Planbook 2020

Reaching Families for Jesus: Making Disciples

It was soon after the resurrection and just before returning to the Father that Jesus gave His disciples their marching orders as His representatives. This strategic focus is known in theological circles as the great commission. Matthew’s gospel records the moving declaration in the following words:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

While Matthew’s particular audience was essentially Jewish, it is obvious that he meant for his publics to know that the good news of salvation was for everyone, transcending national borders, race, social class, gender, and religious affiliation. To be sure, Matthew begins his gospel by including Jewish and non-Jewish women with less than stellar reputations in the genealogy of Jesus (1:3), and ends his account by underscoring the dispatching of women with the good news about the resurrection of Jesus (28:5-8), and the authorizing of the disciples to take the message of salvation to all the world.

The Family Ministries Planbook is an annual resource organized by the General Conference Family Ministries department with input from the world field to supply local churches around the world with resources for the special family emphases weeks and Sabbaths.

February 8-15, 2020

Christian Home and Marriage Week

February 8-15, 2020
September 6-12, 2020

Family Togetherness Week

September 6-12, 2020

The theme of this year’s Planbook is Reaching Families for Jesus: Making Disciples. The truth is, the entire 2015-2020 quinquennium has been focused on Reaching Families for Jesus in a number of ways. The focus of this year—the last of the ensuing administrative period—is Making Disciples, by leading people to choose Jesus and making a public declaration of their new choice through baptism.

We love to see people making a public confession of their faith by following through with the rite of baptism. The visual that immediately comes to mind—besides that of baptizing our children at the first international camporee held at Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1999—was baptizing six persons in Molongotuba, a village on a tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil, July 2019. What an exhilarating experience that was— baptizing in the river at night. This beautiful night was made possible through the hard work of Pastor Reno Guerra, Natalia his wife, and the staff of the Amazônia Esperança boat church whose members shared the good news about Jesus for 35 continuous days with this receptive audience.

Many see the great commission to make disciples as one that calls us to missionary fields far away from our homes. Nonetheless, the imperative is to reach and teach all nations, including our own. We should especially target familiar surroundings and those who we know very well such as our children and relatives.

On that note Ellen White proposes: “Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them. One of the most successful is by living helpful, unselfish Christian lives” (The Adventist Home, p. 485).

It is our hope that during 2020 this resource will help Family Ministries leaders at every level of our worldwide church be purposeful about Reaching Families for Jesus and Making Disciples for the Kingdom of God. Trust Jesus to help you to be salt and light wherever you are.


Willie and Elaine Oliver, Directors
Adventist Family Ministries

Seventh-day Adventist Church
World Headquarters

Download the 2020 Planbook in English

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The Italian version of the 2020 Planbook was translated courtesy of the Italian Union in the Inter-European Division


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The Spanish and French translations of the 2020 Planbook are courtesy of the Inter-American Division


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The Spanish and French translations of the 2020 Planbook are courtesy of the Inter-American Division


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The Portuguese version of the 2020 Planbook was translated courtesy of the South American Division


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The Russian version of the 2020 Planbook was translated courtesy of the Euro-Asia Division