President’s Letter: What ‘Counting as Loss’ Looks Like

Let’s celebrate the newest missionaries who counted the cost and followed Christ.

From Message magazine issue "Sent: Introducing Our Newest Missionaries"

Like many Americans, I struggle to surrender.

Don’t believe me? Just look inside my garage, and you’ll see proof that I don’t know how to let go.

But it’s not just about our stuff. Oftentimes we’re addicted to comfort in general. Sometimes our greatest aspirations are to build a nice middle-class home, make nice middle-class friends, and bring up our children in nice, safe, middle-class ways.

Family, wealth, and security aren’t bad in themselves—in fact, they’re blessings our God has called us to steward. Yet, they can also snuff out our zeal for the Lord.

What do we do if comfort and safety become our functional saviors?

We must heed the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8-9).

Our missionaries are people who have counted their lives as loss. Martha and I are always awestruck by the passion of faith-filled Christ-followers who have done the math and would rather suffer with Christ to reach the lost than achieve the American dream.

Serving those who give all to go—that’s why we’re at ABWE, and why we share their stories with you.

In this issue of Message, join us in celebrating those who chose Christ over comfort, love over luxury, and faith over fear. May the Lord grant us some of this same self-sacrificing zeal. Jesus is worth it.

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.