Not Your Sunday Paper Signs of the Times News Box Changes Lives

December 01, 2007 | Nicole Batten

Thousands of people around the Northwest pick up a Sunday paper each week from a news box in front of a grocery store, gas station or post office. Now many of these same people can also pick up a free copy of Signs of the Times due to the hard work of David Sturm.

When Sturm came to work at Pacific Press Publishing Association® in Nampa, Idaho, in 1988, he began experimenting with placing news boxes of Signs of the Times around the Idaho Conference. It soon became evident that this was a viable ministry that could reach thousands. So in 1993 Sturm convinced Pacific Press to hire him to travel around the U.S. and place news boxes sponsored by Adventist churches.

"Ever since I joined the Adventist church I have been interested in evangelism," says Sturm. "When I became acquainted with Signs of the Times the Lord impressed me with the idea of witnessing to others by making the magazine available in public places through a news box. People were already used to getting their newspapers this way. Since then I have seen it change many lives."

Sturm began his news box ministry by speaking at churches on the weekends—sharing about the outreach opportunity it offered—and scouting locations in the community during the week to place new boxes. He still visits three or four churches a week, and is happy to help churches find a location and negotiate with a business to place a news box. Recently Sturm placed his 4,000th news box in Ojai, California.

Since 1993, Sturm, who currently resides in Caldwell, Idaho, has traveled to every state but Hawaii. He says, "We need missionaries in foreign countries, but my mission field is right here in North America."

When asked why churches see the value of a news box ministry, Sturm says, "They are attracted to it because it is a powerful yet easy way to do evangelism. Every magazine is filled with spiritual food and includes a Bible study invitation card. People can pick up a copy of the magazine and take it home. They can look at it in the comfort of their homes and not feel threatened or embarrassed."

Allen Thompson from Emmett, Idaho, is a testimony to the success of the news box ministry. He traces the conversion of his family to Signs of the Times. It was his first contact with the Adventist church. "I picked up a copy at a grocery store and sent in a Bible study card. Eventually, I attended some meetings locally and was baptized. Soon my wife and other family members joined me. I am now an elder at the Emmett Seventh-day Adventist Church."

Signs of the Times has been around for 132 years. "The magazine is designed to help contemporary readers live as Christians in modern North American society," says Sturm. "It gives special emphasis to Christ's Second Advent and the prophecies and signs that indicate its nearness. The content is specifically written for non-Adventists."

Churches interested in sharing Signs through a news box ministry can contact David Sturm at (208) 850-2387. For more information about Signs of the Times magazine, visit their website at