Evangelistic Mags and Good Newspapers

I’ve previously blogged on newspapers for Christians. Today I turn my attention to another category of publication: the evangelistic newspaper/magazine. These are primarily designed to present the gospel to the unbeliever rather than to edify the existing Christian, though one might hope both boxes are ticked.

The Good News newspaper we have used at our chapel until recently. With its red top, back sports page and big headlines, it’s very much the tabloid of the gospel world. IT’S OFFICIAL: CHURCH IS GOOD FOR YOU and SPORT-MAD GUY SHOCKED TO FIND THAT GOD IS REAL are just two of its booming headers. It’s a cheerful, lively read, not requiring too many braincells or minutes to consume its diet of short, sharp gospel articles. It’s not totally lacking depth- the gardening section cleverly offers sound horticultural instruction and the editorials are thought provoking. Nevertheless, some of the testimonies are a little theology-lite. I don’t expect a profession of faith to resemble Calvin’s Institutes, but some more reference to sin and the cross would be useful. ‘Realising there’s a God who loved me’ and the Lord unexpectedly providing money to buy one couple a more expensive engagement ring, don’t strongly resemble the Philippian jailer's plea for salvation. Still, it must be hard filling 8 pages a month with evangelistic stories that would satisfy Essex man, hence its recourse to being a tad sensational. 

Heart is a bimonthly newspaper ‘sharing Christian news across the nation’, although it appears to have a South of England core. Page 2’s ‘How do I become a Christian?’ is a fairly clear summary of saving faith. Its writing is a mixture of articles and news, such as Churchill’s alleged zionism and ‘Grooming Gangs out of Control’. Clifford Hill offers ‘prophetic insight into today’s world’. ‘Pastors Chris and Tracey Wickland’ are featured, he recovering from a cardiac arrest. ‘PASTOR RESURECTED AFTER PRAYER’ yells the headline. I think it’s mainly Pentecostal in theology, which is confirmed by the churches paying to advertise on its back page. I enjoyed reading it, but I wonder if it’s just a lighter, newspaper edition of Prophecy Today magazine. Still, it contains a truly evangelistic flavour. 

Thirdly, Life Magazine, produced by the ubiquitous 10ofThose. Containing many creditable testimonies, it has a general balance with other material, including ‘Top Tips to Enjoy the Summer without Breaking the Bank’. Unlike other publications, the editorial board makes no claim to prophetic insight, so ‘virus-based lockdown’ is not featured in the list. ‘Ten Easy to Grow Fruit & Veg’ and an Olympic Quiz followed by an article on Eric Liddell render this an evangelistic tool coolly offering assurance of its soundness without sacrificing general human interest. Our chapel ordered 300 copies at our last meeting; it manages that rare balancing act of sharing the gospel honestly and accurately without being shouty or sensational.

Finally, Good News for Everyone, the organisation that was formerly Gideons UK before their American cousins employed litigation lawyers, is our final publisher. It has produced a magazine called HOPE, the cover of which looks remarkably like the previous exhibit. Apart from a few introductory pages detailing copyright issues and Bible translations, the remaining 70 pages are lengthy selections of biblical text accompanied by attractive graphics and artwork. I rather like this approach. No waffle, no twittering, just God’s own word. It might not have the catchy headlines or contemporary stories, but there is much to be said for letting the Bible do all the talking.

Magazines and newspapers are a helpful and effective way of sharing the good news. Doubtless some may work better than others, but I pray each of them brings lost sheep to the fold. Perhaps you could give some out?