Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Master Plan of Evangelism

As well as getting practical experience during my internship, I'm also trying to form a philosphy of ministry from which to operate out of. To that end, I've been on a steady diet of books since I've been here. The first book was The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman. The premise of the book is that God's design of evangelism involves both ministering to the broader public as well as multiplying yourself through mentoring a few. Coleman goes through the mentoring process Jesus undertook with his Twelve as a model of teaching, equipping and releasing for us to follow.

What was my major take-away from this book? The disciples, in addition to receiving teaching from Jesus, worked WITH Jesus, side-by-side. They were doing more than just meeting for coffee every week and getting advice about their lives (although I'm sure they did plenty of that). But they also rolled up their sleeves and as Jesus was multiplying the fish and the loaves, they were busy handing it out to the multitudes. Seeing a mentor in action, in his work and ministry, and seeing their response to different situations in a variety of contexts, is worth a million coffee appointments.

The importance of mentoring was already laid in my foundation. Now, I'm building on top of that the importance of actually working together. I know, not very profound. But I'm hard-headed and it takes a while for me to really 'get' things. In hindsight, I can see that working itself out with my mentoring relationships in my past and present. I never really carried any of my mentors' bags, so to speak. Mostly because I had that pesky guitar to lug around. But there was incredible value in those times on the road with Ben on the way to a ministry thing, or planning a missions trip with Bob, or playing guitar with Will, or riding along to run errands with Rich. And yes, of course, in having a great cup of coffee with Pastor Jim (mostly because coffee's a shared passion--and because he has an awesome counseling gift that I aspire to have). Most of these times were irregular, and even infrequent, mostly because these guys are all over the map (I mean that in a literal sense). But I learned a lot just being around them in a shared working context, in addition to hearing them speak.

So here is the real implication of this recent 'revelation'. I believe in structured mentoring programs and if I'm ever involved with one in the future, it might look something like this: people are paired up based on similar ministries, gifts, callings or vocations. And then, in addition to being required to meet regularly, they are also required to work together in some capacity. Okay, again, not really a third heaven-type revelation. It's a small ingredient in a very big pie. But what excites me are the ramafications of successfully executing this one little piece a million times over in every mentoring relationship in the Kingdom. What if there was a spokesman that traveled around the world to impart this one miniscule truth, but did it effectively? Would it be worth it if he taught nothing else but gave his entire life to push this one idea? Of course, this type of mentoring is already happening, but what if we could implement it in a very systematic way so that people didn't have to figure it out on their own, and we didn't have to struggle so much to actually do it? Again, welcome to my crazy, idealistic, church-planting mind.


At November 27, 2006 6:58 AM , Blogger Arielle said...

Dave... Amen! I am totally with you on that one! There is something so life giving when you see your mentor in action and get to be in the action with them... That is how I work with my girls and I have found it most effective... they find out that you actually practice what you preach and a good mentor will also allow room for them to do the ministry with their own flavor or spin to it... we not trying to create clones of ourselves but steward the people God gives us to help them find and step into the calling that God has placed on their life. You are great! Keep on keeping on!

At November 27, 2006 3:38 PM , Blogger chung said...

You're awesome Arielle! So good to hear that you're mentoring people. You of all people need to be reproducing yourself. I agree, cloning isn't good, but there isn't a leader in this world that would mind a clone of you! It's not 'what' you do that's as valuable as your character that the 'what' flows out of. We need more of that in this world. You need to start a school!

At November 28, 2006 3:13 PM , Blogger TwoDaleys said...

Hey David,
Amen. (And hey, did you know that we were going crazy about Edwards essay on the trinity at the beginning of the semester? Yeah. Amazing! I had a bolt of revelation hit me as we talked about the pre-existance of Christ in our Christology class...and as we looked at the Edwards! It'll put your head in freakin KNOTS!) Today...crazy how the Spirit is always doing these things...we had a SPOT ON, amazing, powerful lecture on apostolic intercession/preaching and a powerful time of ministry. One of the things really hit on was how the church is in painful need of leaders living the sermon on the mount, understanding that powerful preaching comes out of private weeping, operating without a spirit of control and dedicated to laying down their lives for the ones they pastor...what was super emphasized was the desperate need for spiritual fathers...and Corey Russell was totally hitting on a lot of the thoughts you shared in this post. (In a round-a-bout way.) Anyways. Good post!
Lord...that we would be willing to be a part of creating the context that births a great expression of authentic christianity in the earth!
And wow...check out the biography of Rees Howell, the sermons of John G. Lake, the diary of David Brainard...(if you haven't already :) Crazy stuff.


At November 29, 2006 8:14 AM , Blogger Buehrles said...

A church planting book that is more theological and less practical (which can actually be more practical [!?!]) is one called "Church Planting: Laying Foundations" by Stuart Murray ... I don't agree with all of what he says, but it's more helpful than some of the "how to" guides that presume that you could care less about actually thinking through why you do what you do.

At November 29, 2006 4:20 PM , Blogger chung said...

Cool, thanks for the recommendations, Matt. I just ordered Confessions of a Reformission Rev. and Cities of God by Rodney Starks (which was on one of the churchplant blogs you gave me). Can't wait for them to come in!

Kristianna, I wanna come visit! You guys are living in a watering hole. Tell God I said hi. What I want to know is, where are all the IHOP prayer room revelations?! Or are you sworn to secrecy?

At November 30, 2006 9:41 PM , Blogger TwoDaleys said...

Hey Dave,
heh...Tell God hi yourself, ya chump ;) But since He likes to hover around here, will do is a watering hole, and an imporatant on, I think...the world is changing day by day...
IHOP prayer room revelations? Do you mean, the core beliefs of IHOP? The practical/functional purpose and running of the prayer-room? The bi-monthly cd's of the best prayers out of the prayer room? The online webstream of the prayer room? The copies of teachings from the weekly EGS services? My own personal revelations from the prayer room? The amazing books written by IHOP writers or the incredible worship cd's? (You have GOT to check out Pablo Perez and Seth Parks) the list is endless....tell me and I'll send some resources your way :) Oh and wow, Corey put out this cd with a bunch of people where they took some of his preaching/exhortations (mostly just straight out of the Bible) and put it to powerful music and mixed it with song and God is doing CRAZY stuff with it, crazy. We listen to it in class, and wow. (We pray for like 30 minutes in tongues at the beginning of our intercession class and Corey likes to pop the cd in. We all laugh at him.) Anyways...
Please, definitely come visit! It is worth it, worth it, worth it. (And wow would we love to visit you! It'd be a great vacation...)


At December 19, 2006 7:11 AM , Blogger /es/\e said...



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