Shawn Boonstra is speaker/director of Voice of Prophecy, based in Loveland, Colorado. He is also author of a number of books, including Authentic—the Adult Devotional Book for 2019. He talked recently about this aspect of his ministry.
For those of us on the other side of the world, introduce us to the ministry of Voice of Prophecy.
The Voice of Prophecy first went on the air in 1929, when H M S Richards began recording programs in a chicken coop and delivering them to KNX Radio. From there, it has expanded exponentially, covering the globe. Today, the phrase “Voice of Prophecy” describes a radio network that includes a number of ground-breaking shows: Disclosure (our flagship talk radio program), Discovery Mountain (weekly radio drama for kids), the Bullpen (religion for and by men), and many others about to roll out. Our primary goal is to introduce key interests to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and help deliver them through the doors of the local church.
As primarily a media ministry, why are books important to your ministry?
We have banished the expression “media ministry” from our office, because we do not consider ourselves as such. We are an evangelistic ministry, using media as one of many tools to bring people through the doors of Adventist churches. We primarily use books as premium gifts that pastors can give to guests who come to the events we help them host.
How do you encourage people to best use literature for sharing faith?
That book? That one that made a difference your life? The one that made you investigate the faith? Why have you not shared a copy with someone else?
Why do books work to bring spiritual transformation to their readers?
Books allow added time for contemplation that television or radio don’t offer. A meaningful passage can be revisited many times. A book goes with you to where you are, and is immediately available when you have an opportunity to peruse it. People form relationships with books that they do not form with other types of media.
What sparked your work on the current devotional book, Authentic?
Honestly? A call from Pacific Press to see if I’d do it. I didn’t know if it was something I wanted to do. After a few days of thinking about it, I knew it was going to happen. I wanted to create something that kept our church members’ minds on the reason we are Adventists.
What did you learn in the process of writing it?
Well, first of all, give yourself more time. Three-hundred sixty-five short essays is more work than you think it will be. But, in addition to that, writing this affirmed something that has been true for me for more than 27 years now: the more you investigate our unique message as Adventists, the more you contemplate it, the more beautiful it becomes.
What do you hope readers will take away from it?
We sometimes lose sight of why we are Adventists. My desire is to have people contemplate our unique perspective and distinctive message so that it becomes well ingrained in their everyday thinking.
How can a church member better develop his or her devotional life?
There is no one unique formula. Most people recommend setting the alarm and getting up early. That has never worked for me, even though I often get up early. For me, the most productive time for Bible study and prayer is late at night, when the rest of the house has fallen quiet. The key point is this: Make time. Every day. After three weeks, if you miss a day, it will feel wrong, because you will have developed an all-important habit.
Authentic and other books by Shawn Boonstra are available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand.