The Wheel Illustration
How to run a great Jesus centered meeting to impact and transform
I always enjoy them and I am going to risk giving a little idea I got from the Navigators and I am sure I shared it with you before. I would add to your tips by suggesting that the "Wheel" is a wonderfully helpful guide in preparing and running a meeting. The idea is how to keep the meeting "rolling in Christ". The wheel’s focus is to always make sure that Jesus Christ is the Center (2 Cor. 5:17, Galatians 2:20) of the meeting. Without the center, the wheel does not move and is powerless, but without spokes, the power does not go out to the rim to move the wheel. The spokes are “vertical going down" is The Word (2 Tim.3:16,17; Josh.1:8) and the "spoke going up" is Prayer (John 15:7, Phil. 4:6,7.) The vertical spokes stand for our relationship with God. The Horizontal spokes are fellowship Heb. 10:24-25; Matt.18:20 (with believers) and witnessing (fellowship with non-believers in sharing the Gospel.) The rim is "obedience" and without the rim the wheel cannot run.
"Fellowship" begins when kids get out of taxis, cars or buses as they did in Ethiopia; campaigner kids and leaders were there to meet them. They were hugged coming in the door. Singing was unifying and full of fellowship all singing the same song. There was a time early in the meeting to give each one a chance to say how they are "feeling" either in the large group or in a small group. Many just said "I feel okay"...but others went deeper and sometimes we would gather for prayer around them. This grew to be THE important time of the meeting in that it created an atmosphere for everything that followed to be deeper and more honest. We also always had a time in the meeting for everyone to look around the room and "forgive everyone...since God has told us to do that". Usually we would follow this with a hug all around. But then the Bible study is run on a fellowship basis with everyone having thought and input. This is all included in the "fellowship" spoke.
The "Word" 2 Tim.3:16; Psalm 119:9,11. Then study the "Word", the spoke that goes from "Christ the center" downward to the "rim" and again variety in every meeting is important and exciting. For example in studying the Scripture have each person read the passage silently, or have them read it out loud, one person read it, read it in groups, etc. I always try to have variety from meeting to meeting following the following principle. "What is expected has low impact and what is unexpected has high impact." I don't know where I got this probably from, probably the Dale Carnegie course, but I think that this is a very important principle. It is easy to see why when it is practiced.
The horizontal spokes are important as illustrated by a wheel without horizontal spokes. It would not go far without falling in. And they are "fellowship" and "witnessing". You could say it is fellowship in Christ with believers and unbelievers. But the witnessing is particularly in obedience to the Lord in sharing the Gospel with unbelievers.
But Christians particularly enjoy and profit from the "fellowship" spoke in that they were created for this. This is important even with the first greetings and the goodbyes they should be "promoted and encouraged" by the leader to deepen this with each meeting. The fellowship spoke is very important to keeping the meeting rolling in Christ. I sometimes started the meeting by going around and having each person say "how they are feeling". Sometimes we would take some time in smaller groups and pray for each person after they shared. Or pray for certain people after they shared something that was particularly important. After this time of sharing, the meeting went better, deeper, more important!!!!
Then we would always study the "Word". This is the spoke that goes down from Jesus Christ the Center to the Rim (obedience). We would use different forms of study and questions so that they had models for their own personal Bible study and in their own leadership of Bible studies. The basic model is the questions: Who, what, where, why, and then followed by an important period of application/obedience.
We would try hard never to allow anyone to leave without some kind of application from the meeting. They didn't have to share it out loud, but we gave the opportunity for expression and then followed by prayer. It was always a great and important time. The moving of God in the room could be felt.
We would end with a hymn or worship song, prayer, and always a hug all around. Then no one would leave...no one would leave. It took a long time before the room was cleared out. But actually, why would anyone want to leave. This was living!
I am thankful to the Navigators for their contribution to my Young Life experience. I can vouch for the fact that the wheel is a wonderful outline for a person's walk with Christ and the running of a meeting with Christ.
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