Go and make disciples of all nations


Nico Bontembal

Malawi Mission Initiative launched

Matthew 28:19 is probably one of the most often quoted verses in terms of missionary work. The first part of Jesus’ ‘Great Commission’, as He prepared to return to the Father, underpins much, if not all, of what we do.

It is certainly a foundational verse for those of us from around the world who have come to Malawi to serve God with SIM Malawi. But what does it mean for the Malawian Church?

For many years Malawi has received missionaries from around the world, and they have come to help in many ministries. So far, however, it has been mainly a ‘one-way street’ with people coming into the country but few going out to ‘make disciples of all nations’. This could be about to change!

Launch event in Lilongwe

At a recent meeting in Lilongwe, the Malawi Mission Initiative (MMI) was formally launched to leaders of a number of church denominations and organisations from across the country by members of the MMI Task Force, SIM Malawi and the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM).

Timothy Olonade (back to camera) leading prayers at the launch of MMI

In its constitution, MMI states among its aims:

  • To motivate and encourage the establishment of more indigenous Mission Agencies from among the evangelicals where none exists
  • To promote sound relationship and co-operation between various mission groups
  • To provide an avenue where information on Missions can be collected and disseminated among members and other Christian Agencies
  • To help one another create a forum for sharing new ideas on missions so as to stimulate, encourage and improve the outreach work of each member body
  • To establish institutions for research and missionary training and organise missions conferences, seminars and workshops to raise the level of mission awareness in the country
  • To co-operate and work with other national missions movements in other parts of the world

Pastors’ Book Set Conferences

MMI as a concept grew out of the last two Pastors’ Book Set Conferences – Blantyre in 2012 and Lilongwe in 2013 – which concentrated on mission. At the Lilongwe Conference, Timothy Olonade, International Training Director for Leadership Ministries Worldwide based in Nigeria, challenged the Malawian Church to wake up to its responsibilities under the Great Commission, and it was Timothy who was the keynote speaker at the launch of MMI.

“The meeting in Lilongwe was very positive, with some very good, practical questions being asked by delegates,” said Nico Bontenbal, (inset picture page 1) one of SIM Malawi’s representative on the MMI Task Force.

Timothy Olonade

Grow people - help the church

 “Timothy said that the main intention of MMI is to grow people who can go out as missionaries outside of Malawi, and the secondary benefit will hopefully be that this training will also help the local church.”

So after the launch of MMI what comes next?

“The next step is to start the training programme,” said Nico. “Our plan is to have monthly sessions in the Central Pentecostal Church in Blantyre running from October to May 2015. We will be inviting participants from the last two PBS Conferences to attend this training.

“The planning stage is over: we now move to action. We need to make sure that the aims in the MMI constitution become action points, not just talking points,” said Nico.


To find out more about MMI visit the SIM Malawi website at: www.simmalawi.org/malawi-mission-initiative/

MMI is supported by SIM Malawi

Project MW 96753 ‘Mission Advancement Fund’