The Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert Coleman is a tremendous study of Jesus’ method of building disciples. The leadership training principles that He used were simple, logical and full of wisdom. They are the principles that He passed on to the Church. The following eight principles are a summary of Coleman’s book. It is highly recommended. only 126 pages, still available as inexpensive paperback after 30 years.
I. Selection: He chose a few faithful, available, teachable (FAT) disciples. (Luke 6:13-17, Mk 3:13-19). They weren’t scholars, men with special talents, just ordinary men who he could shape and mould into leaders. He did not spread Himself too thin.
2. Association: He devoted His time to them, even in the midst of ministry to the masses. They were with him in all sorts of situations -called to simply “be with Him” and “follow Him”.
3. Consecration: He called them to obedience- to turn away from sin and sacrifice their own personal interests- to turn to Him and His teaching. He called them to commit themselves not to a doctrine or program, but to His person.
4. Impartation -He gave Himself to them and for them. The foundation of their relationship to Him was His love and self-denial. He lived discipleship before them on a daily basis and there was no limit to His love for them. His commitment to them, and giving of Himself for them was the motivation of their giving themselves totally for Him.
5 Demonstration: He taught them by showing them. All the disciples had to teach them was a teacher who practiced with them what He expected them to learn .So they learned to pray by hearing Him pray, learned how to use the Word by observing His handling of it, learned how to minister by watching Him ministering. They became evangelists by His demonstrations of evangelism. Discipleship is easier caught than taught.
6 Delegation: He put them to work. (Mk 6:7, Mt 10:5, Luke 9:1,2) They assisted Him as He ministered, gradually He sent them out two by two. The instructions He gave them are most interesting, revealing how even this was a part of their preparation as His disciples.
7. Supervision: He kept check on them and used their experiences to instruct them further. (Mk 6:30) This was “on the job training” at its best. They were given adequate room to work and learn, yet never without His concern and guidance as it was needed.
8 Reproduction: it is clear that He intended them to become disciplers. The church is like the mustard seed, it starts out small- yet we expect it to grown bigger than the crops around it. Jn 15:1-17 the branch abiding in the vine must bear fruit.