the importance of circles


Image copyright: djem / 123RF Stock Photo
Image copyright: djem / 123RF Stock Photo

When I look at a city, I don’t focus on neighborhoods or individuals or even centers of power.

Instead, I look for circles.

Each circle I find is unique.

Sometimes a circle is a family, sometimes it is a group of friends, sometimes it is a group that works together, and other times it is a group that plays together.

Here is why these circles are important: with one exception, circles are just like a local church.

  • Circles have a leadership structure and a decision making process
  • Circles have a sense of history, identity, purpose and future
  • Circles have members who care for one another

The only thing that circles are missing is Christ.

When Christ becomes the center of a given circle, that circle becomes a church.

That is why Jesus sends his disciples to existing circles (Luke 10:5-7), which Luke calls households. The results of Jesus’ strategy emerge throughout the book of Acts:

  • Cornelius and his household are saved (Acts 10, 11:1-18)
  • Lydia and her household are saved (Acts 16:11-15)
  • The Philippian jailer and his household are saved (Acts 16:22-34)
  • Crispus and his household are saved (Acts 18:1-8)

And that is why I look for circles, too.

Your turn:

  1. What do you focus on when you look at your city?
  2. What are the advantages of transforming an existing circle into a church?
  3. How does your disciple making strategy incorporate the importance of circles?

Share your thoughts and make it a conversation!


9 thoughts on “the importance of circles

  1. I am fascinated by your concepts of circles and disciple making [equipping those in my circle to make followers of Jesus in their circles]. It’s like a breath of fresh air. As of today, I am beginning to have hope and tools to equip middle Eastern people in my circle that I tutor to reach out to their circles.

    I just read through your “Tool box” and other blogs of yours. I think the concept of “Active Listening” could be expanded. My husband and I have had training in “Active Listening,” but I don’t think many others have. Perhaps you could give some examples of what you mean. We are always open to expanding our understanding of what it means to actively listen to others, even those we don’t agree with. Blessings Millie


    1. Thanks, Millie, for interacting with these concepts and tools. I am glad whenever they stimulate even better ideas or give people the confidence to act!

      It is interesting that you highlighted Active Listening … it is one of the things that stood out to me when I was talking with another disciple maker just yesterday. Perhaps we could collaborate on expanding that idea together!



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