December 2018 |
By Joyce M. Dy,
The recently concluded 2018 ASI Asia-Pacific Convention with its theme, ‘Called to Prophesy’ deliberately conducted an intensive review of the sweet but bitter book of Daniel which describes what would come to be known as the Great Disappointment. This was followed by a review of the book of Revelation which turns its readers to the end time future followed by a clear mandate to those who have experienced the great disappointment but did not abandon their faith ‘to prophesy again’. There is more truth now than before when Jesus Christ mandated the scope of the great commission which is to embrace the whole world – “people, nations, tongues and kings.” What then are the implications of the ‘Call to Prophesy’ to SDA businessmen and professionals as they go about their daily responsibilities making sure that net revenues far outweigh fixed and variables expenses, capital expenditures, retirement allowances, calamities, economic downturns, crises in the family, disruptions in one’s personal well-being and health especially?
These are the implications: First, Sevent-day Adventist businessmen and professionals need to discern more intimately that the purpose of doing business is strongly related to the Great Controversy between God and Satan. God’s management program for the business of the universe when fallen man rejected His plan for a flourishing life is based on the same principles that underlie the deeper purpose of doing business in service of society. Both should bring human beings into a closer relationship with God because both are involved in character formation that builds personal resilience and strength in others. Sustainable business operations and professional practices are based on the laws of nature, the nature of man being created in the image of his Creator, and what is good for the environment and society at large.
Doing business truthfully whether in one’s business as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, church leaders and employees and in one’s professional practice should restore God’s lost image back into man’s heart and mind.
The second implication: In the conduct of business and one’s profession, there is a basic science, artistry, required tools, methods, processes coupled with the right attitude, and relationships, where God is considered as one’s personal CEO and the rest being recipients of faithful stewardship. Thorough planning is necessary coupled with constant prayer for guidance and discernment especially during times when one is vulnerable to confusion, deception, impatience and the need to belong to a group or club for future transactions. Effective planning is only possible when one has accurate, relevant information about strengths, weaknesses, gaps, untapped potentials, inevitable challenges, access to budgets, access to competence and accountable human capital who possess more than what the transaction calls for in the short or immediate term.
The third implication: The fruits of success which are bestowed by God to trustworthy stewards who are the businessmen, corporate executives and managers, and professionals are meant to be used for the restoration and sanctification of others. Thus, any form of enterprise must have a restorative nature aside from being sustainable so the process of restoration is continuous, i.e. it is sustainable and relevant given the inevitable disruptions in the glocal economy, almost always caused by the enemy.
The fourth implication: Since the fruits of success of one’s business and professional practices are meant to be used for the continuous sanctification of the one’s self and the restoration and consecration of our recipients, it is paramount that the same purpose and habits of accountability be embraced by those who share in the success of one’s business and professional practice.
Nine of the 24 Members of SSD ASI Executive Board for 2016-2018.
The fifth/last implication: There is continuous need for funds for the different ministries both inside the church (nurturing of members and evangelism) and outside the church organization (by supporting ministries). As more souls are won to the forgiving and saving love of Jesus Christ, the church is faced with growing and even surmounting human needs of diverse kinds where well- studied customized forms of ministries are needed since restoration and sanctification are the ultimate goals. One cannot be haphazard, doing trial and error which used to be done in the past. Effectiveness cannot be separated from the application of robust knowledge and skills in the delivery of the various ministries. This requires creative innovation and enterprising abilities usually from the lay persons whom ASI can muster into a solid and cohesive team. Such is the need for end-time ministries and transformational leaders.
All five implications are imperatives for ASI. To date, no other church-based ministry or supporting ministry can perform such a task but ASI. However, ASI being a laymen led and financed organization is untapped not optimized and still an underdog among church leaders even in the local churches. This is a challenge and opportunity to ASI leaders they can take up as they will surely be blest and their families.
The unique but strategic role of ASI as the ‘clearing house and access conduit between Adventist supporting ministries, Adventist businesses and lay workers/ professionals, and the Southern Asia-Pacific Division is ready to be tapped. ASI moves forward as it currently prepares for the 2019 ASI Asia-Pacific Division convention to be held in Taipei, Taiwan with the bold theme ‘Business is our Mission’ on August 28 – September 1, 2019. May the merciful and loving God prosper ASI mightily.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.