More than 430,000 Houston-area residences will receive something extra with their newspaper this coming Sunday, August 29. In the largest single distribution of Scripture in Houston’s history, the International Bible Society (IBS) and a group of local Houstonians are providing The Servant King Gospel of Luke to the household of every Houston Chronicle subscriber.
“This will be the largest single outreach ever in Houston’s history,” IBS Regional Director Michael Richards, Jr. told the Christian Post. “All they have to do is open the door and it’s right there. They don’t have to go anywhere. God’s Word is at their doorstep on a day that’s by far the best day for this to happen.”
Richards, who began the project four months ago, told the Post that choosing Sunday as the day for the outreach would be very beneficial considering previously known statistics. “Sunday is more laidback,” Richards said. “And people set more time aside to read the newspaper. The whole mindset is more relaxed, and they are more engaged in their newspaper. That is why there are more subscribers on Sunday than any other day.” Statistically, about Sunday readership is 15 percent higher than daily readership.
Also, because ‘The Passion’ DVD’s scheduled released is this coming Tuesday, Aug. 31, they chose this coming Sunday to “ride on the wave before the release.”
“The Passion of the Christ movie not only shook our nation but provoked the whole world,” said Doug Stringer, Founder/President, Somebody Cares Houston. “Since the DVD and VHS versions are being released August 31st, this is a great time to provide everyone here in Houston the Scripture that ties so closely to the movie.”
“We’ve done in other cities very limited outreach and distribution through newspapers,” Richards added. “This is completely different.”
This Sunday’s issue of the Houston Chronicle will be contained in a bag provided by IBS. “When you pick up the page, you see the Gospel of Luke,” Richards explained.
The Houston Chronicle, known as the “hottest advertising spot in the South,” has the second highest daily- and Sunday-issue readership penetration in the nation among the nation’s top designated marketing areas. The Chronicle’s Sunday-average-issue readership is marked at 49 percent, second only to the Washington Post.
IBS developed The Servant King Gospel of Luke, which incorporates imagery from Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ as follow-up to the movie. It represents the latest in a long line of specialty Scripture materials produced by IBS for use by individuals, churches, and ministry organizations.
IBS President Peter Bradley added, “It is the hope of everyone at International Bible Society that many people, after seeing The Passion of the Christ, will seek to learn more about Jesus through the pages of the original text.”
In addition to the Servant King Gospel of Luke, a listing of 20 local churches—with their names, full addresses, phone numbers, and websites—will be included with Sunday’s Chronicle to help people connect with the church. Also, a main number is listed for anyone who wishes to call with questions.
“This is a prototype of what we’ll be doing in multiple cities around the nation,” Richards said. Although IBS has done similar distributions in the past, Sunday’s distribution will be the first to cover an entire city.
The project is also accompanied by a website featuring testimonies, a church directory, and information on Houston’s 160-year history. For further information, visit the website at www.HoustonTexasGuide.com, or call 713-621-1498 (Somebody Cares Houston). More information about The Servant King editions can be found at www.IBSDirect.com/passion.