August 3, 2015

In Other Words

The words echoed through the halls of the Grand Rapids Convention Center. Mark Finley was preaching a powerful message for the Sabbath worship service at ASI 2014 when he made an appeal for all of us to unite together, focused on the mission Christ gave us.

Those words stirred me deeply, and I’ve often reflected on them in my work for ASI this past year. The vast array of members and ministries that compose ASI represent a dynamic network of Seventh-day Adventists who are passionate about carrying our message to the world, and they make huge strides in advancing God’s work every day. I have the privilege of working in the North American Division office, seeing the tremendous impact that various ministries of the Division are making in God’s work.

I’ve also seen how easy it is (I include myself here) to think that the work is dependent upon us or our ministry, that somehow we are the key spokes in the wheel. But the reality is, whether we are a supporting ministry or church department, large operation or small, lay person, pastor, or church officer, we are a team. Whether we realize it or not, we need each other. We’re called together by the grace of God to do this work of taking the gospel to the world. Yes, the church needs ASI; and ASI needs the church. We’re knit together by the common bonds of our Adventist faith and our mission to reach the world. We can’t forget that essential reality.

The past few months haven’t been easy as we’ve grappled with issues that face our movement. Many worry that the church will be torn apart over these issues. Regardless of your views on certain questions, now more than ever we need each other. Lay people and church workers must unite in our mission: reaching souls with the precious Three Angels’ Messages. Ellen White counseled: “Again and again the angel has said to me, ‘Press together, press together, be of one mind, of one judgment.’”1

“We must press together against obstructions and difficulties, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.”2

The purpose of ASI is to bring together passionate lay people who are committed to the work and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ASI members live out our motto: “Sharing Christ the Marketplace” every day.

And the purpose of God’s church is to unite all God’s remnant people together to take the gospel to the world. Every day our pastors and church leaders work tirelessly to this end.

ASI members and church leaders must never forget that we are a team. We are different in many ways. We often have different ways of working, and we might even at times misunderstand each other. But we have the same purpose: to take the Three Angels’ messages to the world in this generation. Only as we humbly unite under that bloodstained banner of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will we accomplish our mission.

As Ellen White wrote, “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.”3

  1. Ellen G. White, Christian Leadership, p. 11.
  2. Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Dec. 2, 1890.
  3. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 117.

Kyle Allen is secretary/treasurer of Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries.