The 2023 Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries international convention was held in the Kansas City Convention Center on Aug. 2-5. Over 2,500 registered attendees gathered to explore the exhibits, participate in seminars and dine together around tables in the large, open area designated for meals.
Themed Revived to Witness, the event focused on exploring three words: united, transformed, sent.
ASI’s stated goal is “to engage people of all ages in the act of discipleship and evangelism.” Its supporting ministries and business members are “embracing Jesus’ command to share the gospel of a soon coming Savior to all nations in cooperation with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
At this year’s event, 204 institutions, businesses and ministries hosted booths, showcasing their unique contributions that sparked conversations and connections. As of Friday morning, there were 2,507 registered delegates—more than in many years—and the meal tickets were sold out, according to registration staff.
Over 200 young professionals participated in a separate track on Thursday and Friday, focusing on practical Christianity.
Mid-America Chapter Well Represented
Each union within the North America Division has its own chapter of ASI, with its own local staff. Nearly 40 people attended the Friday luncheon for participants from Mid-America’s territory, hosted by the chapter team leaders. Betty Atkinson, executive secretary for the chapter board, said she is personally involved with the mission of ASI because she’s found this group to be exciting. “I’m part of this family that includes people from all walks of life who want to take the gospel to the world.”
Vivian Neuharth, Mid-America chapter vice president of membership, said the one area of growth she envisions for ASI moving forward is “getting more members in Mid-America. We want our numbers to reach 100 by May 2024.”
During his remarks, Mid-America chapter president Mark Cromwell said, “ASI gives you tools and resources, like New Beginnings [Bible Study Guides]. Our churches can retain new people who come by developing membership programs. ASI can help church boards develop strategic plans. Our churches can be mission projects. I encourage you all to take a more active role in your local church. We want to help our churches and communities.”
On Thursday, over 300 people attended Ron Price’s seminar on conflict management and resolution titled Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Church. Price is from Farmington, New Mexico, which is in San Juan County—also part of Mid-America territory.
A Focus on Health Ministry
Scott Grivas, Mid-America chapter executive vice president, said, “One of the things I’ve appreciated is the emphasis being placed on the medical missionary work.” Dr. Grivas and his wife Joyce are the directors of A Pattern Health Retreat near Bourbon, Missouri.
In addition, Rick Mautz, Rocky Mountain Conference health ministries director with over 25 years of experience in lifestyle medicine, presented a seminar on coaching. Mautz is also president of the NAD’s Adventist Association of Health and Wellness Coaching. Launched two years ago, there are currently 140 members, with a board of 10. The RMC Lifestyle Center is a beta site for training church members.
Serving the Community
Community service projects connected with ASI included Build and Restore (painting a local church), Rise Up Young Adults (serving refugees) and Stuff the Bus (food collection for the local Renewed Hope food pantry).
“Serving others is what ASI is all about,” said Joy Kauffman, vice president of communications for the Mid-America chapter.
Pre-event activities also included a Nonprofit Leadership Certification.
Products and Projects
During the Sabbath morning service, ASI president Andi Hunsaker described the new Bible study guides being produced by 3ABN and geared for personal study or group discussion. “Anyone can use these Bible studies. There are 20 in the set,” she said.
The worship hour speaker was Charissa Torossian, prayer ministries coordinator for the North New South Wales Conference in Australia. Torossian drew lessons from the life of Mary the sister of Martha. “Would to God that we as a global family would be found daily sitting at the feet of Jesus,” she said. “When you’re devoted to Jesus you will long to be in His presence.”
The Sabbath morning offering totaled over $2.4 million, to be divided among the 32 projects described in the ASI bulletin.
Next year’s convention is scheduled to be held in Orlando, Florida.
Learn more about the history and projects of ASI.