Welcome to the Illinois Conference. By God's grace, we are a growing conference. We are a healthy conference. We are a discipling conference.
Today in the business world there is a lot of focus on mission and vision. Mission explains why we exist. Vision looks into the future and sees what we could become. Sadly some have drawn the wrong conclusion that mission/vision is a secular business strategy. I believe the exact opposite is true. Laser focus on mission and vision is very biblical. Jesus gave His marching orders (the Great Commission) to His disciples just before He ascended into heaven. Matthew 28:18–20 clearly articulates the church’s mission … to make disciples of Jesus of every race in every place.
Jesus also attracted His listeners’ hearts and minds by casting compelling visions of the future. John 14:1–3 is an example. At the heart of it is Jesus’ promise to return again. This is a vision of a preferred future event that we Seventh-day Adventists love and hold close to our hearts. My favorite biblical vision is recorded in Revelation 21:1–3. This hopeful passage describes what heaven will be like, a place where there are no more tears, sadness, pain, or death. When I read this heavenly vision, I recommit myself to walk daily with Jesus. I long to spend eternity there with my best friend, Jesus.
Mission and vision are biblical concepts that the secular marketplace has borrowed to run successful businesses. Churches today need to have clear and compelling mission and vision statements. Our conference’s mission is to “Grow healthy, disciple-making churches.” Accomplishing this, by God grace, means that we are being faithful to Jesus’ command.
Illinois Conference president and fellow disciple in Christ