God's Marching Orders

By Jim Micheff -  April 1, 2024


God's Marching Orders

We know we are in a spiritual war and have been warned that soon Satan will make his final attempt to overcome God's followers. 


A remarkable story of how citizens and leaders worked together for a common goal occurred during World War II. Europe was immersed in a battle for their existence in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The United States had remained neutral, but on December 29, 1940, during one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats, he emphasized the need for the United States to assist the Allied forces with supplies in preparation for the United States’ entry into the war.

American people from all walks of life came together to meet this goal, which was not only profound, but required the collective effort of the entire nation. Even the smallest matters of daily life were regarded as opportunities for personal engagement in the mission—things like rationing fuel or growing food in a family “victory garden” were simple ways individuals could contribute to the national effort. On the larger scale, entire factories that produced consumer goods were converted to produce equipment, planes, ships, and munitions. This wasn’t just a logistical achievement but a testament to the willingness of its citizens to adapt and take on new roles.

The collective efforts of citizens, industries, and the armed forces were crucial in achieving victory. These efforts illustrate what can be accomplished when we come together as a people for a singular purpose, a lesson we should heed in our work for the Lord in these last days.

We know we are in a spiritual war and have been warned that soon Satan will make his final attempt to overcome God’s followers. All the chaos and crises exploding around us seems to be shouting, “Get ready! The time has come.”  

In light of this as we start this new quinquennium, we are soliciting your help in focusing on sharing the everlasting gospel with every individual living in our local neighborhoods and communities. Achieving success in these efforts requires the full support and active participation of both local church members and pastors. Through this collaborative approach, we aim to expand the Adventist church in Michigan.

With God’s promise of success, we know these goals are achievable. Michigan comprises approximately 276 cities, 257 villages, and 1,240 townships. Among these, 150 cities have the benefit of an Adventist church in the area. Yet, our mission drives us to strengthen our outreach endeavors in the areas where we already have a head start, while developing and implementing our strategic plans to extend our reach to the areas that do not have an Adventist presence.

The path to new membership in the Adventist church is through Bible study, which necessitates a proactive and dedicated approach by both members and leaders within the church. Therefore, personal ministry needs be a focal point for the Michigan Conference moving forward. The responsibility of initiating more Bible studies does not fall solely on pastors; rather, it requires a unified effort from all members to spread the gospel message throughout Michigan as part of the Great Commission.

Our mission is to ensure that the Adventist message reaches everyone. This purpose drives our existence and directs our actions. Our strategy for success is centered around three main areas: First to create active, ongoing discipleship plans that are developed and maintained by each church. Next to boost member participation in our churches, and lastly to increase the number of Bible studies led by ministers and members alike. 

3 Areas of Focus

Discipleship Plan: 

Developing a strategic plan for the local church is critical for harnessing resources and coordinating and directing initiatives in carrying out the ministry of the church. It also helps in setting goals. An annual review of the Discipleship Plan will allow churches to evaluate their progress and respond to the changing needs of their congregation. We also recognize that a discipleship plan for mentoring new members is a vital part of the overall Discipleship Plan of every church. 


One of the surprising results of COVID is an increase in financial giving. Tithing is up throughout the Adventist church around the world. But what we have also discovered is that personal participation is down. Many members are choosing to relate to their church from a distance, joining the worship service via streaming or some other media outlet. 

As a result, attendance at worship services, Sabbath School, and prayer meetings has decreased along with ministry outreach initiatives that require interaction with the community. Members demonstrate their involvement by engaging personally in the services and ministry of their local church. Therefore, attendance can serve as a crucial measure of involvement. I have asked our pastors to be responsible to have each church in their district track attendance, enabling each church to measure growth and to help in setting goals for increasing member involvement. 

Bible Studies: 

Active missionary work for Jesus includes meeting and making friends outside of our church member family. As we make new friends, we have opportunities to invite and engage in Bible studies. Individual members and the corporate body are encouraged to keep an active roster of community members participating in Bible studies given by church members and pastors. This measure will act as a benchmark for setting Bible study goals and tracking progress. 


The three defined areas of focus are crucial for evaluating our future success. We are highlighting these areas while seeking God's guidance and blessing for growth in Michigan. Achieving our mission depends on the collaborative effort of members and pastors, employing strategic and innovative methods to engage with neighbors and communities. We encourage pastors, church boards, and departmental leaders to develop tailored plans and initiatives that effectively address the specific needs of their locales. As we do this, God will bless our efforts, and we will grow in these three areas of focus. 

Our core mission is to spread the Adventist message throughout Michigan in this generation. This mission is the foundation of our church's existence and should shape our activities and strategies. We are confident about God's guidance for the Michigan Conference as we work together, relying on the Holy Spirit to influence hearts and minds for His kingdom. 

Your help and participation are both wanted and needed in following God’s marching orders. We warmly invite you to join our conference family as we do all we can to hasten the soon coming of Jesus.