What is ASI? (Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries)
ASI, which stands for Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries, is a membership-based organization that provides support for Seventh-day Adventist laypeople (Adventist professionals who aren’t pastors).
The most significant perks of ASI are the spiritual fellowship, resources, and support. These come in the form of conferences, workshops, mentorship programs, financial support, and most importantly, spiritual support. These things provide members with inspiration, guidance, and encouragement that help them represent Christ’s example wherever they work.
ASI is particularly known for its annual convention. Adventist professionals from all over the world get together for training and enrichment sessions, and also to share stories and learning experiences with one another.
Any position or vocation can be an opportunity to show Christ’s character and to share the hope of the gospel. Whether you’re employed in education, business, tech, media, health and wellness, international development…all of these industries can work together and learn from one another through ASI.
So let’s learn more about how ASI works and how it’s benefited the Adventist Church throughout the years. We’ll look at:
The fundamentals of ASI
ASI—Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries—is an organization created to support members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who own, operate, or are employees of any type of business, organization, industry, or service.
This support helps them grow spiritually while using their God-given gifts and livelihoods. ASI also endeavors to provide support and guidance to those who use their businesses to aid the workings and ministries of the Adventist Church.
And the ultimate goal of all of this is to make sure Adventists of all talents and trades, from any walk of life, are empowered and emboldened to share the love of Jesus wherever they are.
This is summed up nicely in ASI’s motto, “Sharing Christ in the marketplace.”
Another way to get to know what ASI is all about is to look at all the various outreach programs that are members. These range from large organizations to smaller family projects and small business owners. Even yours truly—Ask An Adventist Friend—is a member of ASI.1
This community extends all over the world to participate in the church’s worldwide mission. Spain, Canada, Ukraine, Egypt, Guam, India, Peru, and Romania are just a few of the countries represented by organizations with ASI memberships.
ASI has created an infrastructure these global initiatives can unite, helping them “see themselves as active participants in the Gospel Commission.”
But how did ASI come to be, and what allowed it to grow to the worldwide organization it is today? Let’s take a look at this powerful ministry’s beginnings.
ASI’s history begins over 100 years ago, in 1904. And it all started about 10 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee.
Two Adventist professionals, Edward A. Sutherland and Percy T. Magan, had recently established a small self-supporting educational institution called Madison College. Sutherland was an educator while Magan was a physician.
Eventually, this institution expanded into many self-supporting satellites around the country.
In 1947, these self-supporting institutions joined together to form the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Self-Supporting Institutions—the original ASI.
But ASI then was not quite the ASI we know now. Not only was the name different, but it also only included education and healthcare organizations.
As the years went by, businesses, entrepreneurs, and other professionals wanted to join. So in 1979, the name was changed to properly reflect its diverse membership.
Today, ASI has nearly 1000 members who all support the global mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And many of these members participate in the annual ASI international convention.
What happens at the ASI convention?
Every year, members of ASI get together for 3-4 days of inspiration, testimonies, training, networking, and fellowship as they all seek to learn about new methods and tools they can use to further efforts in spreading the hope of the gospel.
Each seminar or presentation is vetted by the organization to ensure it truly supports the mission of the Adventist Church, not just personal gain or advancement.
But perhaps the best part about ASI is the showcase of services and industries members can interact with throughout the weekend. Organizations can set up exhibits and displays that represent their specific form of outreach or service, whether through education, tech, media, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, mission work, etc.
Members and attendees can learn about this wealth of opportunities, gather memorabilia, and consider various options for using their own gifts. This not only facilitates deeper interactions but also makes room for networking and collaboration opportunities that would be difficult if not for the ASI community.
Attending the convention is a bright spot for many ASI members and is certainly one of the benefits of joining ASI.
What are some other benefits?
Benefits of joining ASI
As we’ve established, ASI is a great way to find community and collaboration with other Adventist lay people. But the community certainly isn’t the only benefit of becoming a member of ASI.
Participants have the opportunity to build relationships with their assigned mentors and network with others in the classes as well.
Another benefit of joining ASI is being able to be a part of ASI’s special projects. Every year at the ASI convention, a special free-will offering is collected from the attendees and is used to sponsor ASI-approved projects.
Members can apply for this opportunity each year. These special project funds can help them with start-up costs, expansion expenses, equipment upgrades, or whatever need they have in order to accomplish their goals and further the overall mission of ASI.
Several excellent ministries were sponsored in 2021, including an Adventist broadcasting network,4 an international development agency that supports children in need,5 and a theological seminary in Serbia.6
With the potential for community, mentorship, and support, ASI is the place for Adventist lay people who want to share Jesus in the marketplace.
So how can you join?
How to join ASI
ASI membership is available for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, sole proprietors, and even retired business owners and professionals.
There are also membership options available for young professionals, such as students, interns, or entry-level professionals. This is a great opportunity for those between the ages of 18 and 35 to find the support and guidance they need to share Christ within any sector of industry.
Members of ASI can be individuals who provide a professional service, or organizations that include multiple people. There are just a few eligibility requirements.
To join, you must be a Seventh-day Adventist Church member in good standing with the Church, and you must have a business, provide a service, or have a ministry that supports the mission of the Adventist Church.
There is a yearly membership cost that goes toward the operation of the organization.
You can fill out an eligibility form on ASI’s website, where you can also find out the yearly membership rate for your business.
Join the global mission to share God’s love
At the end of the day, ASI’s members are committed to sharing the gospel with the world and doing business in such a way that reflects the love and character of Christ.
We’re all given different gifts, and the Holy Spirit can use any person or business in ways that show His love and character.
If you want to learn more about ASI or are interested in joining this community of Christ-serving professionals, visit ASI’s website.
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