ASi Leaders Challenge Laypeople to Have Purpose and Urgency for Mission

Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries Inter-America convention held in Jamaica.

Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News
ASi Leaders Challenge Laypeople to Have Purpose and Urgency for Mission
More than 250 leaders and members attended the ASi Convention event on August 19 at the West Jamaica Conference Center. [Photo: Michelle Greene/IAD]

Seventh-day Adventist business owners and professionals from throughout the Inter-American Division (IAD) were urged to seize the “golden opportunity” of motivating others to share Christ during this year’s Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) Inter-America convention in Montego Bay, Jamaica, held August 16-19.

Themed “Reigniting the Flame for Mission,” the annual convention drew more than 150 Adventist leaders and professionals who displayed their commitment during the four-day event to continue being key participants in reaching more people with the gospel.

 Purpose, Intentionality, and Urgency

“Reigniting the flame for mission gives us a sense of urgency, something that you and I have to do; it is not an option,” IAD executive secretary Leonard Johnson said. The mission is clear, he emphasized. “It’s not about programs or how we may appear, but our purpose and objective is to uplift Jesus Christ to motivate our church members so they can continue to serve Christ in their marketplaces, their homes, schools, on the buses, classrooms, so that others may see Jesus.”

It’s all about purpose, intentionality, and urgency, Johnson said. It must begin with spending high-quality time with God. “Just like Jesus at the age of 12 understood His purpose and did not deter from it, I want to remind you of our mission, your objectives, your purpose as ASi-ers: to connect and equip lay ministers, business people, and professionals and their families to regularly share Christ in the marketplace and actively support the Adventist Church’s mission of sharing the three angels’ messages of God’s love and grace to the world in preparation for His soon return.

“As ASi members, you must recognize what is your purpose. Business is about profit, but representing Jesus Christ to my customers, employees, practicing Seventh-day Adventists with purpose is the mission,” Johnson said.

Carrying a Noble Mission

Jamaica Governor General Sir Patrick Allen congratulated church leaders and ASi members in the IAD during the 25th anniversary of the organization.

“ASi has become more than just a symbol. It is a beacon of hope and embodiment of opportunity,” Allen said. “Let’s not forget the journey is ongoing, the flame of that ignited ASi light should always be burning bright, nurtured, and carried forward.”

In a world that may seem fragmented, Allen said, “your work shines as a compelling example of how faith, cooperation, and steadfast commitment can unite us, break barriers, and build bridges in our communities, at the workplace, schools, and homes.” Allen congratulated ASi members for illuminating a brighter path with faith perseverance and grace to create a brighter and more compassionate future for all.

Being Shapers, Not Takers

Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, also congratulated Adventist business professionals for being mission committed as an organization for the past 25 years in the IAD. He urged lay professionals to change the world for the better.

“We must be shapers of the conscience of the world but not takers of the positions of the world,” Bartlett said. “If we assume that the mission is to be shapers, then we will define and redefine our own process, and we will at the end be called blessed.”

ASi Evangelism Impact in Jamaica 

As part of every year’s ASi-IAD convention, evangelism impacts and projects take place ahead of the convention. This year, an initial 12 evangelistic campaigns grew to 56 across Jamaica, church leaders said. For four weeks, business professionals conducted lay evangelistic campaigns in coordination with local pastors in Jamaica. More than 800 people were baptized as a result.

Roger Alleyne works in the power company in Tobago. When he’s not working, he holds evangelistic series. This year he led a four-week tent campaign in St. Mary, Jamaica. Before the tent was set up, there were three murders, he shared. “There was a lot of tension during the campaign,” he said. “The first week there were three shootings in the area. Then the second week three more shootings right in the area where the tent was. The last week there was an explosion behind and around the tent, but God sent a firetruck, and the fire was put to rest.”

Alleyne shared how, for several days, many people did not attend because of the ongoing violence, but at pressured times “we need to press on,” he said. “Once we keep working for God, he will do great things.” In the end, 43 new believers were baptized, he reported.

The convention featured more than 20 speakers and seminar presenters on business, management, digital evangelism, project development, health, and more. There were also panel discussions, ASi ministry reports, networking sessions, an awards ceremony, music and prayer segments, and more.

This year’s special offering collected during the convention will help improve the conditions in Port Maria High and Preparatory School and provide mentorship for its students. In addition, the offering will help to fund a mission project managed by ASi Mission 2000 and Beyond.

In a final charge during the ASi-IAD convention, Lincoln Edwards, president of Northern Caribbean University, challenged ASi members to foster a deeper relationship with Jesus. “We must have an encounter with Christ and recognition of who Jesus really is, to understand Him more, much like the experience of Peter,” Edwards said. “As we close, we do so with the assurance and knowledge that as long as ASi is involved in mission, ASi has the assurance that Jesus will accompany us, and the mission will be successful and accomplished.”

The 2024 ASi Inter-American Division Convention is scheduled to take place August 14-18 in Panama City, Panama.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News