Editorial: Called to Something More
Editorial by Mark Brown
After 37 years of service in the federal government, conventional wisdom said to remain for three more years to maximize my retirement income. But there was a call, a yearning for something more. To what, I was not sure, but the desire to answer was greater than my desire for greater retirement security.
So I retired, made myself available to God, and my life has not been the same since. While my response to Him has not been perfect—sometimes halting and even resistant—God took what I brought to Him, and, over the last five years, has given me incredible experiences.
He sent me with an evangelistic team to Kenya where we baptized more than 600 new believers; gave me the joys and challenges of starting two small businesses; placed me on conference and nonprofit executive boards; allowed me to become certified and train individuals nationally and internationally in biblical entrepreneurship; and called me to volunteer in a local correctional facility, where I have been privileged to help more than 60 young men prepare for re-entry into society.
All of that would have been enough for me, but not for God. He recently afforded me the opportunity to serve as the Columbia Union Conference chapter president of Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI), an international network of Seventh-day Adventist Church members, professionals, business owners and ministry leaders united with a common commitment and motto: “Sharing Christ in the Marketplace.”
In the Columbia Union, we are blessed with many such individuals who run trucking companies and mechanic shops; salons and barbershops; consulting firms and medical practices; insurance agencies and real estate development offices; and nonprofits and grassroots ministries that make local and global impact. Our newly elected board for 2019–2021 is excited about the opportunity to connect and partner with members who wish to use their talents, time and resources to advance Christ’s mission and build up His kingdom.
Are you experiencing a call to “something more?” ASI has been the answer to my yearning, and it could be the answer to yours. As you consider what role you will play, visit cuasi.org to see eight reasons to join us, how to receive our email newsletter and how to participate in our prayer teleconferences.
One of the greatest lessons I learned in my journey is that God is not necessarily looking at your ability; He is looking at your availability. To paraphrase Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26–27, we may not have been much when we were called, but God has decided to choose the lesser things to confound the mighty.
Mark Brown, creator of the 3 Brown Boys granola brand and first elder at
Allegheny East Conference’s New Life church in Gaithersburg, Md., serves
as president of the Columbia Union chapter of ASI, whose annual convention
will be held April 3–4, 2020.