Why Teams?

Missionary teamwork is not just the ABWE way—it is the biblical model for missions.

From Message magazine issue "One Body"

You have probably heard the saying: If you ever find the perfect church, do not join it, or it will cease to be perfect.

The same is true for the perfect missionary team—it does not exist. Because missionaries are sinners too. Sincere servants of God may clash because of personalities, ministry philosophies, and convictions. And as a result, teamwork is messy.

Going alone may seem like the easy solution. After all, popular culture tells us that any solitary individual can become a world changer. We live in a me-centered society. Even in the church, we can begin to think that missions is about me realizing my calling to invest my potential and use my life. And it is true that the Great Commission needs unique, pioneering missionaries to blaze gospel trails into some of the most restricted and remote areas of the world.

But the lone ranger ideal has no place in the kingdom of God. The work of Christ requires the whole body of Christ. Even Jesus surrounded himself with teammates, flawed and laden with baggage as they were.

Teamwork is in the DNA of ABWE. Just as the body of Christ is made up of many parts (1 Corinthians 12), missionary teams need to be diverse in gifts and talents. Young families, single women and men, retirees, full-time evangelists, doctors, teachers, pastors—every role is key to advancing the gospel. Our ambition is not just to send workers, but teams.

In this issue of Message, discover how God is using one long-lasting team of ABWE missionaries to bring healing and hope to the least-reached peoples of Togo in West Africa.

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.