any results is when we forget to pray. It’s all to do with prayer, I’ve found that.”
The magazine is intended as an introduction to Adventist beliefs. With content that is compelling rather than overwhelming, Arnel has noticed how the magazine starts spiritual conversations.
“We were having a visitation just last month with our Pastor,” he said. “Before we left, the Pastor said, ‘Would you like if we could offer you a prayer?’ They said no, sorry. But after that I said I’m a literature evangelist, and I’m giving you this [Signs of the Times magazine] for free. They looked at it and said, ‘This is fine, I’ll accept this.’ He rejected the prayer, but accepted the [magazine].”
Literature evangelists need support to continue using Signs of the Times as a gateway for spiritual conversations and interactions with members of the public. With a thirst for truth, they are finding that people are searching for Christ—and Signs magazine is one powerful way how they’re finding Him.
If you’d like to support the use of Signs magazine by literature evangelists on the street and in public places, donate at signsofthetimes.org.au/le.