When I moved to West Palm Beach from Kentucky I quickly realized that I was no longer in the Bible belt. One of the first things I did upon arriving at Family Church was to start a “Preparing for Marriage” class. I was expecting the same crowd that had attended our class in Louisville…young Christian couples seeking God’s design for their marriages. This was not the case – most of the couples were in their 30s and 40s, some living together, some previously married, and most of them had no idea about God’s design for marriage and families. It was through conversations with these couples that I developed the “3 Circles”—a tool for starting Gospel conversations that can be drawn and explained within minutes on anything – even a napkin.
No matter what your background, you understand brokenness. Whether you know what sin is or not, you understand the feelings of emptiness it leaves with you.
The 3 circles start with God’s Design. From there, our departure from God’s design as sinful people leads us into brokenness. Our relief from brokenness is found in repentance. We must repent and believe the Gospel in order to be rescued from brokenness. The Gospel is Christ dying in our place on the cross and taking the penalty that we deserve for our sins. He was resurrected, and in turn we are resurrected into a new life when we believe in the Gospel. Through God’s grace we are able to recover and pursue His design for our lives – from wherever we are.
The concept of recovering and pursuing God’s design is crucial. Becoming a Christian doesn’t automatically fix our past hurts and scars. This diagram works in a cycle because even beyond our initial salvation, we continue to depart from God’s design. Every time we sin and find ourselves in brokenness, we have to repent and recover and pursue the design.
Sharing the Gospel is not complicated – it’s simple enough to be written on a napkin. It’s something people are doing every day. It is reproducible and reproducing.