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The Master Plan of Evangelism Paperback – April 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
"Few books have had as great an impact on the cause of world evangelization in our generation as Robert Coleman's The Master Plan of Evangelism."--Billy Graham
It all started when Jesus called a few men to follow him and share God's message with their neighbors. We are called to do the same. But evangelism can be difficult--even intimidating. With all the evangelism resources available, where should you turn to find advice on how to share the Good News with others? Robert E. Coleman says the answers aren't found in TV evangelism, easy-evangelism guidebooks, or the latest marketing techniques. Rather, he looks to the Bible, to the ultimate example found in Jesus Christ.
For more than forty years this classic, biblical look at evangelism has challenged and instructed over three million readers. Now repackaged for a new generation, The Master Plan of Evangelism is as fresh and relevant as ever. Join the movement and discover how you can minister to the people God brings into your life.
About the Author
Robert E. Coleman is Distinguished Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also served as dean of the Billy Graham International Schools of Evangelism as well as director of the Billy Graham Center Institute of Evangelism at Wheaton College.
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A book review of The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert E. Coleman, 1962
Reviewed by Joe Chiappetta, 2016
Get this book if you want to change the world for the better. It contains life-changing insights into how Jesus operated to prepare his disciples for world evangelism. With application of the simple yet challenging principles discussed, you will know how to invest in people and spread the good news around the world. This is totally worth your time to read and put into practice.
In The Master Plan of Evangelism, the author, Robert Coleman, does an amazing job at presenting Jesus' ministry strategy from a big picture level. Yet Coleman does so in a way that makes the strategy digestible for replication. That is the brilliance of this book; it is a true and effective outline of Jesus' methods that anyone can imitate. He even makes the point that Jesus' methods are so powerful, that they work well even when non-Christians use them.
Conversely, when people use Jesus' teaching in a partial, uncoordinated, independent, pick-and-choose manner, the results are less inspiring, to say the least. Coleman even emphasizes that religious groups should not assume that the average untrained member is qualified to lead things without first being trained to imitate Jesus. The key is having trained leaders who can replicate what and how Jesus did things. That is how ministry really spreads.
The Master Plan of Evangelism is a very short book, yet emanating with power. In fact, Coleman exemplifies the much sought-after trait of being brief and powerful. I appreciate things being broken down in digestible chunks, and Coleman does so in his book by turning Jesus' methods into eight overarching tactics that were consistent throughout his ministry. These can be seen as guiding principles that were underlying in his ministry. They that are completely integrated, yet can also be distinctly described and replicable today. All eight fall under Jesus' statement "I am the way..." from John 14:6. In other words, there is no Christian way without wholehearted, complete imitation of Jesus' way.
The eight principles are as follows:
1. Selection: Men were his method.
2. Association: He stayed with them.
3. Consecration: He required obedience.
4. Impartation: He gave himself away.
5. Demonstration: He showed them how to live.
6. Delegation: He assigned them work.
7. Supervision: He kept check on them.
8. Reproduction: He expected them to reproduce.
A careful examination of these principles can be quite convicting. Since Jesus is the way, and therefore imitation of him is the way, then we all have to ask ourselves three questions:
1. Have I been sufficiently trained to do these eight principles of Jesus?
2. Am I personally doing each one of these eight principles on an ongoing basis? Note that it is not enough to merely agree with the principles of Jesus; we need to do them. That is true Christianity.
3. Am I calling and training others to do these principles of Jesus?
This is a personal assessment that all of us must make and reassess on an ongoing basis. Those who answer "yes," and whom God would agree to their "yes" on all three questions will be the mighty revolutionaries that will spread the good news all around the world, as part of the master's master plan of evangelism.
The plan breaks down into eight parts - choosing a few dedicated individuals, spending all (or much of) your time with them, insistence on holiness in life, pouring into them your own zeal for God and his purposes through the power of the Holy Spirit, modeling for them a life given to God (particularly in prayer, attention to scripture, and public ministry), sending them out to do specific ministry tasks, supervising them and keeping them accountable in those efforts, and teaching them to repeat the process themselves with new disciples.
Coleman's exegesis is sound, and his emphasis on theology and philosophy over methodology is refreshing. There are a few odd missteps here and there (e.g. his comments on why the disciples were sent to `the lost sheep of Israel'), but overall this is a convicting and biblical volume on carrying the message of the kingdom.
As I began learning from the Navigators, I asked if there was a book that explained the process by which they went about making disciples and training laborers for the harvest fields. The guy helping me suggested that I read the Master Plan. The Master Plan helped me to understand what was happening around me, as for the first time, I was seeing spiritual generations of laborers ministering among the lost.
The Master Plan, when combined with an effective lifestyle of making disciples for Jesus, is an invaluable tool to understanding the methods Jesus used to reach the world. It provides excellent practical application for putting Jesus' methods into practice in our families, work places, military units and college campuses.