By Kenny and Lila Joseph
Every missionary and pastor wants more people to come to his/her meetings...church, Bible studies, concerts. More is better. Right? Former EMAJ President Chuck Corwin humorously wrote: Our Sunday School has doubled. We now have 4!h
Today we go back to pre-MacArthur Japan for background.
Galen Fisher wrote in The East and West in April, 1922, gIt is now recognized as one of the most telling and economical evangelistic methods, especially for the country districts where churches are few and the people are conservative. There are some dramatic conversions to this long distance evangelism.
gThe success of this plan in Japan led to itfs adoption by a Mission in China. Even that great missionary to the Moslems, Dr. Samuel Zwemer, used this method.
gThe history of Japanfs newspaper evangelism was pioneered by Dr. Albertus Pieters (Reformed Church) who wrote to Dr. Vories of Omi Brotherhood, eWe must find means to influence men in the mass.fh
Dr. W.H. Walton wrote: gThe first person to awake fully to the value of the press as an evangelistic agency was the Rev. Albertus Pieters in Oita. He had a rare fighting spirit of getting into a scrap when he attacked the compulsory attendance of school children at Shinto shrines. A Tokyo University Shintoist answered his article in a series upholding the national Shinto cult. So powerful were Dr. Pietersf articles that his opponent ended up becoming a Christian himself.h
Editth Wilds on August 22, l9l8 wrote an article on Pieters: gAdvertising Makes Mission Work Easy.h
Pieters, with a business background, concluded: gThe Japanese did not need the Gospel. Some didnft know it exists. What should be done? Advertise!h
Pieters went home on furlough and put his proposition to businessmen and they jumped at it. gIf wefre putting a million dollars a year into missionary work in Japan, why not put a thousand into advertising?h
So Pieters came back with a thousand dollars in his pocket and bought space in the largest local newspaper. That helped him start many Bible classes which later became churches.
Among many others, Rev. Walton (CMS), Dr. J.M.T. Winther (Lutheran) and Ray Boude Moore (Reformed) followed him.
Don Hillis (TEAM), following Zwemer, had an extensive ad-vangelism work in India. And his correspondence school program, Light of Life, is in 51 countries and 39 languages growing at the rate of 13,000 a month. His twin brother, Dick, of Orient Crusades, received 118 responses for an $18 ad in Taipei, some being converted. Former president of the NAE in his keynote address in Lincoln, Nebraska, said, gWhat a buy in literature: l00,000 Gospel tracts for $18!h
Dr. Oswald Smith said, gThis is a wonderful way to reach Japanfs educated classes; a method of speed-up evangelism that I recommend.h
The above history is condensed from Eddie Karnesf 50-page booklet on Ad Evangelism which he used to set up 23 of Evangelist Koji Hondafs crusades.
In l951 the MacArthur missionaries used this method along with holding evangelistic crusades with the Pocket Testament League (PTL), handing out l0 million little red Gospels of John with a decision slip on the back page.
Out of 30 PTL evangelists, only Vic Springer stayed on, learning the language and visiting homes with tracts 4 or 5 times each. Even after becoming TEAM treasurer, he vowed that he would speak to at least one person a day about Christ. Busy as he was, he and Chairman Vern Strom found time to build a church.
Working with Youth For Christ (YFC) director Dave Morken and Navigators Roy Robertson and George Bostrom in l95l were forced to begin the Navigatorfs follow-up correspondence course, after they were swamped with thousands of requests.. A..G.fs Donnel McLean also faithfully put different tracts in many homes in his area. I called these works HELP....Home Evangelistic Literature Program. This is the Jehovah Witnesses proven method, usually 2 women.
I counted 16 different groups that got into the correspondence course ministry, with the largest being the Japan Lutheran Hour, broadcast over l04 stations. The YFC World Congress on Evangelism teams garnered 313,000 more decision slips.
Jack McAlister of Canada launched Japanfs Every Home Crusade in l952, enlisting Ken McVety, Sam Archer and EHCfs Hallelujahfs Tanaka. They gathered 392,989 decision cards from over 200 million tracts. They covered all of Japan 4 times! You can still get free EHC tracts for unchurched areas. Contact WLPfs Don Regier.
Now whatfs going on with the McDonald missionaries today? The latest was the stealth 2 billon yen that Mark DeMoss dropped into Kenji Oyamafs hand for newspaper, magazine, television and shinbun orikomi (newspaper inserts) with a BR (business reply) post card, offering a free l48-page booklet gPower for Living.h It had a built-in pre-paid post card and the 160,000 respondents got a Christian information packet, but no correspondence course.
What method got the best results? Kenji Oyama replied:
If you want to get more people to come to your meetings today, my best suggestion is spending Y2.5 per soul not in a Y50 post card or in an Y80 letter but a newspaper insert. We get the Yomiuri. While the man of the house may glance at the paper before he leaves for work, he leaves his wife to check out the 5 to 20 inserts in the Yomiuri, which goes to 10 million people. Asahi to 8 million and the Mainichi to 6 million.
The beauty of inserts are that you can go to your local newspaper distribution center and ask them to pinpoint your area. They can give you the number of houses spreading out from your church or meeting place as far as you want to go...as far as your Y2.5 reaches. You bring the finished proof to your big post office to get a number for your reply postcard. TEAMfs Dave Martin once put one out with him holding a rooster, saying geven the rooster praises God every morning, and so I came to Japan to praise God and spread His Word.h
Christian TV by PBA and Harvest Time have their own follow-up programs.
Here you run into the concrete wall of gI donft have enough money.h Overheard at a CPI conference were 3 missionaries complaining,hAfter Ifve paid my Yl50,000 monthly rent, I donft have any money left for tractsh
.They probably didnft know about the AG hundred free Time-magazine size gBook of Hope,h a youth-oriented complete life and ministry of Jesus booklet. They also have one for young children. You can put one in each mail box, with an invitation to your church or classes. All evangelism is local. Pastorfs wife Rev. Nishi runs the International Correspondence Institute (ICI).
Or you can always do gcoward evangelismh and put a free tract in some of the thousands of bike baskets that are on your side of the tracks. These you know will be delivered as they ride home. There is yet no law against that. We tried this twice for our Christmas worship. Our grandchildren pull Grandpa from his chair with, gLetfs go put out tracts now!h
Back to the newspaper insert, Lila and I are praying about putting our picture in one saying gwe live here and youfve probably seen us walking or biking around for 41 years, but youfve never come to our church,h etc.
The only drawback financially is that you have to print out your insert. The newspaper delivery center can tell you which local printer prints especially for inserts. You can go from 1,000 to l8,000 and 25,000, as far as your money and faith go.
Youfll notice that McDonald`s uses inserts and also puts in perforated coupons so you can get special deals on meals. What better meal can we offer than the One Who said gI am the Bread Who came down from heaven.h And better than their seconds on premium coffee we offer gI am the Water of life. He who drinks of Me will never thirst again.h
gWithhold not good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.h Romans 13:7
(Gary, Please use one of my Readerfs Digest ads in the article and say that gA Christian advertising director not only took my ad ideas and made them into full-page Readerfs Digest ads. He also held these until he got secret word from weekly magazines called gMidnight,h meaning they had open space and gave up to 60% discount.
Also fill in gOyama said.....h