Sunday School Concert 2013

IGGC’s Annual Sunday School Concert & Prize Giving 2013 was joyously held on Nov 9, 2013

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Annie’s Anecdote Nov 2013

Sharing from our missionary sister Annie

annies-anecdote

Greetings to all in the name of our blessed Lord!

My last update was written last Christmas and now another Christmas is just around the corner. The past year had been one marked by several health issues which knocked me out for long periods at a time, but thank God after medical check-ups and a minor surgery during my Home Koinonia the past two months, it was confirmed there is nothing major to be concerned about.

During the times when I was down and out of action, I sensed that perhaps my remaining time in Cambodia will be short, but thanks be to God, I’ve been back in Cambodia for over three weeks now and God willing, I will complete another term of service.

January 2014, would be the 10th anniversary of the day I first stepped into Cambodia.  As I reflect on my life since I left secular work (and the lifestyle & concerns that comes with it), to engage in kingdom work, below are two among several things which I have discovered.

  1. In secular work, most often, we are trained to do a specialized job. In kingdom work, I have so much freedom to use all my God given skills and talents for the good of the people here.  Although it can get very challenging at times, I’m finding out that I can do many things which I would never have thought I could be doing.  For example, I would never have thought that without even a Grade-2-training in music theory, I could be a music teacher with 3 students now able to play the keyboard for meetings.  I would never have imagined that my untrained artistic inclinations will one day result in me designing the signboard and banners for our kindergarten. My latest experiment is to form a choir for Christmas and we are set to have the first ever choir in Suong to sing ‘Joy to the world’ in English and Khmer! I’m really enjoying myself and thanking God for this freedom to use all the skills and talents He has given me to serve Him. There is so much room for creativity!
  2. I am discovering that the more I follow in His footsteps, the more I get to identify with and know Him. For example, if I had not left the comforts of my own home, I may not truly appreciate what our Lord must have gone through when He left the comforts of heaven to live among the poor on earth. In every sphere of life, I realize that what I experience is only a small portion of what He must have gone through, but at least I get to experience it a little.  Other examples – I would never really know how our Lord would have felt if I had not experienced people mocking me because of my identification with Him. There is also a greater awareness of the extent of the Great Shepherd’s care for His sheep as I learn from Him to care for His little lambs. It is not easy, but then there is the overriding joy that comes from seeing a lamb of His growing well. This makes all the sweat & tears worthwhile.

I feel that I have no regrets to give up secular work to engage in kingdom work.  I think I have gained so much more in terms of purpose, meaning and fullness in my life.  I feel like I’m taking a great adventure with the Lord. The steps ahead will not be easy, but they will present opportunities to know my Shepherd a little better. I’m already experiencing some of the blessings that come along the way. I know there will be greater blessings at the finish line.  Meantime, I thank the Lord I can continue to serve Him in Suong another term, to grow in my knowledge of Him as I continue to learn to walk in His steps and follow Him. Pray with me that I may be a better disciple and that I will stay on course till the finish line.   And I pray that many more will be emboldened to lose their lives for Christ and find fullness of life in Him. {ODB tagline – “As we lose our lives for Christ, we find fullness of life in Him.”  (Luke 9:23-24)}

merry-christmas

By His Grace,
Ak
13 November, 2013

A Vision of the Lost

Shared via Sister Annie

for-i-am-not-ashamed-poster

A Vision of the Lost 
by William Booth (Founder of the Salvation Army)
On one of my recent journeys, as I gazed from the coach window, I was led into a train of thought concerning the condition of the multitudes around me. They were living carelessly in the most open and shameless rebellion against God, without a thought for their eternal welfare. As I looked out of the window, I seemed to see them all… millions of people all around me given up to their drink and their pleasure, their dancing and their music, their business and their anxieties, their politics and their troubles. Ignorant, willfully ignorant in many cases, and in other instances knowing all about the truth and not caring at all. But all of them, the whole mass of them, sweeping on and up in their blasphemies and devilries to the Throne of God. While my mind was thus engaged, I had a vision.

I saw a dark and stormy ocean. Over it the black clouds hung heavily; through them every now and then vivid lightening flashed and loud thunder rolled, while the winds moaned, and the waves rose and foamed, towered and broke, only to rise and foam, tower and break again. In that ocean I thought I saw myriads of poor human beings plunging and floating, shouting and shrieking, cursing and struggling and drowning; and as they cursed and screamed they rose and shrieked again, and then some sank to rise no more.

And I saw out of this dark angry ocean, a mighty rock that rose up with it’s summit towering high above the black clouds that overhung the stormy sea. And all around the base of this great rock I saw a vast platform. Onto this platform, I saw with delight a number of the poor struggling, drowning wretches continually climbing out of the angry ocean. And I saw that a few of those who were already safe on the platform were helping the poor creatures still in the angry waters to reach the place of safety.

On looking more closely I found a number of those who had been rescued, industriously working and scheming by ladders, ropes, boats and other means more effective, to deliver the poor strugglers out of the sea. Here and there were some who actually jumped into the water, regardless of the consequences in their passion to rescue the perishing. And I hardly know which gladdened me the most, the sight of the poor drowning people climbing onto the rocks reaching a place of safety, or the devotion and self-sacrifice of those whose whole being was wrapped up in the effort for their deliverance.

As I looked on, I saw that the occupants of that platform were quite a mixed company. That is, they were divided into different sets or classes, and they occupied themselves with different pleasures and employments. But only a very few of them seemed to make it their business to get the people out of the sea.

But what puzzled me most was the fact that though all of them had been rescued at one time or another from the ocean, nearly everyone seemed to have forgotten all about it. Anyway, it seemed the memory of its darkness and danger no longer troubled them at all. And what seemed equally strange and perplexing to me was that these people did not even seem to have any care, that is any agonizing care, about the poor perishing ones who were struggling and drowning right before their very eyes… many of whom were their own husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and even their own children.

Now this astonishing unconcern could not have been the result of ignorance or lack of knowledge, because they lived right there in full sight of it all and even talked about it sometimes. Many even went regularly to hear lectures and sermons in which the awful state of these poor drowning creatures was described. I have always said that the occupants of this platform were engaged in different pursuits and pastimes. Some of them were absorbed day and night in trading and business in order to make gain, storing up their savings in boxes, safes and the like.

Many spent their time in amusing themselves with growing flowers on the side of the rock, others in painting pieces of cloth or in playing music, or in dressing themselves up in different styles and walking about to be admired. Some occupied themselves chiefly in eating and drinking, others were taken up with arguing about the poor drowning creatures that had already been rescued.

But the thing to me that seemed the most amazing was that those on the platform to whom He called, who heard His voice and felt that they ought to obey it, at least they said they did, those who confessed to love Him much were in full sympathy with Him in the task He had undertaken, who worshipped Him or who professed to do so, were so taken up with their trades and professions, their money saving and pleasures, their families and circles, their religions and arguments about it, and their preparation for going to the mainland, that they did not listen to the cry that came to them from this Wonderful Being who had Himself gone down into the sea. Anyway, if they heard it they did not heed it. They did not care. And so the multitude went on right before them struggling and shrieking and drowning in the darkness.

And then I saw something that seemed to me even more strange than anything that had gone on before in this strange vision. I saw that some of these people on the platform whom this Wonderful Being had called to, wanting them to come and help Him in His difficult task of saving these perishing creatures, were always praying and crying out to Him to come to them!

Some wanted Him to come and stay with them, and spend His time and strength in making them happier. Others wanted Him to come and take away various doubts and misgivings they had concerning the truth of some letters He had written them. Some wanted Him to come and make them feel more secure on the rock, so secure that they would be quite sure that they should never slip off again into the ocean. Numbers of others wanted Him to make them feel quite certain that they would really get off the rock and onto the mainland someday: because as a matter of fact, it was well known that some had walked so carelessly as to loose their footing, and had fallen back again into the stormy waters.

So these people used to meet and get up as high on the rock as they could, and looking towards the mainland (where they thought the Great Being was) they would cry out, “Come to us! Come and help us!” And all the while He was down (by His Spirit) among the poor struggling, drowning creatures in the angry deep, with His arms around them trying to drag them out, and looking up, oh! so longingly but all in vain, to those on the rock, crying to them with His voice all hoarse from calling, “Come to Me! Come, and help Me!”

And then I understood it all. It was plain enough. The sea was the ocean of life, the sea of real, actual human existence. That lightening was the gleaming of piercing truth coming from Jehovah’s Throne. That thunder was the distant echoing of the wrath of God. Those multitudes of people shrieking, struggling and agonizing in the stormy sea, was the thousands and thousands of poor harlots and harlot-makers, of drunkards and drunkard makers, of thieves, liars, blasphemers and ungodly people of every kindred, tongue and nation.

Oh what a black sea it was! And oh, what multitudes of rich and poor, ignorant and educated were there. They were all so unalike in their outward circumstances and conditions, yet all alike in one thing, all sinners before God, all held by, and holding onto, some iniquity, fascinated by some idol, the slaves of some devilish lust, and ruled by the foul fiend from the bottomless pit!

“All alike in one thing?” No, all alike in two things, not only the same in their wickedness but, unless rescued, the same in their sinking, sinking… down, down, down… to the same terrible doom. That great sheltering rock represented Calvary, the place where Jesus had died for them. And the people on it were those who had been rescued. The way they used their energies, gifts and time represented the occupations and amusements of those who professed to be saved from sin and hell, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The handful of fierce, determined ones, who were risking their own lives in saving the perishing were true soldiers of the cross of Jesus. That Mighty Being who was calling to them from the midst of the angry waters was the Son of God, “the same yesterday, today and forever” who is still struggling and interceding to save the dying multitudes about us from this terrible doom of damnation, and whose voice can be heard above the music, machinery, and noise of life, calling on the rescued to come and help Him save the world.

My friends in Christ, you are rescued from the waters, you are on the rock, He is in the dark sea calling on you to come to Him and help Him. Will you go? Look for yourselves. The surging sea of life, crowded with perishing multitudes rolls up to the very spot on which you stand. Leaving the vision, I now come to speak of the fact, a fact that is as real as the Bible, as real as the Christ who hung upon the cross, as real as the judgment day will be, and as real as the heaven and hell that will follow it.

Look! Don’t be deceived by appearances – men and things are not what they seem. All who are not on the rock are in the sea! Look at them from the standpoint of the great White Throne, and what a sight you have! Jesus Christ, the Son of God is, through His Spirit, in the midst of this dying multitude, struggling to save them. And He is calling on you to jump into the sea, to go right away to His side and help Him in the holy strife. Will you jump? That is, will you go to His feet and place yourself absolutely at His disposal?

A young Christian once came to me, and told me that for some time she had been giving the Lord her profession and prayers and money, but now she wanted to give Him her life. She wanted to go right into the fight. In other words, she wanted to go to His assistance in the sea. As when a man from the shore, seeing another struggling in the water, takes off those outer garments that would hinder his efforts and leaps to the rescue, so will you who still linger on the bank, thinking and singing and praying about the poor perishing souls, lay aside your shame, your pride, your cares about other people’s opinions, your love of ease and all the selfish loves that have kept you back for so long, and rush to the rescue of this multitude of dying men and women.

Does the surging sea look dark and dangerous? Unquestionably it is so. There is no doubt that the leap for you, as for everyone who takes it, means difficulty and scorn and suffering. For you it may mean more than this. It may mean death. He who beckons you from the sea however, knows what it will mean, and knowing, He still calls to you and bids to you to come.You must do it! You cannot hold back. You have enjoyed yourself in Christianity long enough. You have had pleasant feelings, pleasant songs, pleasant meetings, pleasant prospects. There has been much of human happiness, much clapping of hands and shouting of praises – very much of heaven on earth.

Now then, go to God and tell Him you are prepared as much as necessary to turn your back upon it all, and that you are willing to spend the rest of your days struggling in the midst of these perishing multitudes, whatever it may cost you. You must do it. With the light that is now broken in upon your mind and the call that is now sounding in your ears, and the beckoning hands that are now before your eyes, you have no alternative. To go down among the perishing crowds is your duty. Your happiness from now on will consist in sharing their misery, your ease in sharing their pain, your crown in helping them to bear their cross, and your heaven in going into the very jaws of hell to rescue them.

Now what will you do?

A Story of Faith

Heaven_and_Earth_by_Ian_Plant

Noah believed that God would send rain even though he had never seen it before and moved with godly fear, obeyed God’s command to prepare an ark.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

The Master Plan of Evangelism – Part 5

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
(Summary by Bill Glad)

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

 

evangelism-discipleship

Reproduction: He expected them to reproduce.

Jesus intended for the disciples to produce his likeness in and through the Church being gathered out of the world. Thus his ministry in the Spirit would be duplicated many-fold by his ministry in the lives of his disciples. Through them and others like them, it would continue to expand in an ever-enlarging circumference until the multitudes might know in some similar way the opportunity which they had known with the Master. By this strategy the conquest of the world was only a matter of time and their faithfulness to his plan. It did not matter how small the group was to start with, so long as they reproduced and taught their disciples to reproduce. A barren Christian is a contradiction. A tree is known by its fruit. Jesus called people to evaluate the product of their lives. This was the revelation of what they were.

The great commission of Christ to the Church summed it up in the command to “make disciples of every creature” (Matt 28:19). The disciples were to build people like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only followed, but led others to follow his way. Leadership was the emphasis. The only hope for the world is for people to go to them with the Gospel of Salvation, and having won them to the Saviour, not to leave them, but to work with them faithfully, patiently, painstakingly, until they become fruitful Christians savouring the world about them with the Redeemer’s love. The test of any work of evangelism thus is not what is seen at the moment, or in the Conference Report, but in the effectiveness with which the work continues in the next generation.

The costly principles of leadership development and reproduction seem to have been submerged beneath the easier strategy of mass recruitment. When will we realize that evangelism is not done by something, but by someone? It is an expression of God’s love, and God is a Person. His nature, being personal, is only expressed through personality, first revealed fully in Christ, and now expressed through his Spirit in the lives of those yielded to Him.

 

evangelism-godsplan

Conclusion: The Master and your plan.

What is the plan of your life? Everyone has to live by some plan. The plan is the organizing principle around which the aim of life is carried out. We may not be conscious of a plan in every action, or even know that we have a plan, but nonetheless our actions invariably unfold some kind of a pattern at the centre of things. To regard Jesus’ plans as true means that they must be relevant. Every one of us then should be seeking some way to incorporate the wisdom of Jesus’ strategy into our own preferred method of evangelism.

The multitudes cannot know the Gospel unless they have a living witness. Merely giving them an explanation will not suffice. People must be our priority. We should not expect a great number to begin with, nor should we desire it. Better to give a year or so to one or two people who learn what it means to conquer for Christ than to spend a lifetime with a congregation just keeping the program going. The only realistic way to effect this is by being together. It is going to take time and consistency in meeting together to pray and study God’s word, and then to be moving out in obedience. It is not enough just to involve persons in some kind of group association, they must be given some way to express the things that they have learned; you need to expect something from them. All of this is going to require a lot of supervision, both in the personal development of these people, and in their work with others. The main thing is to keep them growing in peace and in knowledge. Help them carry their burdens, and let them carry on with the work of making disciples.

The crucial thing, of course, is their own spiritual experience. Nothing less than the infilling of the Spirit of Christ will be sufficient to meet the challenge. The price of victory is costly, and disappointment sure to come, but we are not primarily living for the present. Our satisfaction is in knowing that in generations to come our witness for Christ will still be bearing fruit through them in an ever-widening cycle of reproduction to the ends of the earth and unto the end of time.

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

The Master Plan of Evangelism – Part 4

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
(Summary by Bill Glad)

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

evangelism-work

Delegation: He assigned them work.

Jesus was always building up in his ministry to the time when his disciples would have to take over his work and go out into the world with the redeeming Gospel. He was never premature in his insistence upon action; he was patient. His method was to get the disciples into a vital experience with God, and to show them how he worked, before telling them they had to do it. They were given tasks such as manual burdens of getting food and arranging accommodations, as well as being sent on a preaching mission.

In their first evangelistic mission, the disciples were told to “preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick”. But Jesus did not leave it at this; he was also specific in his instructions of where to stay, what to take, and what to say. It was as though Jesus was telling his disciples to go where they would find the most susceptible audience, and within that, the disciples were told to concentrate their time upon the most promising individuals in each town who would thereby be able to follow up their work after they had gone. We too need to be giving ourselves to responsive hearers, while at the same time expecting hardship and division because of the message we bring.

Evangelism is not an optional accessory to our life. It is the heartbeat of all that we are called to be and do. But it is not enough to make this an ideal. It must be given tangible expression by those who are following the Saviour. The best way to be sure that this is done is to give practical work assignments and expect them to be carried out. This gets people started, and where they already have seen their work demonstrated in the life of the teacher, there is no reason why the assignment cannot be completed.

 

evangelism-leadership

Supervision: He kept check on them.

Jesus made it a point to get with his disciples following their tours of service to hear their reports and to share with them the blessedness of his ministry in doing the same thing. In this sense, one might say that his teaching rotated between instruction and assignment. What time he was with them, he was helping them to understand the reason for some previous action or getting them ready for some new experience.

What is seen here so vividly in these check-up sessions following the disciples’ visitation merely brings into bold relief a strategy of Jesus throughout his ministry. As he reviewed some experience which the disciples had he would bring out some practical application of it to their lives.

Many illustrations could be cited to show how Jesus checked up on the actions and reactions of his disciples as they faced various difficult situations. The important thing about all this supervisory work of Jesus was that he kept the disciples going on toward the goal he had set for them. Disciples must be brought to maturity. There can be no substitute for total victory, and our field is the world. We have not been called to hold the fort, but to storm the heights.

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

The Master Plan of Evangelism – Part 3

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
(Summary by Bill Glad)

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

evangelism-impartation

Impartation: He gave himself.

Why were Jesus’ demands upon discipline accepted without argument? The disciples understood that they were not just keeping a law, but were responding to One that loved them and who was willing to give himself for them. His was a life of giving – giving away what the Father had given him. Love is like that. It is always giving itself away. He lost no opportunities to impress upon his followers the deep compulsion of his own soul aflame with the love of God for a lost world. Everything he did and said was motivated by his consuming passion.

The constant renewing of his consecration to God through loving service to others constituted Jesus’ sanctification. He continually gave his life “for their sakes”. His sanctification then was not to benefit himself, but it was for his disciples, that they might “be sanctified in truth”. That is to say, in giving himself to God, Jesus gave himself to those about him so that through his life they might come to know a similar commitment to the mission for which he had come into the world. His whole evangelistic plan hinged on this dedication, and in turn, the faithfulness with which his disciples gave themselves in love to the people about them. They were to give as freely as they had received. Such a demonstration of love through the disciples was to be the way that the world would know that the Gospel was true.

Jesus made it clear that his life was mediated only through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, it was the Spirit that sustained and nourished the transformed life of a disciple as he continued to grow in knowledge and grace. By the same token it was only the Spirit of God that enabled one to carry on the redemptive mission of evangelism. Evangelism was the Spirit’s work; all the disciples were asked to do was to let the Spirit have complete charge of their lives. The fact that these men were of the common lot of mankind was no hindrance at all. It only serves to remind us of the mighty power of the Spirit of God accomplishing his purpose in people fully yielded to his control. After all, the power is in the Spirit of Christ. It is not who we are, but who he is that makes the difference. We must have his life in us by the Spirit if we are to do his work and practice his teaching.

 

evangelism-living

Demonstration: He showed them how to live.

Jesus saw to it that his disciples learned his way of living with God and man. He recognized that it was not enough just to get people into his spiritual communion. His disciples needed to know how his experience was to be maintained and shared if it was to be perpetuated in evangelism. That is why the effort of Jesus to get across to his followers the secrets of his spiritual influence needs to be considered as a deliberate course of his master strategy.

As an example, it was no accident that Jesus often let his disciples see him conversing with the Father in prayer. They would see the place it had in his life without fully understanding what it was all about.  Note that Jesus didn’t force the lesson upon them, but rather he just kept on praying until at last, the disciples got so hungry that they asked him to teach them what he was doing. At that point he would give them a lesson, and thereafter he emphasized the life of prayer again and again when talking with his disciples, continually enlarging upon its meaning and application as they were able to comprehend deeper realities of his Spirit. One thing is certain. Unless they grasped the meaning of prayer, and learned how to practice it with consistency, not much would ever come of their lives.

Another aspect of Jesus’ life which was vividly portrayed to the disciples was the importance and use of the Holy Scriptures. This was evident both in maintaining his own personal devotion and in winning others to the Way. He never ceased to used Scripture in his conversation with them; he exposited the Scriptures before them repeatedly, and he made it abundantly clear that the Word written in the Scriptures and the Word spoken by him were not in contradiction. Furthermore, it was made clear to them that if they were to continue in his fellowship by the Spirit after he was gone from them in the flesh, they would have to abide in his Word.

Through this manner of personal demonstration, every aspect of Jesus’ personal discipline of life was bequeathed to his disciples, but what perhaps was most important in view of his ultimate purpose was that all the while he was teaching them how to win souls. Practically everything that Jesus said and did had some relevance to their work of evangelism, either by explaining some spiritual truth or revealing to them how they should deal with people. Jesus was so much the master in his teaching that he did not let his method obscure his lesson. He let his truth call attention to itself, and not the presentation. All the disciples had to teach others was a Teacher who practiced with them what he expected them to learn. He did not ask anyone to do or be anything which first he had not demonstrated in his own life, thereby not only proving its workability, but also its relevance to his mission in life. It is well enough to tell people what we mean, but it is infinitely better to show them how to do it. 

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

 

The Master Plan of Evangelism – Part 2

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
(Summary by Bill Glad)

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

evangelism-association

Association: He stayed with them.

Having called his men, Jesus made it a practice to be with them. This was the essence of his training program – just letting his disciples follow him. This was an incredibly simple method and stood in stark contrast to the formal procedures of the scribes. By the virtue of their fellowship with Jesus the disciples were permitted “to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God” (Luke 8:10). Knowledge was gained by association before it was understood by explanation. The call to the disciples was “follow me and to others “come and see”. Even in the choosing of the twelve we can see that they were set apart “that they might be with Him” (Mark 3:14). He had more time with the apostles than with everyone else in the world put together, and it could only have been deliberate. Taking this approach means that Jesus had little time to call his own. Jesus still ministered to the masses, but all the time ministered to his disciples by having them with him. He had to devote himself primarily to the task of developing some people who in turn could give this kind of personal attention to others. Again, the modern day church has failed miserably to care for the individuals in the body with the attention they need. Building men and women is not easy. But we need to be incorporating into our ministry personal care and close relationships for all new members to the body.

 

evangelism-obedience

Consecration: He required obedience.

Jesus expected the people he was with to obey him. They were not required to be smart, but they had to be loyal. They were called his “disciples” meaning that they were “learners” or “pupils”. For the moment all they were asked to do was to follow Jesus. Following might have seemed easy at first, but it soon became apparent that it meant the surrender of one’s whole life to the Master in absolute submission to his sovereignty. There could be no compromise. Would-be disciples were made to count the cost, and many who followed turned away.

The disciples’ obedience did not correlate directly with their understanding of Jesus’ teachings. In fact, they were far from understanding Jesus as he talked about the cross and servant hood. But their capacity to receive revelation would grow provided they continued to practice what truth they did understand. Thus obedience to Christ was the very means by which those in his company learned more truth.

Supreme obedience was interpreted to be the expression of love. If the disciples were to love Jesus, it would be shown in their obedience to his words. Absolute obedience to the will of the Father, of course, was the controlling principle of the Master’s own life. The cross was but the crowning climax of Jesus’ commitment to do the will of God. From the viewpoint of strategy, obedience was the only way that Jesus could mould the disciples’ lives by his word. There could be no development of character or purpose in the disciples without it, and no one can ever be a leader until first he has learned to follow a leader. Without obedience to Christ the disciples would surely have been lost in their battle for human lives. Why are so many professed Christians today stunted in their growth and ineffectual in their witness? Is it not because of their indifference to the commands of God? Obedience has been replaced by a sort of respectable “do-as-you-please” philosophy of expediency.

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

The Master Plan of Evangelism – Part 1

An excellent summary sent by our sister Annie Khoo

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
(Summary by Bill Glad)

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion

evangelism

The Master and His Plan: The problem in evangelistic methods.

In our efforts to fulfil the great commission of Christ, we need to constantly evaluate the objectives and relevance of our work. Is it worth doing? And does it get the job done? Just because we are busy doesn’t mean it is to a purpose. We need to focus our attention on a well-thought-through strategy of movement day by day in terms of long range goals – everything we do must have a purpose. This is an attempt to see the controlling principles governing the movements of the Master in hope that our own labours might be conformed to a similar pattern. Since form follows function, this is a study to understand principles underlying Jesus’ ministry – principles that determined his methods. In order to do this we have to look at the New Testament and the Gospels in particular.

Christ is the perfect example. His objective was clear: He intended to save out of the world a people for himself and to build a church of the Spirit which would never perish. No one was excluded from his gracious purpose. His love was universal – he died for all sins and all people; to him there was no distinction between home and foreign missions. To Jesus it was all world evangelization. He planned to win! His life was ordered by his objective. Everything he did and said was a part of the whole pattern. Never did he lose sight of his goal – to redeem the world for God. We need to carefully consider his strategies, for he conceived a plan that would not fail.

 

evangelism-fishing

Selection: People were his method.

It all started with Jesus calling a few men to follow him. His concern was not with programs, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. The initial objective of Jesus’ plan was to enlist people who could bear witness to his life and carry on his work after he returned to the Father. These first converts had little immediate effect on the religious life of the day, but their lives, in time, would have an impact throughout eternity.

None of the men Jesus chose seemed to be key people. They weren’t prominent in the synagogues, educated, or wealthy. They were “unlearned and ignorant” (Acts 4:13), but Jesus saw in them the potential to be leaders in the Kingdom. They weren’t the men you would expect to win the world for Jesus, but they were teachable. They had a yearning for God and the realities of His life. Jesus can use anyone who wants to be used.

The wisdom of Jesus’ method is that he concentrated on a few. One cannot transform a world except as individuals in the world are transformed, and individuals cannot be changed except as they are moulded in the hands of the Master. Hence, as the company of followers around Jesus increased, it became necessary to narrow the select company to a more manageable number – Jesus chose twelve apostles. He didn’t exclude others from following him, but it is undeniable that his attention was focused more and more on the few and not on the many. Even within the twelve there was a select apostolic group of Peter, James, and John. All other things being equal, the more concentrated the size of the group being taught, the greater the opportunity for effective instruction. Jesus staked his whole ministry on the apostles; the fringe could fall away, but the close disciples could not miss his purposes or all was lost!

Jesus, on the other hand, did not neglect the crowds. He did much to identify with them, to care for them, and instruct them – so much so that in many cases they were aroused and even moved to make him king. But Jesus didn’t give in to popular conceptions; he rather stayed with his strategy at the risk of public scorn. Few seemed to understand his message.

His strategy, again, was not to impress the crowd, but to usher in a kingdom. This meant that he needed men who could lead the multitudes. Jesus was a realist. He based his evangelism on a plan that would meet the need; by focusing on a few men he developed the base on which the masses could later depend. This stands in contrast to our modern day emphasis on the number of converts, rather than building the foundation on which a continuing evangelistic ministry can be set.

Part 1: The problem in evangelistic methods & Selection
Part 2: Association & Consecration
Part 3: Impartation & Demonstration
Part 4: Delegation & Supervision
Part 5: Reproduction & Conclusion