This is our problem of methodology today. Well-intended ceremonies, programs, organizations, commissions, and crusades of human ingenuity are trying valiantly to do a job that can only be done by people in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not to depreciate these noble efforts, for without them the church could not function as she does. Nevertheless, unless the personal mission of the Master is vitally incorporated into the policy and fabric of all these plans, the church cannot function as she should.
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. Committees may help to organize and direct it, and to that end they certainly are needed, but the work itself is done by people reaching other people for Christ.
That is why we must say with E. M. Bounds that “men are God’s method.” Until we have such people imbued with his Spirit and committed to his plan, none of our methods will work.
This is the new evangelism we need. It is not better methods, but better men and women who know their Redeemer from personal experience—men and women who see his vision and feel his passion for the world—men and women who are willing to be nothing so that he might be everything—men and women who want only for Christ to produce his life in and through them according to his own good pleasure. This finally is the way the Master planned for his objective to be realized on the earth, and where it is carried through by his strategy, the gates of hell cannot prevail against the evangelization of the world.
Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2006), 96–97.
We have just released a new Bible Study, Small Group Tune Up.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.
These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.
Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.