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The Master Plan of Evangelism Paperback – April 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 241 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; Reprint edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800731220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800731229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eddy Hall on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I grew up hearing a lot of teaching and preaching in church about what the gospel was. It consisted, I was told, mostly of what Jesus taught.
One day when I was in college, a guest speaker came to our youth ministry class and uttered a sentence that would open an entirely new dimension to my understanding of the gospel. "Jesus' methods," the speaker said, "are just as much a part of the gospel as his message." Wow!
This book takes a simple, yet profoundly insightful, look at Jesus' methods--how he made disciples, how he equipped his disciples to carry out his mission.
If we want to know how best to make disciples, doesn't it make sense to ask how the greatest disciple-maker of all time did it? That's what Coleman does in this book that has become a classic.
Many of today's "discipling" methods consist primarily of guiding either individuals or groups through a curriculum. They begin with cognitive knowledge and assume that cognitive knowlege leads to behavioral change. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn't.
That was not Jesus' approach. Coleman identifies eight principles that Jesus embodied in his disciple-making: Selection, Association, Consecration, Impartation, Demonstration, Delegation, Supervision, and Reproduction--and devotes a chapter to each.
A few excerpts:
"Most of the evangelistic efforts of the church begin with the multitudes under the assumption that the church is qualified to preserve what good is done. The result is our spectacular emphasis on numbers of converts, candidates for baptism, and more members for the church, with little or no genuine concern manifested toward the establishment of these souls in the love and power of God, let alone the preservation and continuation of the work.
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Format: Paperback
Coleman begins his book with a preface titled "The Master and His Plan." He begins his discussion with the problem in evangelistic methods. He lists objective and relevance as the crucial issues of our work. The question must be asked: Is it worth doing? And, does it get the job done?

We must have a well thought through strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission. For this Coleman offers his book as a study in principles. He follows Jesus' method as the model for the principles he sets forth in his book.

Chapter one is titled "Selection." Coleman begins with the observation that men were Jesus' method. Jesus focused on training a few men who were willing to learn, without neglecting ministering to the masses. Jesus concentrated on a few men because he knew that he needed quality leaders to carry on the work of the kingdom in his absence.

Coleman observes that this is seldom the practice in churches today. He says most evangelistic efforts are directed to the multitudes because of our emphasis on numbers of converts rather than a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of those that are reached. But we must begin to intentionally disciple believers if we are to achieve lasting growth. This will be a slow, tedious, and painful process that will probably go unnoticed by people at first, but the result will be glorious.

Chapter two is titled "Association." Coleman says that Jesus had a very informal teaching method. The essence of his training program was just letting his disciples follow him, just to be with him. They were able to observe, discuss, ask questions, and listen to Jesus' teaching. His method was himself. Coleman points out what our problem is today.
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Format: Paperback
They titled this book wrong. This isn't the Master Plan of Evangelism; this should have been the Master Plan of Discipleship. But that's about the only thing I can say wrong about the book. It's almost as if Coleman takes apart Jesus' life and ministry on Earth and puts it back together with chapter titles, isolating the principles that drove him to do the things he did. This book is almost essential reading for an understanding of how to raise up Christians who will seriously follow God and strive to know Him. If you desire to make disciples as Jesus called us to do, you will do yourself well to read through this book.
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This is a truly insightful work that gives a strong, biblically-based challenge to much of the church's quick-fix, low-involvement evangelistic efforts so prevalent in Christendom today. The author takes a careful look at the life and ministry of Jesus Christ Himself and examines His priorities and methods. His findings are, indeed, profound, and they bear careful consideration as we, the church, endeavor to be effective in ministry in the 21st century.
This is a must read for anyone who is involved in Christian ministry of any kind. I rank it as one of the top 5 books that should be on the bookshelf of every devoted Christian.
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While I agree with the previous reviewer that some of the writing and bible references in this text could stand for a modern rewrite, I think the principles that Coleman highlights are timeless and profound (if not profoundly simple).

He is NOT writing about methods. Coleman is highlighting the strategy and principles of Jesus. These principles can be applied in a multitude of methods across cultures, generations, and technological fronts. As a wise old friend has said,

"Methods are many, but principles are few. Methods will change, but principles NEVER do."

Aside from a need for a modern update and not just a cover change, this book is by far the most helpful resource on Jesus' strategy and philosophy of ministry, the very same He has called us to (Matt. 28:19-20), that I have ever seen. I am involved in full-time evangelism and discipleship ministry and have found no other source better for training laborers and leaders to follow Jesus in reaching the world. This would be a five star if not for the need for an update in the text and references.

John Fitzgerald
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