Pastor's Report Staff  

   For the first time here, we have reproduced sections of the monthly news and information bulletin put out recently by the International Offices. Some very encouraging and exciting news is included, and we hope to continue sharing this with you in the future via a regular summary Rod Matthews will put together from material coming into the International Office.


New Zealand

   What an exciting, record-breaking month! ever 15,000 items of mail poured into the office during March — by far the biggest monthly mail figure ever in the history of the New Zealand Work. But that's not all! The income figure for March was also the biggest monthly figure ever! For the third consecutive month, income was up by more than 30% over the same month last year. March's figure was 38.6% up, bringing the year-to-date income increase to 36.3%.

   After careful analysis, we believe this phenomenal growth in income is due mainly to the increased religious content of The Plain Truth coupled with interest stimulated by the receivership crisis in the States. It's apparent that Christ will move people to support us when we are seen to be actively preaching the gospel in our magazine.

   In an effort to preach the gospel to an ever wider readership, we're currently right in the middle of the biggest advertising campaign the Work has ever undertaken here. In early March, we tried something new for us — a series of sixty-second spot ads on one of New Zealand's top-rated radio stations. Ads for the Drugs, Health, and Modern Romans booklets were run every hour, 24 hours per day for 6 days per week over a two week period. Our phone number was included in the ads, and some of our members were able to help the office staff man the phones as hundreds of responses came in. Simultaneously, we advertised extensively in the national press. Combined with this series of promotions, we dropped a card offering "The Dilemma of Drugs" and the Plain Truth into 515,000 letterboxes throughout the country — reaching about half the households in New Zealand. We plan to cover the other half of the population in early May.

   The response to these promotions has been astounding! By the end of March, over 11,000 Householder Cards had been returned, as well as over 1500 replies to the radio and newspaper ads. Hundreds of additional responses are still flooding in every day. All of these people will begin receiving The Plain Truth magazine for the very first time.

   Meanwhile, Church attendance is also creating new records, running about 15% ahead of figures for last year. Baptisms and new prospective members are also up significantly. A series of campaigns in the south Island cities of Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill have been very successful, resulting in 65 new people attending a Church service for the first time. Church attendance in this area of the country is running almost 100% above that of last year.


   Mail for March was a record. 19,303 letters were received — despite a postal strike which seriously disrupted mail the last week of the month. In spite of this, mail income was up 55% for March, bringing the year-to-date percentage to +27%.

   Over 62,800 booklets and articles were posted out — smashing all previous records for outgoing mail.

   Responses to our ads in national magazines and state newspapers, offering a free subscription to The Plain Truth magazine, continue to come in at a most encouraging rate. A total of 8,843 responses has been received since we commenced advertising some six weeks ago.

   Church attendance was again very encouraging. Last month we reported a record breaking attendance of 4,545. At the time of this writing with some weekly reports not in because of the postal strike, our attendance for March stands at 4,742 — almost 200 more than our record-breaking attendance last month.

   Christ said to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Those who fish for fish know that it takes many different kinds of bait (and methods) to catch the many different kinds of fish.

   In analogy, because of the broad background experience of human beings, it takes many different kinds of "bait" and "methods" to "catch man." Here is a list of the promotional activities ("the bait or method") currently in the pipeline in our work of "fishing for men."

   Local Ads in local newspapers to supplement our national advertising campaign. Some local church areas have already arranged extra advertisements in their local newspapers.

   Householder Cards, introducing "a magazine you can't buy," and offering a free copy of our booklet on drugs. Within the next two months 150,000 of these cards will be delivered into letter boxes by our church members.

   Promotional Film. A member in the Melbourne area has a [government arts] grant to produce a film, and is planning to create a ten-minute film on the Australian Work. If suitable, the film can be used at campaigns, Bible studies, etc.

   Bill Boards. Our advertising agents are producing large advertisements suitable for bill boards and already two of the local church areas have been able to reserve bill board space.

   Literature to Schools. In the near future we plan to put together a package that can be offered to schools interested in our literature. Appropriate booklets, such as the ones on Drugs, VD, the Seven Laws of Success, will be presented.

   Bus Posters. Our agents are producing suitable posters for advertising space in city buses.

   Plain Truth Insert Sheets. Each month an insert sheet offering literature we have available is placed in The Plain Truth magazine. As a result tens of thousands of additional booklets and articles are now in the hands of interested readers.

   Campaigns. Since February, campaigns by the Regional Director, Mr. Dean Wilson, and our ministers in the field, have been conducted in some 55 different locations. In many instances the campaigns involved lectures on consecutive days.

   In one or two local church areas, special campaigns are being planned. For example, in one area Plain Truth readers are being invited to a family day — a sermon geared to the family, followed by the film — Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, Ambassador For World Peace — then dinner, with entertainment and dancing to follow.

United Kingdom

   The mail income figures are maintaining steady growth. For the month to date the mail income is up 30%, for the year to date it is up 20%, and for the fiscal year to date it is up 15%.

   On Tuesday, 20th March, the first of a series of three lectures was held in Edinburgh. There were 49 people in attendance, of whom 29 were new. All present were Plain Truth readers and no one had responded to the advertisements in the newspapers.

   This is the same series as was recently held in Bournemouth and Cardiff, i.e.: (1) The World Tomorrow; (2) Why Were You Born? and (3) What is True Christianity? Lectures 2 and 3 were held on the 3rd and 17th April.


   Income for the first 3 months of this year shows an 8% increase. We are very encouraged by this continued growth, especially when white mail is suffering a lull. The growth in mail received should begin to take off now that our spring advertising program has begun. Early responses to the first ad for Modern Romans under the title "A Message From Rome," are beginning to flow. The advertising program will run through to July.

   The newsstand program, meanwhile, is about to make its appearance in eastern Canada. Quebec will be the first province to have displays with 50,000 copies in English and French in April and May. Already our distributor in the area has requested an additional 30,000 copies to fill orders placed by newsstand owners. Displays will be located! at subway stations, airports, supermarkets, and other high traffic areas.

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Pastor General's ReportApril 30, 1979Vol 3 No. 15