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It’s almost that time of the year! Registration for ASI’s 2018 convention, Business Unusual, opens March 1!

Save the dates for August 1-4, and join us as we seek to serve our incredible God in an unusual way. Expand your network, exchange ideas, and embrace the call to hasten the second coming of Christ. Get involved in unusual service, unusual growth, and unusual business. Early Bird Registration ends May 15. On-site rates go into effect on July 25. Register March 1!

“Business Unusual”

Unusual times call for unusual faith and unusual action ...

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Steve Dickman

... We are living in the last days of earth’s history and have been entrusted with the great commission to spread the gospel of Christ to the entire world. This is not an easy commission; we are not promised a trouble-free job. In John 16:33 Christ said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Even though we may experience unusual troubles, we can have peace and good cheer because we know the final outcome. Jesus has overcome, and through His strength, we have the power to overcome.

We predict the weather by looking at the sky. We know summer is coming when we see the trees putting forth leaves. When we consider the abnormal things happening in the world around us, how can we not understand that the coming of Christ is near? Even the secular world has noticed the unusual nature of events, leaving many observers and scientists wondering what’s next.

Regarding faith, Jesus asks the following question in Luke 18:8: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” When He spoke to Jairus concerning the news that his daughter had died, Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” To believe when the world is uncertain, antagonistic, and even mocking, takes unusual faith and courage.

Today, as never before, we can look at the challenges still remaining to spread the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tribe and people and see that humanly speaking, this is not an easy task. The Lord is calling us to unusual action. He is asking that we be willing to go for Him, to do for Him, and to sacrifice for Him. He has promised us that if we are faithful even unto death, He will give us a crown of life.

The question remains: are we willing and ready to go about God’s business in an unusual way? Or are we satisfied with the way things are?

ASI’s 2018 national convention in Orlando, Florida, will focus on Business Unusual. We hope and pray that you will consider joining us for unusual inspiration, unusual testimonies, and an unusual challenge. 

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ASI is the official network of Seventh-day Adventist lay professionals involved in business, education, healthcare and supporting ministries who uphold the global mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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“Building Bridges”

In a remote canyon in the Andes Mountain Range between Cusco, Peru and Espinar, you will find the Q'eswackaka bridge. What makes this bridge unique, is that every year local villagers rebuild it using nothing but grass called ichu. 


... The ichu grass is braided into strings, the strings are braided into cords, and the cords are ultimately braided into giant ropes. These ropes are strewn 120 feet across the Apurimac River to create the Q'eswackaka bridge.

The bridge is rebuilt by members of four Quechua communities who take pride in working together to maintain the tradition. Braiding the ropes symbolizes the constant connection of the communities and thanks to their collective efforts, the bridge has survived for hundreds of years, acting as a link between the past and the present.

Would you walk on this bridge? I did, but will admit that dangling hundreds of feet above the river and rocks on nothing but "grass," made the bridge crossing memorable to say the least.
Service...what does this have to do with service? A single piece of grass could never hold the weight of a person; but by the time the ropes are braided, they weigh thousands of pounds. It takes approximately 700 villagers three days to rebuild the bridge. None of the villagers could possibly build the bridge alone, but together, string by string, they are able to weave a bridge that is perfectly safe and strong and connects the communities on either side of a river.

You and I are like those strings of grass. You may feel that your ideas, abilities or small financial contributions won't make any difference, so why bother? Individually, we are just small pieces of a much larger puzzle. When we come together as a community of believers working in harmony with God, we can accomplish amazing things for His glory.
 
Alone we are weak, but together we are strong. Together we can change the lives of the hurting and hopeless. Together we can build and maintain the "bridges" to the people who need us most.

Embrace every opportunity to support those in ministry, either at home or in a distant land. Become a part of the "rope" that helps bring souls safely across a rocky river.


– Paul Opp, President | People Of Peru Project | www.Peopleofperu.org


“Practical Witnessing in the Church

Have you ever noticed a visitor in church on Sabbath morning? If so, have you gone out of your way to make them feel comfortable and welcomed? Sometimes it’s hard to notice a guest ...


... Perhaps you are preoccupied with an argument you had with your spouse, or you have rent due and your current focus is on how you are going to pay it. Our self-focus often makes it difficult to notice a new face. But the truth is, visitors enter churches week after week and their first impressions often determine whether or not they will return.
Hebrews 13:2 admonishes Christians to “show hospitality to strangers." The scripture continues to indicate "that some have entertained angels," and although I am obviously not an angel, I have been a stranger at many SDA churches across the United States and South Africa and I have encountered countless inhospitable saints. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned hospitality? 

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hospitality is a "friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers." The Bible describes hospitality as being a "lover of strangers." A welcoming and friendly environment was often non-existent in many of the churches I visited, and I pondered the possibility that some Adventists simply did not consider the importance of a friendly and warm atmosphere. Furthermore, although I heard pastors and other church leaders encourage members to invite friends and family to services, their churches did not appear conducive to visitors. 

In 2016, I visited a church in Southwestern Tennessee. When I first arrived, I saw a man standing at the door that I posited was a greeter. He acknowledged a couple in front of me, and being very excited to see them, left his station to walk and converse with them. I was left alone to find a bulletin, navigate the vestibule, and locate the entrance of the sanctuary. On another occasion at the same church, the pastor announced that lunch would be served after the service. Being one of the first people to enter the dining hall, I picked a seat and watched as people trickled in and sat at other tables. Only the pastor sat next to me, explaining that other church members would join once I had established relationships.

Contrarily, I once visited a church in Central Illinois that epitomized hospitality. The service was spirit filled and I decided to stay for lunch. As I sat at a table, the elder and other church members quickly joined me. This small congregation understood the importance of hospitality, and as a result, I continued to attend this church until it was time for me to relocate.

To create a hospitable atmosphere for guests to feel welcome, church members must not only understand the meaning of hospitality but also how to apply it. Here are a few practical suggestions: acknowledge the presence of visitors, ask them for their names, greet them with a handshake or hug, get their contact information, and invite them to lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to be genuine!

It’s easy to stress the importance of witnessing to those outside of the church, but there are many individuals sitting in our sanctuaries that need a friendly word, a kind smile, or simply a genuine conversation.
If all Adventist churches were hospitable, I surmise we would have more people visiting and joining our worship services and fewer people leaving the church. If you are ever looking for a witnessing opportunity, turn around. It’s quite possible the answer is sitting next to you.

– William Barker


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Kyle Allen

Kyle Allen Moves to Adventist World Radio

For almost four years, Kyle Allen has served as ASI’s Secretary-Treasurer, playing a key role in the representation of ASI across the NAD as well as around the world. Kyle has worked to attract young people to ASI and empower them to become witnesses for the Lord. He worked on the campaign to add the Young Professionals category to ASI’s membership base, and encouraged the ASI team to reach out to millennials.

Before joining ASI’s team, Kyle was the senior pastor at Mentone Seventh-Day Adventist Church in California. He was first introduced to ASI as a teenager when a friend sponsored him to attend the Youth for Jesus program in Atlanta. A few years later, Kyle attended GYC as a college student and caught the vision of sharing Jesus Christ with youth around the world.

Kyle has been invited to serve as the Vice President for Adventist World Radio. This new position will certainly be challenging, but will provide Kyle the opportunity to impact the entire world with the good news of the Gospel. His youthful energy, passion for evangelism, and tireless service have been real blessings to ASI. While we are sad to see him leave, we know that the Lord has plans to use Kyle’s qualities to continue advancing His work through the ministry of AWR.

As Kyle moves into this new role, we believe ASI will have even greater opportunities to partner with the world church through the Total Member Involvement initiative. We also expect to see an increase in the work being done by the lay people of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Kyle strongly believes in the mission of ASI and the calling of both laypeople and church leaders alike, to live lives of commitment to the Lord’s cause. He is ready to see Christ come in this generation.

Please keep Kyle, as well as ASI, in your prayers during this time of transition. We know that the Lord has plans to bring just the right person to fill this vacancy. 

Philanthropic Service for Institutions Presents:

THE 2018 CONFERENCE ON PHILANTHROPY

NAVIGATING SUCCESSFULLY TO NEW PHILANTHROPIC HORIZONS



June 26 – 29, 2018
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

CHART YOUR COURSE TO
SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING

The NAD sponsors this event every three years to provide fundraisers from Adventist organizations a unique opportunity to learn key strategies from the nonprofit sector’s brightest minds at the lowest prices, and to discover tools that make an immediate difference. Networking breakfasts and roundtable lunches help attendees forge strong relationships with new friends who have conquered many challenges, as well as reconnect with old friends. Senior professionals will also be available for 30-minute complimentary consultations by appointment. Topics for workshops, sessions and forums include: 

  • Creating and Fostering a Culture for Philanthropy
  • Transformative Gift Development
  • Board & CEO Giving
  • Strategic Donor Retention
  • Hosting Profitable Events
  • Generational Capacity
  • Digital Fundraising
  • Fundamentals of Fundraising
Register today to secure the Early-Bird Rate at psiconference.com and be sure to check out the Group Discounts and the Learn Now-Pay Later program.

EMAIL: RandyFox@nadadventist.org  PHONE: (443) 391-7168

Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHR

Accordant Philanthropy

Patrick Rooney, Ph.D.

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Marcy Heim

Marcy Heim Consultants

Tyrone Freeman, Ph.D.

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE

Joyaux Associates

Tom Ahern

Ahern Donor Communications

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9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
USA

Contacts

Email: asi@nadadventist.org
Phone: +1 443.391.7235