Pastor Derek Staples of FBC Jacksonville, Alabama, led a missions team to Honduras shortly after seeing the 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide presented at the Southern Baptist Convention in June. The following interview with Pastor Staples highlights how this tool is both reproducible and reproducing here and abroad:
1. How did you learn about the 3 circles?
I listened to the NAMB report at the Baltimore Convention and watched as Jimmy Scroggins walked through the 3 circles. He showed how easy it is to weave the gospel through any conversation.
2. What motivated you to use this method to train your team?
We took 43 to Honduras June 28-July 5 on a medical mission. We took a doctor, 3 pharmacists, a dentist, and went to San Manuel de Colohete, a very poor village. I thought the 3 Circles would be an excellent tool, especially since the majority of adults cannot read or write. The way we do our mission is simple: every person who comes to the clinic attends a worship service.
3. What steps did you take to train your team to use the 3 circles?
I did not have time to train our team, since we left about 2 weeks after NAMB introduced the 3 Circles. However, as I preached at our church on July 6 I taught the 3 Circles to our church when I shared how we presented the gospel to the Hondurans. So, I guess you could say I trained about 600 people.
4. What results did you see?
I shared the 3 Circles 37 times in worship over 3 days, and 593 out of 2612 who came to the worship services and the clinic received Christ as their Savior.
5. Can you share a specific story or two from your team’s experiences?
The best encouragement I received was from one of our translators, Irma, a precious lady who has been involved in Honduras medical missions for over 10 years. She said, “I have never seen a better way to share the gospel in such a clear, understanding way than with your 3 Circles. It is the best gospel approach I have ever seen. It translates so easily into Spanish.”
Dr. Derek Staples is the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Alabama. FBC Jacksonville is one church that meets on two campuses, with one driving passion: Connecting People to Christ and to One Another. Dr. Staples has been in the ministry for over 29 years. He and his wife Julie have three children: Joshua, Jordan, and Andrew.