Evangelism scares modern church members. Many think of those who stood before public crowds calling people to repent only to find themselves brutally beaten. Others just do not have evangelism in their scopes and therefore live ignorant. Yet, Dr. Robert E. Coleman proposes a way in which people can successfully evangelize according to a master plan or, should I say, the Master’s plan.
The Master of the Plan
There have been many masters. Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan. Daniel had Mr. Miyagi. Of course, Christians look to their master as there example. That master is Jesus Christ as Coleman points out. He states, “Limited as our faculties of perception may be, we know that in the Master we have a perfect Teacher. He never made a mistake” (Coleman, 17). If Jesus was the Master of evangelism, it would do the Christian well to observe how he did so.
Preachers proclaim the requirements of evangelism. They remind the congregations that there is a world in need. Congregants need such reminders and exhortations. While Jesus proclaimed the gospel to the masses, he selected a few to disciple. He intended to focus on the twelve and to exclusively train them for His purpose.
Jesus knew his purpose here on earth and when his time would come. He would not be able to commit himself to every single person that he would encounter. Therefore, he would equip the twelve for the purpose of building the church.
The church would be wise to follow Christ’s example. If a an individual would select a few and pour into their lives, the reverberation would spread. Rather than believing that we should seek out a massive following that could feed our own egos, we should select a few to serve intentionally. This was the method of Jesus.
Recently, a pastor of a well-known, mega church was accused of being distant from the church’s followers. The interviewer stated that it was noticed that the pastor would dodge the people and head for the green room. Such are the dangers of becoming overly popular. One’s ego may become inflated and find it desirable to disassociate from those that are different.
The master associated with those he came into contact. He associated with the lowly, the haughty, the men, and the women. Specifically, he spent time with those he had selected. He made sure that he knew them. This meant that he needed to be with them.
So it must be for those who desire to evangelize. In intentionally pursuing the few, we must make sure that spend the time needed to know them. In truly knowing the few, one can speak directly to their needs and address where they can grow in Christ.
Jesus Consecrated and Imparted
Growing in Christ means growing in obedience. Jesus would call the few to set them apart and expect them to grow in obedience. Jesus exemplified such consecration as he obeyed the Father. While his humanity struggled at times with the Father’s will, He obeyed Him perfectly. Christ desired for another way to bring about salvation but submitted himself to the Father’s will.
Obedience is expected. Yet, in our own strength, it cannot be done. In our own will power, we will fail. Christ and his perfect obedience to the cross as an act of love provokes our hearts to pursue obedience. As we encourage the few to pursue obedience, we should also encourage them to grow in their failures and learn what it means to God’s grace and mercy move them forward.
Not only is the act of the gospel what motivates our hearts to pursue obedience but God would give his Spirit to enable us to do so. We must teach upon the reliance of the Holy Spirit. He is a precious gift that the Lord has imparted upon those who desire to follow Him.
The cross provokes the heart to pursue obedience.
Jesus Demonstrated and Delegated
It is said that the best teachers live what they teach. People resemble those who they follow most closely. In every facet of life, Jesus demonstrated a life that pursued God and godliness. He would not only teach the disciples how to pray but he would display it among them. He would use Scripture in front of them. The select learned from the Master how to live by his living. Yet, he also would delegate the twelve to live it out themselves. He knew that they needed to go out and do.
In evangelism, it is not enough just to tell people about Jesus. We must call them to go out and do evangelism as well. We must demonstrate what it means to follow Christ with our lives. Be the living example that teaches others how to live the gospel as well. Then we must encourage the select few to do it themselves.
Jesus Watched and Saw Reproduction
Jesus selected a few, associated and consecrated them, impart His Spirit, demonstrated and delegated. As His earthly ministry closed, he told his disciples that he would be with them until the end of the age. He supervised them as they went out into the regions and into the world. As the Holy Spirit was poured out, the disciples were then ready to begin reproducing what Christ had done in them. The kingdom of God would continue after Christ’s departure because the Church would begin to spread.
As leaders within the church begin to focus on reproducing more leaders, they must do so with intentionality. They must associate with those they pursue. They must encourage consecration and reliance upon the Spirit of God. They must live wholeheartedly what they desire for those they lead. As their disciples grow in godliness, leaders must encourage them to go out and do what they have been taught. Reproduction will result. This was the method of action. This was the master plan.