the-master-plan-of-disciplesWhatever the apparent gifts and abilities of people, however, we must look for those who want to move for Christ. Life is too short to expend excessive time and energy upon apathetic people. We need to minister to their needs, of course. Let them know we care, and sow Gospel seed among them. Genuine compassion will not be without its effect, and someday the tide will turn. But converting the world to the Savior is not within our power. That is God’s work. Our part is to move with His Spirit and respond to those whose hearts have been awakened by grace.

The place to begin is with those within the orbit of our life most disposed to learn of Jesus. Not that others are less loved, but that our first concern is with those who are seeking truth. Our objective is the evangelization of the world, to be sure. But before much can be done to effectively reach the multitudes, the laboring force in the harvest must be multiplied. Every disciple made for Christ contributes to this ever-expanding working force. At any point in our life, I am convinced a few such persons are within the influence of every Christian.

Robert Emerson Coleman, The Master Plan of Discipleship (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1987), 55–56.