A Summary Outline of THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM, Robert E. Coleman reprinted over 63 times since its publication in 1963.
I first read Coleman’s book in 1973 during my college days at East Tennessee State University. I was involved in CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). I wrote this summary after going through the book in an action group; our small discipleship groups on campus. It stayed in my journal and has been like a North Star to orient me through over 40 years in parachurch and congregational service. His book is still in print. And a version with a small group study guide in the back is also still accessible. Let’s make sure our main thing is Jesus’ main thing! Roy King June 26, 2015
Steps to building and sending people to the world:
Luke 6:13- People were Christ’s method.
No evidence of haste just determination.
No big impact at this time, just investing in people willing to learn.
Jesus does not neglect the masses, but realizes that victory will never be won by the multitudes.
Matt. 28:20 He was with his disciples.
He let them follow him, and this was his initial requirement.
Lk. 8:10 Knowledge was gained by association before being understood by explanation.
IT TAKES TIME.
Discipleship involves the sacrifice of personal indulgence.
Matt. 11:29- He required obedience.
Lk, 16:13 -The surrender of one’s whole life to the master in absolute submission to His sovereignty was required.
Mt.27:3-10; Acts 1:18, 19 Few would pay the price.
Obedience to Christ was the means by which those in his company learned more truth.
Obedience was modeled by Jesus as he lived in absolute obedience to the Father’s will. Jn.5:30, 6:38.
Jn.20:22 He gave himself away.
- He gave His peace Jn.16:33, Matt,11:28
- He gave His joy. Jn.15-11,17:13
- He gave the keys to the kingdom which the power of hell could not prevail against. Matt.6:19, Lk. 12:32
- He gave them His own glory so could be as one with the Father. 17.22, 24
- He gave them a compulsion for evangelism. Jn. 17:18, 19 As the context reveals, His sanctification was in an area of commitment to the task for which He had been sent into the world, and in dedication to that purpose of evangelism, He continually gave His life “for their sakes”. “The ministry of the Holy Spirit is God in operation in men’s lives.” ( pg. 72)
Jn. 13:15 He showed them how to live.
- The practice of prayer Lk, 11:11, Matt.6:9-13.
- The use of Scripture Abide in His word Jn.15:7.
- Training to the task of evangelism Jesus did not use fancy classes or tools, only a teacher who practiced with them what He expected them to learn.
Matt.4:19- He assigned them work. He provided them with a vital experience with God and showed them how he worked, before telling them they had to do it.
Their briefing instructions. Lk.9, Matt.10, Mk. 6
- Go to the most susceptible audience Matt.10:5,6
- Move with the movers Matt.l0:ll, Mk 6:10; Lk.9:41
- Expect Hardship.
- Remember- They are one with Christ. Matt.10:40-42, John 13:20 “Think of this identity! The disciples were to be the actual representatives of Christ as they went forth. So clear was this association that if someone gave a child a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, that act of mercy would be rewarded.”
- They were sent out 2 by 2. Evangelism set up Christ for his ministry Lk. 10:l
“Christian disciples are sent men-sent out in the same work of world evangelism to which our Lord was sent, and for which He gave His life. Evangelism is not an optional accessory to our life. It is the heartbeat of all that we are called to be and do.”
Mk. 8:17- He kept check on them-
He gave instruction, assignments and then regrouping to iron out problems.
Jesus used mistakes and failures for learning Mk.9:17-29,Mk.6:30-44, Mk.8:10-19.
Plan of teaching:
- Constant check-up.
Jn.l5:l6-He expected them to reproduce. (Jn.17:20, 21, 23)
“His whole evangelistic strategy, indeed, the fulfillment of his very purpose in coming into the world, dying on the cross, and rising from the grave depended upon the faithfulness of his chosen disciples to this task.”
A barren Christian is a contradiction. A tree is known by its fruit.
“The only hope for the world is for men to go to them with the Gospel of salvation, and having won them to the Savior, not to leave them, but to work with them faithfully, patiently, painstakingly, until they become fruitful Christians savoring the world about them with the Redeemer’s love.”
“The criteria upon which a Church should measure its success is not how much the budget is increased, or how many names are added to the roll, but rather how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes.”(pg.113, 114)
Conclusion: The Steps Summarized
- Begin with a few
- Stay together
- Give them time
- Group meetings
- Expect something from them
- Keep them going
- Help them carry their burdens
- Let them carry on
- Their personal spiritual relationship with Jesus is priority
- The price of victory comes high.