Making Disciples: the Heart of the Matter

Going is just one part of the Great Commission—making disciples is the crux of Jesus’ directive.

From Message magazine issue "2020 Candidate Issue"

In missions, we need to be constantly reevaluating our motives.


Because we are always capable of losing perspective.

For instance: measureless good has been accomplished through Christians who gather in conferences, camps, and trips to embrace God’s mandate to “go” to the nations. The problem is, sometimes we think that the command is only to go.

When we overemphasize the command to “go,” we risk sending laborers who venture across the world for the wrong reasons. They might be driven by wanderlust, longing to experience the world, or perhaps even guilt, thinking they can win back God’s favor by simply moving to a new country.

Our Lord commanded us to “go,” but the heart of the matter is that Jesus didn’t stop there. He told us to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). This requires serious commitment. That is why I love how ABWE prioritizes the fullness of the Great Commission.

ABWE trains missionaries to intentionally proclaim Christ, train disciples, and plant kingdom seeds of their own—spreading their gospel witness throughout their own communities, nearby cities, and the globe (Acts 1:8).

This year, despite change and uncertainty, we praise God for providing ABWE with an astounding 82 new long-term and mid-term missionaries who will join our teams to make his name great around the world.

Not only have these faithful servants decided to go—more importantly, they have committed to go and make disciples of all nations for Christ.

Editor’s Note: This letter from the president originally appeared in Message Magazine incorrectly reporting a total of 76 new missionaries. The correct number, 82, is reflected here.

Paul L. Davis

Paul Davis is president of ABWE. Prior to his appointment in 2017, Paul served as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, MI. He attended Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a master’s degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Paul and his wife, Martha, have been married for 28 years, and have both served in numerous roles in Christian ministry and education. They have four adult children. Follow Paul on Facebook.