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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

Summary of The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman

Updated: Feb 29

"The Master Plan of Evangelism" by Robert E. Coleman is a seminal work that explores the strategies Jesus Christ used to train and mobilize his disciples for the work of spreading the Christian gospel. First published in 1963, the book has been influential in Christian missions and evangelism, offering insights into the deliberate methods Jesus used to make disciples who would be capable of continuing His ministry after His departure.

Coleman's book is highly influential in Christian ministry circles. I have been assigned the book multiple times through my bachelor's degree in theology (Evangelism and Discipleship Class), and in my master's degree studies as well (Discipleship and Spiritual Formation Class).

A Summary of Coleman's "Master Plan of Evangelism"

Here's a brief summary of the book -- which I would recommend that you read, by the way!

Coleman outlines eight principles that underpin Jesus' approach to discipleship, which he argues can serve as a model for Christian evangelism today. These principles include:

1. Selection: Jesus intentionally chose a small group of followers to invest deeply in, emphasizing quality over quantity.

2. Association: He spent significant amounts of time with His disciples, allowing them to learn from Him through life-on-life interaction.

3. Consecration: Jesus demanded a high level of commitment from His disciples, teaching them to prioritize the kingdom of God above all else.

4. Impartation: He shared not only knowledge but also His Spirit, providing the disciples with the power and authority to carry on His work.

5. Demonstration: Jesus modeled for His disciples how to live and minister, giving them a practical example to emulate.

6. Delegation: He gave them responsibilities, sending them out to practice what they had learned in a controlled environment.

7. Supervision: Jesus monitored their progress, offering feedback and correction to guide their development.

8. Reproduction: Ultimately, the disciples were expected to make disciples of their own, thus perpetuating the cycle of evangelism.

Coleman's book emphasizes the importance of personal, relational discipleship in evangelism. Rather than relying solely on large-scale evangelistic campaigns or formal programs, "The Master Plan of Evangelism" advocates for a return to the more personal, intentional approach exemplified by Jesus. This strategy focuses on deeply investing in a few individuals at a time, training them to be leaders who can then disciple others, thereby multiplying the impact of the ministry.

The book has been praised for its practical application, biblical foundation, and timeless relevance. It serves as a guide for pastors, missionaries, and lay Christians alike, offering a blueprint for fulfilling the Great Commission through intentional, relational discipleship.

Download a Free PDF Copy of The Master Plan Of Evangelism

If you want to download an early, out of print version of this classic on discipleship, that can be printed out, please click here.

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