D. L. Moody once heard Henry Varley say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him. Moody was struck to his soul and, when the words would not leave him, responded, ‘By God’s help, I aim to be that man.’” When God called Avery to follow him as a true disciple, Avery knew he must make a similar commitment or remain a mediocre Christian for the rest of his life. His surrender and his filling of the Spirit initiated a spiritual life of impact with global results.
Avery Willis is well-known, especially within the Southern Baptist denomination, for his involvement in movements of God over the past fifty years. Avery Willis’s obedience to God led him to be a church planter in the United States and to strive for indigenous church planting in Indonesia, where he served as a missionary. He was a pioneer and leader in spiritual renewal, disciple-making, decentralized theological education, global mission partnerships, and chronological Bible storying. He is a well-known author, most notably of the MasterLife discipleship materials.
This biography—written memoir-style through his own journals, letters, and newsletters to his intercessors—recounts Avery’s life journey, his spiritual encounters and struggles, and the daily habits that Avery demonstrated as a disciple. It is less about his greatest moments than the personal daily choices to follow God with all his heart. It is the story of a man committed to God’s purposes and passion to bring “as many people of the world as possible” to God’s redemptive grace in Jesus, regardless of the cost.