Seventh-day Adventist lay members donated and pledged nearly $1.3 million to missionary projects sponsored by Adventist-laymen's Services & Industries (ASI) during the organization’s annual international convention held last week in Orlando, Florida.
The offering, which surpassed expressed needs by more than $100,000, is an annual highlight of the ASI International Convention, whose stated purpose is to energize and equip those “sharing Christ in the marketplace.”
But the money raised is only one indication of members’ commitment to the work of the church. Participants also experienced a day of preaching and teaching centered on the theme of “Revival and Reformation,” which is also the topic of the current “Adult Bible Study Guide,” or Sabbath School lesson quarterly. Adventist evangelist Mark Finley, the author of those lessons, led the August 10 lesson study.
Defining personal reformation, Finley said it “always” follows personal revival, and “has to do with a change in habits, attitudes, and thoughts that leads me to a new lifestyle.”
A trio of ASI leaders – Terry Anderson, evangelism vice president; Dan Houghton, a board member and past ASI president; and Denzil McNeilus, another past ASI president who is on the board of ASI Missions, Inc. – joined together Sabbath morning to launch the “ASI Evangelism” application, available now for Apple Inc. IOS devices, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
The free software includes slides and notes for the “New Beginnings” evangelism series formerly available on DVD, plus a raft of evangelism training tools and helps. Also included are the famed “Discover” Bible studies from the Voice of Prophecy, a pioneer Seventh-day Adventist radio ministry, and resources from several Adventist Church speakers aimed at helping lay members share the church’s message.
“You'll have all of those tools right at your fingertips. You can go over a health presentation over lunch on your phone or iPad,” Anderson said.
In the afternoon, seven Seventh-day Adventist thought leaders, including Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson, participated in a panel discussion on the role of Bible prophecy in the life of the church.
Weimar College Chaplain Don Mackintosh led the discussion, which, along with Wilson, included evangelist Finley; Dr. Andetta Hunsaker, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and ASI Atlantic Union chapter president; Adventist evangelist C.D. Brooks; Ed Reid, assistant to the president of Adventist World Radio for development; and author and attorney Lewis Walton.
“The Second Coming has to be rooted in your own relationship with Christ,” Wilson said in answer to a question. “As I travel, I try to emphasize strongly the Second Coming. Every sermon we preach should somehow, some way, have a sense of urgency about Jesus’ Second Coming.”
The ASI International Convention included more than 200 exhibitors and five tracks of seminars on various outreach topics.
During the opening night, ASI President Frank Fournier reminded members to follow the highest example in their ministries and outreach efforts.
“By beholding Jesus, we become changed. And we need to do a lot more beholding than we do,” Fournier said.