Monday, January 24, 2011

The Books #8: The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman

I first read The Master Plan of Evangelism when I was serving as a lay helper in a youth ministry while I was in college. And initially when I read this book, I thought it should be entitled The Master Plan of Discipleship. I say that because in this book, Robert Coleman paints the picture of Jesus and how He spends time with His disciples. Over time and after reading this book several times with several groups of people, I understand why it is Evangelism and not Discipleship. The way in which Jesus sought out to change the world and introduce people to Himself was through the training of a small group of men. Coleman says about Jesus: "His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow . . . Men were to be his method of winning the world to God" (27).

And that is the calling that all of us have. Throughout this book, the reader is taking through the way the Master discipled men. He selected them, associated with them, consecrated them, imparted truth to them, demonstrated to them what to do, delegated to them responsibility, supervised them, and finally he expected them to do the same with others.

This book made my top ten list because the principles that Coleman teaches in this book are ones that my wife and I have committed to ministry. They have so impacted how I spend time with other men and disciple them. One of the heartbeats of my ministry has been one on one or small group discipleship of other men. But not only in the sense of spiritual maturity. Some people define discipleship as helping others learn to love Jesus better and obey Him. That is good, but I think it stops short. Discipleship to me is ministry training. It is training others to love Jesus, obey Him more, and do the work of ministry. That is what I learned from this book. That is why it is in the top ten for me.

As Paul told Timothy, "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim 2:2). That is my calling. And if you are in Christ, that is your calling as well. Read this book and I pray you will be changed forever!

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