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Our Master’s Plan of Evangelism

It took Jesus three and one-half years 24/7 to complete His course on discipleship. And if it took Jesus that long, why should we expect us to take any less time?

In 1963 Robert Coleman wrote the book, “The Master Plan of Evangelism” (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing), with several updates since then. Central to the book is the concept that we should not only learn from the teaching of Jesus but also His example of making disciples. By studying what Jesus did, we can absorb numerous lessons on disciple-making.

We see that Jesus reached out to the masses but grew a small pool of candidates. He looked for those willing to learn, giving little regard to social status. Followers needed to accept the cost: to die to self and place God above all other priorities.

Jesus demonstrated a variety of teaching strategies. He showed a willingness to give Himself away. Disciples were to learn through modeling, not just words. Jesus would often hide the truth from the masses, only revealing it to those who were willing to listen and learn. He taught the concept, that to obey is to learn, and He would constantly monitor their progress. The class was always in session, and His students were often sent off on work assignments, to gain hands-on learning.

By His example, Jesus demonstrated intensive prayer and the authoritative use of Scripture. He taught naturally, using common experiences of everyday life as examples. But a key element not to be overlooked is that His teaching was Spirit-empowered.

Many churches today are putting many, if not most, of these approaches into practice, but they are lacking one key element: time. It took Jesus three and one-half years 24/7 to complete His course on discipleship. And if it took Jesus that long, why should we expect us to take any less time? That is the great hurdle that most churches have not been able to overcome.

There was a time when most families were focused on God and their lives were centered around the church. Those days are gone. Children simply are not being exposed to the number of discipleship experiences necessary to transform them into disciples. Often God is little or no part of their lives. 

It is for this reason that I am committed to ministries that invest a significant amount of time and effort into the disciple-making process. Some of the ministries I support and am involved in are Rock Solid Teen Center and FaithPrep. The most impacting of the two is FaithPrep Christian school, as it provides an opportunity to develop a Christian worldview. Although FaithPrep is online, they use real teachers, and in-house teachers can guide and supplement their learning experience. FaithPrep is inexpensive, as it is accredited in the state of Indiana, allowing access to Indiana Choice Scholarships, which can cover up to 90% of tuition. If there is any way that a church can start a school, possibly a hybrid of homeschoolers and online students, we should do all that is within our ability to make it a reality.

In service to Christ,

Mark Eastway

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

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