Monday, May 07, 2007

The Master Plan of Evangelism

Have I mentioned how much we love our church? Oh yeah, forty times or so. I think I mentioned before when we changed churches we expected to have to swallow quite a bit. It turned out quite the opposite. Instead we are constantly, even still, amazed at how much we love it and how excited we are. And not just over the people but the underlying principles that govern the church's actions.
At a recent leadership meeting one of our pastors highly recommended the book The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman. We ordered it and began reading it aloud as a family at dinner (which is at noon) today. We've never been a family that has had a big interest in evangelism as is commonly practiced in our society but this book definitely has our interest. One thing we have been amazed at is how successful our church has been at reaching unchurched people and they do it with a large dose of REALITY. Being real and relevant while loving people not only draws them but keeps quite a few of them growing and in turn serving others. We immediately felt that not only would this be a place where we could give, but that there were things we could learn here.
Back to the book. The first chapter describes Jesus' stradegy. He concentrated heavily on teaching and mentoring a few, while at the same time serving the multitudes. He "favored" a few because of His love for the multitudes and He had a plan to multiply His work on earth.
"Yet, strangely enough, it is scarcely comprehended in practice today. 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 along the preservation and continuation of the work."
"Here is where we must begin just like Jesus. It will be slow, tedious, painful, and probably unnoticed by people at first, but the end result will be glorious, even if we don't live to see it. Seen this way, though, it becomes a big decision in the ministry. We must decide where we want our ministry to count - in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of our lives in a few chosen people who will carry on our work after we have gone. Really it is a question of which generation we are living for. "
Several of us remarked on this last passage and how like homeschooling it is. How so many parents are giving up the approval or recognition from their peers and society because they are thinking ahead to the next generation. And how like Jesus' plan it is to spend the most intensive teaching time on a few.


C&ace said...

YES! I love listening to you read it. First we feed our tummies then we settle in and feed our minds. Thanks for starting this!!! Annddd... I agree 1000% that we have been blessed beyond our expectations in regard to our wonderful new church! Love ya.

Teri Fahey said...

Hi everyone. I just got on your blog to try to catch up a little with you. I am so excited that you have found a new church. I guess I will have to read more to see when you started there and what church it is and how many people and all are there, but I am excited for you. It is so important to be in part of the body of Christ where you can focus on others a lot more as well as get your own needs met and of course grow in relationship to Jesus Christ. It also sounds like there is a good info structure and leadership. That is excellent.
I think it is really good when there are checks and balances even on the pastor. It helps keep people accountable. I got the email for the girls. Hopefully we can help out a little. Love you all lots. Hope to see you soon. Teri