Using Subscriptions to Announce that “Jehovah Himself Has Become King”
“SAY among the nations: ‘Jehovah himself has become king.”’ (Ps. 96:10) That is our yeartext for 1972, and how appropriate it is! People everywhere need to know that Jehovah has become king. There is urgent need for them to identify themselves with his kingship. Why? Not only because God’s kingdom has the solution to all the problems that distress mankind but also because their very lives are at stake.
How appropriate, then, that we will be starting off the calendar year by offering subscriptions for The Watchtower, which clearly says right on its front cover that it is “Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.” It is by reading this magazine along with the Bible that many thousands of persons in all parts of the earth have come to know and love Jehovah and have become loyal proclaimers of his kingship.
Persons who only a few years ago turned us away are now willing, yes, anxious to read The Watchtower and its companion, Awake! They are perplexed by world conditions, but they observe that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses are optimistic about the future and they want to know why. As a result, this past year thousands of subscriptions were sent in by interested persons on their own. And the total number of all new subscriptions obtained world wide came to 2,702,000, which is 240,000 more than for the preceding year.
What These Interested Ones Write
Here are excerpts from some typical letters sent in by those who subscribed on their own. A man in Indiana writes: “Sirs: Find enclosed money order for $1.50 for another year’s subscription. I enjoy reading the magazine and most generally read it through the first evening I receive it.”
A woman in Virginia writes in part: “Dear Sirs: Enclosed is my check for $8.00 for the yearly subscription to The Watchtower and Awake! After reading through one Awake! completely and part of the August 1st Watchtower which was left by one of the local Witnesses, I’m totally convinced that there is only one true religion. . . . I’ll be looking forward to receiving my monthly issues of The Watchtower and Awake! Please keep the remainder of the check for this wonderful society. Thank you.”
Another writes: “Dear Publishers and Friends: Please renew my Watchtower and Awake! You needn’t take time to thank me for the few dollars extra. No literature is as valuable as that which the Watchtower Society prints.”
From California a subscriber writes: “Dear Sirs: I appreciate getting your magazine with all the fine articles you write. I save mine and read them over and over and loan them to others to read too.” Another says: “Dear Sir: I am sending you $4.50 for a three years’ subscription to your magazine. . . . This is an excellent magazine, and I have just finished reading some of your books. They too are very good.”
So, as conditions in the world continue to go from bad to worse, more people are anxious to read these authoritative magazines. And the more they read the more they are convinced that they themselves should subscribe in order not to miss an issue.
Incidentally, did you notice that these interested persons did not complain about the yearly subscription cost of $1.50? A man in Chicago says: “I am over ninety and I enjoy reading the Watchtower even though I have vision in only one eye. I only wish I had subscribed for the Watchtower sooner than I did. It gives you more for the money than anything you can think of.”
Certainly the value of these magazines cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Why, they are as valuable as a person’s life! In fact, one man writes: “I’m alive today on account of the message in the Watchtower magazine. For one day I was at home getting ready to commit suicide when one of Jehovah’s witnesses knocked at my door with the Watchtower and Awake! I read them and that’s why I’m alive today.”
Our Own Attitude Most Important
Another and perhaps a stronger reason why we can expect good results during this campaign is our own attitude as publishers. When we appreciate something we are anxious to share that something with others, is it not so? In this case that “something” is the Watchtower and Awake! magazines. So we enthusiastically urge others to subscribe for them, and regularly read them also.
One brother in New York expressed his feelings this way: “Dear Brothers: I felt I just had to write a few lines expressing my deep heartfelt appreciation for the recent Watchtower articles. Truly Jehovah is really pouring out his Holy Spirit on his organization. I don’t want to cite any particular article because they all have been simply wonderful. I am looking forward with eager expectation to future issues.” Another in Alaska writes: “Dear Brothers: I just received my October 1 Watchtower in the mail, and I’m so happy for the information that it contains. It reminds us to ask ourselves questions on the condition in our home. Although we know the principles outlined, we need to be reminded so very often. I can’t quite find the words to express how I feel, so I will just say ‘Thank you for working so hard for us.’”
Does not each issue of the magazines contain material that is truly beneficial for people of all kinds? How fine it would be for as many persons as possible to receive the magazines regularly! Just consider the good effect that they can have on honest-hearted persons.
Both The Watchtower and Awake! help people to understand that God’s kingdom is the only real remedy for the woes of mankind. They show why we can have strong conviction that the incoming of God’s new order is very near at hand. This certainly can give right-hearted persons a solid anchor of hope in this benighted age of distress.
Think, too, of the help that these magazines offer in finding solutions to one’s daily problems. They have helped you, have they not? They can help other people too. There are many articles in the magazines dealing with various family problems—from those facing the parents to those confronting small children and teen-agers. Unmarried men and women are also wisely counseled on how to handle their special problems.
The practical appeal of many of the articles in The Watchtower and Awake! has done much to stimulate interest in the Bible. The magazines discuss in depth the social ills that plague mankind, and they offer very practical and helpful suggestions for avoiding the same. Not only are alcoholism, drug abuse, immorality and other things in this world warned against, but effective defense measures are recommended.
Even the articles that we may think are more appropriate for us personally can do much in aiding those who are showing some desire to grow spiritually. This includes discussions of such vital matters as personal study, regular association with the congregation and active participation in the field ministry.
Interesting, too, are the reports of large assemblies of God’s people, the life stories of faithful witnesses of Jehovah and reports of how our brothers are maintaining integrity under difficulty. Articles of this nature can do much to impress others with the conviction that Jehovah’s witnesses have. They show that Christianity is a way of life and forcefully illustrate the difference between true religion and the false. You might be amazed at how many persons who are not Jehovah’s witnesses read these articles, and with interest.
Yes, The Watchtower and Awake! can do much to aid persons to mold their thinking so that they can have the mind of Christ and the mind of God. They contain the solid truth of God’s Word presented in a most satisfying manner, food for the mind provided through the “faithful and discreet slave” and served “at the proper time.”—Matt. 24:45, 46; 1 Tim. 4:16.
Reasons for Urging Others to Subscribe
When suggesting that others subscribe for The Watchtower and Awake! what do we generally say? Do we emphasize the convenient size of the magazines, the large print, the fact that they carry no commercial advertising and the very nominal cost of a few cents per issue? Are these the principal reasons why we personally read them? No. For while these are nice features, the real reason we have such a high appreciation of the magazines is because of the material they contain—it is truthful, dependable, practical, timely and most beneficial.
So our greatest stress when presenting the subscription offer to others should be on the contents—what these magazines say that no other magazines say. And when we personally appreciate the magazines we can speak with conviction when we emphasize their importance to others. As a brother in Mexico expressed it: “When the Watchtower and Awake! magazines arrive, my heart leaps for joy, and on reading the articles I say within myself, ‘may Jehovah bless those who prepared them.’ It is not emotion, it is gratitude for what you do. I am a special pioneer and you cannot know the joy I feel in distributing the magazines and helping others to come to appreciate them as I appreciate them.”
But why two magazines? Simple economy in cost and efficiency might dictate publishing only one magazine. But there are other important factors to be considered. For instance, not all persons have the same likes and dislikes when it comes to reading material. We offer The Watchtower to persons who love righteousness and have faith in the Bible and who may be disgusted with the churches. Awake! on the other hand is more likely to be read by nonreligious persons, and in this way they are introduced indirectly to the precious treasures of the Bible and its promises for a better system of things by means of God’s kingdom. Awake! also reaches out to cover a broader field of education, and for this reason it is important to the Lord’s people as supplement material to The Watchtower. So there is a definite need for both magazines. Each in its role serves a specific purpose. This is why during this Watchtower campaign we can urge people, when appropriate, to subscribe for both magazines.
In urging others to subscribe you may want to point out the large circulation that The Watchtower and Awake! enjoy in so many languages. They have the largest of any religious magazines in the world, a combined circulation of about 15,000,000 copies each issue, which is many times more than the two leading Protestant and Catholic magazines combined. And there are very few magazines even in the secular field that rival the circulation of The Watchtower and Awake! Mentioning such facts should make people realize that millions of persons not Jehovah’s witnesses find the material in our magazines far more beneficial than that in any other magazines.
Where to Get Subscriptions
It would seem that the greatest number of subscriptions should be obtained in the house-to-house activity, since most of the people in the territory do not yet subscribe. So in the door-to-door work during this campaign we will want to offer every householder this opportunity. Explain to them why they need these magazines and the benefits of receiving them regularly in the mail.
To do this you need first to read and analyze the current issues so you can intelligently talk about points the householder may be interested in. Remember, the content of the magazines is the important thing to talk about. Be like the pioneer in Mexico—help others to appreciate the magazines as you appreciate them.
Not many persons you meet will subscribe at the initial call, but many times you can leave the current issues, asking them to read a particular article. Make a note of the placement and within a few days call back and get their response, again inviting them to subscribe. More people are willing to subscribe on the return call. Of course, some persons will not. But this does not necessarily mean that they are not interested. It may be because they are concerned about the shaky condition of the economy and do not fully appreciate the value of receiving the magazines regularly. Yet, they may gladly take individual copies. And, if we focus principal attention on the message itself, they may welcome us into their home for a regular Bible study. In this way we would certainly have fine opportunities to accomplish our objective, namely, to help them to appreciate that “Jehovah himself has become king.”
At times we may get the impression that the person to whom we are speaking would read very little, if anything, in the magazines. Should this dissuade us from enthusiastically presenting the subscription offer? Not at all. But why not? Well, by having the magazines enter the home twenty-four times a year (forty-eight times if two subscriptions are obtained), it is much like having you the publisher making frequent return visits to this household. And, who knows, perhaps a marriage mate, children, relatives or visitors will read them. So never hesitate to offer a subscription.
Besides the door-to-door activity, there are many other excellent opportunities to obtain subscriptions. At your place of employment have you approached your fellow workers or the management about the matter on your lunch hour? A brother in Michigan usually gave his magazine to a fellow worker, who in time noticed that another worker always had the same issue first. So the man said to the brother: “This other fellow gets his Awake! about a week ahead of me. Why do I have to wait so long?” The brother explained that the other man subscribed and got it directly through the mail. To that the man exclaimed, “Now, look, Bob, why can’t I subscribe too?” Promptly he was offered a subscription for both magazines, which he quickly accepted.
If you go to school, approach your teachers with the same enthusiastic subscription offer you present at the doors in the territory. They too need to realize that Jehovah has become king. One brother in South Carolina says: “I have found another avenue for subscriptions—high schools and colleges where foreign languages are taught. During the last two weeks I have placed six Awake! foreign-language subscriptions and two in English at such schools. Even having an array of foreign magazines when going from house to house lends itself to getting more subscriptions.”
What about names you may have on old back-call lists? Perhaps you can revive the interest of some who may have cooled off, and at the same time help them to resubscribe. However, if some with whom we are studying the Bible attend meetings regularly, we suggest that you encourage them to get their magazines at the Kingdom Hall. We can obtain our magazines in the same way. This will save the individual the mailing cost and it will save work for the Society. Of course, if anyone who attends meetings wants to subscribe, there is certainly no objection to this. However, many, especially family groups, will appreciate being able to get the magazines at the Kingdom Hall for less than the subscription rate. Nevertheless, if some of our Bible students would miss out on certain issues because of their irregular meeting attendance, it would be wise to encourage them to subscribe.
And do not overlook the fine opportunity to send gift subscriptions. These may be sent to business associates, friends and relatives that you would especially like to favor. Writes such a receiver living in Florida, “The magazines were gifts from a devoted Jehovah witness and have been a blessing in my life.” Don’t overlook those that are confined or isolated and out of reach of the Witnesses. A soldier in Vietnam wrote: “I am writing to thank you and my mother for The Watchtower. The reality has come to me that no peace will be brought to earth by man’s hands.” In the state of Washington the owner of a gas station, after reading a few copies of the magazines, sent in thirty-five gift subscriptions so that all his friends and relatives could enjoy them too.
There is another point too that we do not want to overlook in this campaign. We are all anxious to get a few subscriptions on our own. Let us be just as anxious to see that the magazines are delivered. They will be ONLY if the name and address, including the ZIP CODE, are correct and complete. It costs the Society tens of thousands of dollars a year in return postage for magazines that are never delivered, simply because the address or zip code is wrong.
With these suggestions in mind, may we, by offering subscriptions, continue to work hard in keeping Jehovah’s kingship before the people in our territory. And may it be our united prayer that Jehovah will bless our efforts to aid many more persons to submit themselves to the Kingdom, to their lasting joy and eternal welfare.