Bibles Hit Cities in News Ads

Scripture distribution has taken on a different medium of delivery - the local newspaper.

Going into its third year of ministry, CityReachers has spread the NIV New Testament to hundreds of thousands of homes across the nation and in Canada through normal local newspaper delivery.

Each book of the Good News, called "Our City. God's Word," is city-specific, coming to homes packaged and complete with testimonies from residents in their local area.

In the latest outreach, more than 118,000 homes in Brampton, Ontario (Canada) received a Bible with their local newspaper, The Brampton Guardian, this past fall. More than 100 churches and local Christian businesses contributed to the $200,000 cost of delivering Scripture to the Brampton homes.

"It's about churches coming together," said Ted Brown, champion for the project in Brampton, in a released statement.

Most of the Brampton recipients were said to have received their surprise Bible gift with gratitude, according to Brown.

"We’re going to see people in their moments of desperation turn to the power of God in His Word, and their lives will be transformed," he said. "I think only eternity is going to tell the greater impact of God’s Word going out."

CityReachers, an outreach ministry of the International Bible Society, has not heard reports of negative response or controversy with the Bible distribution in their two years of work thus far. The Bible gifts function as any other newspaper ad where the company advertising in the local paper may provide a free sample, according to IBS spokesperson Tralita Martin. The Brampton Guardian ran the Bible ad on page 2: "A gift from a coalition of local churches and businesses!"

The IBS ministry has delivered the New Testament to Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Colorado River Valley covering four communities in three states - Arizona, Nevada, and California; Jackson, Mississippi; Houston, Texas; and Brampton, Ontario. And the frequency of distributions will more than double this year, with nine more cities in the states gearing up for the city reach.

IBS reported that Christians in more than 100 cities are considering Scripture distributions. One recipient even began her own Bible distribution project into another country.

A Barna research report, according to IBS, measured the impact of the citywide projects and found that thousands were making commitments to Christ. Of the 82,000 New Testaments delivered in Colorado Springs, 3,946 people made decisions of faith; 7,500 people committed to read the Bible more often; and 2,300 said they would begin attending church.

As Bibles increasingly spread from coast to coast, IBS called this a dream-come-true. Websites are available for some of the cities where Bibles have already been distributed to give residents a resource for questions and finding a church in their area.