If there were any interest in conveying the notion of producing or making anything, the Greek construction would have been "poiein mathetes"-- "to make disciples." THAT would mean production. But the idea that one could produce people like one produced a pot or even a poem (poem comes from the same root as the verb, to make) would have been beyond bizarre to the mind of any of these cultures, and so also to Jesus. So it's no wonder the Greek uses the verb, and not a verb plus object construction here.
The "thought world" behind the verb and the actual practices that embodied it were instead deeply relational. It's about "discipling people"-- initiating and engaging discipling relationships with people, just like Jesus did with his own disciples. It's about the hands-on, 24/7 watchcare of a shepherd for sheep (to use another biblical metaphor, though not quite as rich as that of discipleship). It's about investing deeply in the lives of others "laying down one's life for friends"-- and yes, that is the primary meaning of that phrase in Greek, too, by the way!-- so that they begin to live as you do, so that you pass on what you have received from those who discipled you just as Jesus passed on what he received from the Father. It's through that process that people move from being servants of the master to being friends of the master-- not "by nature," and not by fiat, either our own or that of the master.
As I've noted above-- one would and should expect that.
"Go ye therefore and teach all nations... teaching them to observe all things... even unto the end of the world"--
It's also possible that the distinction in the Greek between the meanings of these two verbs (matheteuein and didaskein) was unknown to the translators in this period.
The translators had to know that the verb before them was a participle and not an imperative. The Vulgate had it as a participle (euntes). Every Greek text had it as a participle. Yet they chose imperative-- or at least what later generations would clearly read as imperative.
Here-- a side note about the English of the day. "Go ye" could actually have been understood either as an imperative ("get ye going") or as a participle ("as ye go"). So it's not entirely that they were wrong, but rather, perhaps, that they went for vague rather than clear.
Unfortunately, by the 18th century, if not earlier, the latitude in meaning of such constructions appears to have generally collapsed, so it could only be understood as an imperative.
So who was this commission for? The Church hierarchy who take care of this "for us," and later, also for missionaries and the organizations that sent them.
That work shows up in two places in this translation.
First, the scholarship in ancient Greek was such at this point that it was very clear that one could no longer equate "matheteuin" and "didaskein" in the translation itself.
First, we're back to something approximating the King James at close of verse 20-- "the end of time." "The end of the age" may have been too associated with "liberal" usage to pass muster. So the apocalyptic timeline proposed in the Greek is again buried, and a secular chronological one put in its place.
Second, it makes no distinction between y'all and you (singular). It's y'all in Greek. For an individualistic audience (which American Evangelicalism tends to be) the default reading would be singular. Wherever you go, as an individual, make disciples. Always be about the business of producing disciples-- yourself.
It doesn't play as well, though, for those entities that have significant investments in "missionary companies"-- whether "old school" (colonialist) or "new school "(indigenous). If this commission is now transferred to every single Christian, as an individual, it's much harder to make the case that my first and most financially costly response will be to support a denominational or other missionary organization with my money and effort. Maybe on the side-- but not as job one.
For another look at how this plays out in evangelism more broadly, see Frank Viola's blog article, Rethinking Evangelism.