“Sowing Kingdom Seed” on Magazine Routes
1 Song 133 in Sing Praises to Jehovah is entitled “Sowing Kingdom Seed.” It is based on Jesus’ illustration that likens the disciple-making work to the sowing of seed. (Matt. 13:4-8, 19-23) The song’s lyrics read: “How much of your seed falls on soil that is fine/May often depend much on you.” How can we increase the effectiveness of our ministry? One way is by establishing and maintaining a magazine route.
2 Several objectives can be achieved through a magazine route. (1) Regular visits every two weeks enable you to build a friendly relationship with the interested person. (2) You keep that one regularly supplied with the lifesaving information contained in The Watchtower and Awake! (3) Through your conversations you may help the person to form a longing for Scriptural truth, which can lead to a Bible study.—1 Pet. 2:2.
3 How to Start a Magazine Route: Whenever someone shows interest in the magazines, explain that outstanding articles appear in every issue and that you will be pleased to deliver them every two weeks. After leaving, make a note of the person’s name and address, the date of the call, the dates of the issues placed, the article featured, and the subjects that especially interested the person.
4 You can start a route with only a few people on it. Then work to build it up by adding others with whom you place magazines. As your route grows, you can organize it geographically so that it will be easier to cover. Keep a careful record of which issues have been placed on each call and when. Add notes about your conversations and about how to continue developing the person’s interest in the truth on the next visit.
5 Include Business and Professional People: Experience has shown that storekeepers and other professionals are likely to accept our magazines on a regular basis. One elder even had the mayor of his town on his magazine route. A publisher started a study with the 80-year-old owner of a building-supply company after having taken the magazines to him for ten straight years!
6 A pioneer sister entered a store and met a couple who did not receive her very warmly. However, since they accepted the magazines, she decided to add the couple to her magazine route. In time, the sister wanted to stop calling on them because they were so unfriendly and never had much to say, even when she asked a viewpoint question. But the sister prayed about the matter and eventually placed the Live Forever book with the couple. After reading it, the wife exclaimed: “At last, I have found the truth!” A Bible study was started, and later the couple got baptized. The pioneer’s perseverance indeed bore good fruitage.
7 Making the Return Visits: When you receive a new magazine, read every article. Look for points that will appeal to each person on your route. Then when you return, you can say: “As I read this article, I thought of you and how it might interest you.” Publishers of all ages can enjoy having a magazine route. Even a young child can say: “I’m glad to see you again. Your latest copies of The Watchtower and Awake! have arrived. I think that you will like this article entitled . . .”
8 Stir anticipation for upcoming articles by drawing attention to the box entitled “In Our Next Issue.” When articles appear as a series, point this out and encourage the reader not to miss any portion of it. Do not forget that each time you deliver the magazines to a person who is on your magazine route, a return visit may be counted. And above all, remember that our goal is to develop these calls into home Bible studies.
9 Visit People on Your Route on a Regular Basis: You can cover your magazine route at any time that is practical—on a weekday morning, in the late afternoon, in the early evening, or on the weekend after spending time in the house-to-house work. If you are unable to cover your route because of being sick or away on vacation, ask another publisher in your family or congregation to deliver the magazines for you. In that way, the ones on your route will not fail to get their magazines on time.
10 One way to sow Kingdom seed is to take The Watchtower and Awake! regularly to all of those on your magazine route. As you teach them Scriptural truth, they may get the sense of the word of the Kingdom and eventually bear Kingdom fruit along with you.—Matt. 13:8, 23.