In today’s media-saturated, on-demand landscape, many people wonder if evangelism still works. With all the choices people have at home, is it even possible to get them to walk through the doors of a church?
From April 28-30, 2016, the Voice of Prophecy’s Shadow Empire series revealed that the answer is a clear “yes!” Hundreds of churches across North America held this four-part event, which focused on the compelling life of Constantine, and his continued impact on religious liberty today.
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Shawn Boonstra, Voice of Prophecy speaker/director, reviews a script during the filming of the evangelistic series "Shadow Empire."
In addition to documentary-style segments featuring Shawn Boonstra, Voice of Prophecy speaker/director, half of the program was led by the local pastor. This enabled guests to get to know their local church and register for follow-up Bible studies.
“Even though this was a seed-sowing event, some churches have already seen amazing results, including baptisms!” said Boonstra. “It worked because it truly engaged at the individual church level — combining the local with the national, and the historical with the topical. People couldn’t help but be intrigued by the content.”
The Voice of Prophecy wanted to ensure high production values for this series. The team captured ultra-high-definition aerial footage using a quadcopter, and Boonstra taped his segments on location in countries such as Serbia, Turkey, and Italy. He was even granted access to an active dig site where archeologists are unearthing what is believed to be one of Constantine’s homes.
Through a partnership with SermonView, an evangelism marketing ministry in Vancouver, Washington, hosts had access to a range of effective promotional resources, including direct mail and social media. And through the use of the series’ accompanying book, Shadow Emperor, and Shadow Empire Bible lessons, attendees received additional resources for deeper study.
Local churches appreciated this opportunity to partner with the Voice of Prophecy. Pastor Murray Miller, from the Anderson Adventist church in California, said that his church had more than 20 visitors, many of whom signed up for continuing Bible studies. Miller said, “One man told me, ‘I came because I have a huge interest in history and wanted to compare what I had studied previously to this program.’ Truly, this series attracted a seeker audience as well as some from other Christian backgrounds.”
Pastor Michael McKenzie from the White House Adventist church in Tennessee said that the series kept people’s interest from beginning to end. In fact, he said, “Even though this was more of a seed-sowing event, I suspect that we will baptize 4-6 people. It was a great experience for our church.”
Part of this series’ effectiveness was due to the fact that it could only be seen in a local church. The Voice of Prophecy has made a commitment to empower and equip local churches for evangelism, and this event is one of many resources the ministry has provided to churches this year. (Pastors can click here to learn more.)
Due to the overwhelming response to the series, and feedback from churches, Shadow Empire will return this fall! From September 15-17 — which also happens to coincide with the National Back to Church weekend — the series will once again be shown exclusively in churches across North America. If your church couldn’t participate the first time around, or would like to host it again, now is your chance! Please have your pastor visit shadowempire.com/event for more details.
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